BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 24, 2013) – The last thing Ron Capps wanted to happen on Sunday to his NAPA Shocks and Struts Funny Car team happened at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas.
After a solid No. 4 qualifying effort in Don Schumacher Racing’s NAPA Dodge Charger R/T, Capps was upset in the opening round that prevented him from getting closer to teammate and points leader Matt Hagan.
He went from arriving at Dallas second in points and trailing Hagan by 82 points, to dropping to sixth and falling 102 behind his teammate. It could have been worse had Hagan not lost in the second round, but it could have been much better had Capps advanced a few rounds.
“We lost a great opportunity to get closer to Matt,” Hagan said. “But we can’t dwell on that. We know we have a lot of work to do and we have to win more rounds that Matt.”
And that has to start this weekend in the AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis, which is the third stop in the six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoff.
Capps is using what happened a year ago to another teammate, Jack Beckman, who arrived at St. Louis third in points and 97 behind Capps when he was first in points. Beckman ended up winning the world championship by two points over Capps.
“We’re going to St. Louis in a position similar that Jack was in and we all know how that turned out,” Capps said. “I’ve said before I’d rather be the hunter than the hunted and now we really have our work cut out for us.”
Join NAPA AUTO PARTS in cheering on Ron Capps and the NAPA Funny Car Team at St. Louis this Saturday and Sunday, or catch racing action on ESPN2.
Sunday: 8:30 p.m. (ET), championship eliminations, delayed
RON CAPPS, NAPA Shocks & Struts Dodge Charger R/T
Last event (Sept. 20-22, Ennis, Texas): Qualified No. 4; lost in first round to Tony Pedregon.
A year ago at Gateway: Qualified No. 6; lost to Matt Hagan in second round.
Career at Gateway: Wins 3 (2007, 205, 1997); runner-ups 1 (2009); poles 1 (2009).
Pts Races Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2013 6th 20 3 2 4 4 7 1 1 30-16
CAREER 407 41** 41 67 80 160 15 18 501-348
**40 Funny Car/1 Top Fuel
Best Time, Speed
3.964 sec. * (5-31-12, Englishtown, N.J.), 320.89 mph (5-31-12, Englishtown); * quickest ever
SCHEDULE (Times are CT)
Friday: 3:30 p.m., 6 p.m., nitro qualifying
Saturday: 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m., nitro qualifying
Sunday: 11 a.m., championship eliminations
MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES
NHRA Countdown to the Championship Standings
(Through Sept. 22 near Dallas; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. MATT HAGAN 2,272 (—)
2. Cruz Pedregon 2,221 (-51)
3. Robert Hight 2,209 (-63)
4. John Force 2,208 (-64)
5. JACK BECKMAN 2,196 (-76)
6. RON CAPPS 2,170 (-102)
7. JOHNNY GRAY 2,155 (-117)
8. Courtney Force 2,141 (-131)
9. Tim Wilkerson 2,089 (-183)
10. Del Worsham 2,068 (-204)
2013 REGULAR SEASON WINNERS: C. Force, CAPPS, GRAY, C. Pedregon, HAGAN, C. Pedregon, GRAY, GRAY, HAGAN, J. Force, C. Force, HAGAN, GRAY, C. Pedregon, CAPPS, HAGAN, CAPPS, Hight.
2013 COUNTDOWN WINNERS: Hight (Charlotte), C. Pedregon (Dallas).
NHRA COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP
Sept. 13-15 – Charlotte, N.C. (Finals: TF/Morgan Lucas def. SPENCER MASSEY; FC/Robert Hight def. MATT HAGAN)
Sept. 19-22 – Texas Motorplex, Dallas (Finals: TF/Doug Kalitta def. Shawn Langdon; FC/Cruz Pedregon def. John Force)
Sept. 27-29 – Gateway Motorsports Park, St. Louis
Oct. 3-6 – Maple Grove Raceway, Reading, Pa.
Oct. 24-27 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas
Nov. 7-10 – Auto Club Raceway, Pomona
Don Schumacher Racing (DSR), the winningest team in drag racing history, has raced to claimed more than 340 NHRA national event victories and 17 Mello Yello World Championship titles. Headquartered in Brownsburg, Indiana, DSR fields professional teams competing in both the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series and Factory Stock Showdown, including the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driven by 2016 World Champion Ron Capps.