BROWNSBURG, Ind. (April 26, 2016) – No one responds to adversity better than Ron Capps and his NAPA AUTO PARTS Funny Car team, and they proved it Sunday at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event near Charlotte.
And the plan is for the Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Charger R/T to continue regaining the performance the team showed by winning the season-opening event title in February when the series visits Houston this weekend for the NHRA SpringNationals.
After suffering through the disappointment of not qualifying for an event four weeks ago at Las Vegas, the NAPA AUTO PARTS team led by former Houston resident Rahn Tobler and assistant Eric Lane advanced to the championship round a few days ago in the Four-Wide Nationals and moved up one spot to second in the Mello Yello standings and are only eight points from retaking the lead it had held after the first two events of the season.
“This is a prime example of believing in each other as teammates. You hear it all the time but within the ropes of our weekend, it was true,” said Capps, the second winningest driver in NHRA Funny Car history with 45 titles.
“(Charlotte was) just one of those weekends where you sit back and say, ‘Well we might not have won, but we’re very happy with getting to the final round and because we all banded together pretty good.’ I love working with my NAPA guys.”
This weekend’s event begins with a special NHRA Fanfest and Press Conference organized by Pennzoil beginning at 11 a.m. at Hermann Square Park at City Hall. The event that is open to the public will feature Capps and his teammates, Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett and several racecars on display. The event celebrates the one-year partnership between Pennzoil and DSR that made Pennzoil the “Official Oil” for drag racing’s juggernaut.
— #NHRA (@NHRA) April 27, 2016
“The Houston area needs something good after all the flooding, and Pennzoil is giving them a great downtown event,” said Capps, who as an aspiring rookie Top Fuel driver in 1995 carried Pennzoil as one of the few sponsor logos on his firesuit when he won his only dragster title.
“For me, as a kid, Pennzoil was it. And as a racer it still is.”
The partnership between Pennzoil and DSR began a year ago with the April race near Charlotte.
“The relationship has been great,” Capps said. “What they do for our team, is great. I love representing Pennzoil. I love using it in my car at home. I’m looking forward to the big event Thursday for the people of Houston. It’s going to be a good race weekend but after all they’ve been through with the weather and the floods, it’s going to nice to be part of a great event put on from a hometown company like Shell and Pennzoil.”
Capps returns as the defending Funny Car champ to the track in Baytown, Texas, just east of Houston, where he also won in 2006 and 2007.
“I feel like we’ve got the car to beat,” he said, adding the NAPA team remained at Charlotte on Monday to test.
“Talk about no rest of the wicked. Our NAPA guys never stop.”
RON CAPPS, NAPA AUTO PARTS 2015 Dodge Charger R/T
Last event (April 1-3, Las Vegas): Lost in final round at Four-Wide Nationals, finished third
A year ago at Houston: Qualified No. 3; defeated Jack Beckman in the final round
Career at Houston: Wins 3 (2015, 2007, 2006); Runner-ups 1 (2012); Poles 0
2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
After 5 of 24 events
|1||Robert Hight (1)||369|
|2||Ron Capps (1)||361|
|4||Tim Wilkerson (2)||334|
|8||Alexis DeJoria (1)||277|
|12||Tommy Johnson Jr.||201|
NHRA SpringNationals Event Schedule (All times CT)
Friday: 5, 7:30 p.m., nitro qualifying
Saturday: 1:30, 4 p.m., nitro qualifying
Sunday: 11 a.m., championship eliminations
On FOX Sports 1 (All times ET)
Friday: 8-9 p.m., qualifying
Saturday: 12-1 a.m., qualifying
Sunday: 5-8 p.m., championship eliminations
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.