New England win brings happy day to NAPA team, Capps and ‘Wally’
NAPA to run special paint scheme to honor Intrepid Fallen Heroes
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (June 24, 2014) – Ron Capps couldn’t have asked for a better travel partner for his cross-country flight Monday from Epping, N.H., to San Diego near his home in Carlsbad, Calif.
If the occupant of the seat next to him couldn’t have been his wife, Shelley, or one of their children, Taylor and Caden, then nothing could be better than Wally, a bronze beauty that speaks volumes without saying one word.
Wally, the national event trophy named for late NHRA founder Wally Parks, got a first-class seat with Ron after he won Sunday’s Funny Car title in the New England Nationals with Don Schumacher Racing’s NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T team led by crew chief Rahn Tobler.
Although this is the 42nd Wally to join Ron’s family, this one carries special meaning. Not only did the win move the NAPA team to fourth in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings with this year’s first win in 11 of 24 events, it ended a streak of 19 events without winning a title. Ron’s last trip to the winner’s circle was last summer at Brainerd, Minn., in the year’s 17th race.
The win earned Ron and the NAPA team a berth in the $100,000 Traxxas Nitro Shootout held during the U.S. Nationals over Labor Day Weekend when his run of 4.095 seconds at 315.19 mph beat Alexis DeJoria’s 4.121 (309.98).
Heading to Route 66 Raceway, where he has one title (2005) in three championship rounds, Ron understands how quickly a jump in the standings – from seventh to fourth – can be reversed.
“It’s so scary that when we lost in the first round at Bristol (the week before Epping), we fell three spots, and only a few rounds from falling out of the top-10. I thought to myself, anything can happen, you have a few bad races and you’re out of the top-10.”
To punctuate the victory, Ron performed a unique exit from his Dodge Charger R/T when a live ESPN national audience saw him pop out of the car’s rooftop hatch then completed a spin down windshield and hood of the car to a perfect two-foot landing.
It was a premeditated move that he borrowed from Eric Medlen, his close friend and Funny Car driver who died in a testing accident in 2007.
“I was thinking about Eric Medlen winning, him grabbing the trophy as his guys pulled up. His guys sprayed Full Throttle on him and he ran and slid down the side of the car, which I always wanted to do. Eric did it and I thought it was the coolest move ever.
“I was a dummy and tried to slide down the windshield and hop over the injector. There were a few obstacles on the way down. I should have just done what Eric did. It was live television and I had a helmet on so how bad could it have been? I knew I would either land it or end up on (ESPN) ‘SportsCenter’ for the wrong reason.”
GET BACK AND GIVE BACK
Capps, NAPA team kick off Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund program this weekend at Route 66 in special NAPA Batteries Funny Car
The NAPA /Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund theme will be on Capps’ Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car for this weekend’s event.
Ron will carry the message of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and the month-long “NAPA Get Back and Give Back” effort to provide support for the families of U.S. military personnel lost in service to our nation, and for those severely wounded in the performance of their duties in Afghanistan and/or Iraq.
The NAPA Get Back and Give Back campaign raised $1,000,000 last year for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
“The best thing about having a great sponsor like NAPA is being able to do a special car like the one we’ll run this weekend and to really give something back to someone who has given so much more than we could ever imagine,” said Capps.
“We’re so focused on getting to the track and doing everything we can to win and taking care of our sponsors that we tend to forget a lot of time about what goes on in the outside world.”
Beginning Monday, July 1, The NAPA Get Back and Give Back program offers customers great savings on the purchase of a qualifying battery, alternator or starter, and the opportunity to contribute a portion of a rebate to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
NAPA will donate $1 to Intrepid for every qualifying rebate redeemed by consumers in July.
Consumers also can select to donate (in $5 increments) part or all of their earned mail-in rebate that range from $5 to $25.
Special “NAPA We Believe In Heroes” T-shirts and support bracelets can be purchased at NAPAonline.com with all proceeds benefiting the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
That’s not all, during the month of July, consumers will receive a free NAPA Racing/Intrepid Fallen Heroes Patriotic cap with any $25 purchase at participating NAPA AUTO PARTS Stores. NAPA will donate $1 to Intrepid for every cap given away.
The following are Ron’s Chicago, season and career stats:
RON CAPPS: NAPA AUTO PARTS/Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund Dodge Charger R/T
Last event Epping, N.H. (June 22): Qualified No. 10; defeated Alexis DeJoria in championship round
A year ago at Chicago: Qualified No. 1; lost in semifinals to John Force
Career at Chicago: Wins 1 (2005); Runner-ups 2 (2007, 2002); Poles 1 (2013)
Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 4th 11 1 0 5 1 4 1 0 15-10
CAREER 422 42 41 FC/1 TF 41 73 84 164 16 18 521-362
Best Time, Speed: 3.964* sec., (5-31-12, Englishtown, N.J.); 320.89 mph (5-31-12, Englishtown)
NHRA MELLO YELLO STANDINGS
(Official after 11 of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)
driver (wins) points behind
1. Robert Hight (4) 970 —-
2. Alexis DeJoria (2) 716 -254
3. John Force (1) 713 -257
4. RON CAPPS (1) 683 -287
5. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 682 -288
6. Courtney Force (1) 658 -312
7. Del Worsham 645 -325
8. Cruz Pedregon (1) 599 -371
9. Tim Wilkerson 569 -401
10. MATT HAGAN 564 -406
11. JACK BECKMAN 547 -423
Route 66 Nationals Schedule (CT):
Friday: 5:15, 8 p.m., qualifying
Saturday: 5, 8 p.m., qualifying
Sunday: 11 a.m., championship eliminations
ON ESPN2 (All times ET)
Saturday: 8-10 p.m., qualifying
Sunday: 3-6 p.m., championship eliminations