TOPEKA, Kan. (May 21, 2014) – With 41 NHRA event titles and more than 500 round wins under his belt, there aren’t too many drivers with more experience than Ron Capps.
Some drivers may fret about losing a day of preparation before a race but not Capps. After Mother Nature washed out Sunday’s elimination rounds of the Southern Nationals near NAPA AUTO PARTS headquarters in Atlanta, the NHRA teams were forced to race on Monday.
Capps, who has moved up one spot to fourth in the NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car standings, drove his NAPA Dodge Charger R/T to a top-three finish on Monday at Atlanta Dragway. The “Monday Nationals” means his team will have to tap into their Carlyle Tools bag of NAPA Know How as they have one less day to prepare for this weekend’s Memorial Day affair, the NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.
“Some teams might struggle with losing a day of preparation because we raced in Atlanta on Monday, but not this NAPA AUTO PARTS team,” Ron said. “We have the best crew guys in the business. With the equipment that we have and the Carlyle Tools that Don (Schumacher) gives us, it’s not a big deal.
“That’s another benefit of having a crew chief like Rahn Tobler. Going from the conditions that we had in Atlanta to Topeka that we know is going to be completely different and then somewhere different after that the next week in Englishtown (N.J.) it pays to have a guy as experienced as Rahn Tobler; and crew guys that can prepare the car as well as they do for every run. It’s not going to affect us having a short week at all.”
With his track record at Heartland Park, it shouldn’t affect Capps’ crew one bit. Topeka is one of the better tracks for the NAPA driver. The veteran racer has been to the final round at Heartland Park five times with three Wally trophies that read “Topeka” sitting on his mantle at his home in Carlsbad, Calif.
“Topeka has been good to me. We’ve been to the finals there a few times and have wins there in 2009 and ’06 for DSR. I know that with this team that any race track we go to we have the potential to win so we’ll be ready when we roll into Topeka.”
The following are Capps’ Topeka, career and 2014 statistics:
RON CAPPS, NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T
Last event (May 18), Atlanta: Qualified No. 7, lost in semifinals to Robert Hight
A year ago at Topeka: Qualified No. 10; lost in semifinals to Robert Hight
Career at Topeka: Wins 3 (2009, 2006, 1998); Runner-ups (2012, 2000); Poles 0
Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 4th 7 0 0 4 1 2 1 0 9-7
CAREER 418 41* 41 72 84 162 16 18 515-359
*40 FC/1 TF
Best Time, Speed: 3.964* sec., (5-31-12, Englishtown, N.J.); 320.89 mph (5-31-12, Englishtown)
*Quickest ever in NHRA
NHRA MELLO YELLO STANDINGS
driver (wins), points
1. Robert Hight, (4), 730
2. John Force, (1), 524
3. Alexis DeJoria, (2), 472
4. RON CAPPS, 430
5. Del Worsham, 400
6. TOMMY JOHNSON JR., 380
7. JACK BECKMAN, 369
Courtney Force, 369
9. MATT HAGAN, 368
10. Tim Wilkerson, 329
NHRA Kansas Nationals Schedule (CT)
Heartland Park Topeka (CT)
Friday: 5:00, 7:30 p.m., nitro qualifying
Saturday: 2:00, 4:30 p.m., nitro qualifying
Sunday: 11 a.m., championship eliminations
ON ESPN2 (ET)
Saturday: 9:30-10:30 a.m., qualifying
Sunday: 10 p.m.-1 a.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.