Capps is eager for the 2014 Mello Yello series after a solid effort by the NAPA AUTO PARTS team produced three wins this year.
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 10, 2013) – Ron Capps always will remember the last event of the 2012 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season when he lost the Funny Car world championship to a Don Schumacher Racing teammate by two points.
Capps certainly was disappointed, but that battle that went down to the semifinals of the Auto Club World Finals at Pomona, Calif., is why he, crew chief Rahn Tobler, assistant John Collins and their NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T grew closer and better as a team.
When he arrived at the Finals on Thursday, the Funny Car championship was already locked up but he already had won three of his 41 events titles this season. Despite losing Sunday in the second round of eliminations, Capps again believes it will make the NAPA AUTO PARTS team stronger.
“We would’ve liked to do what we did last year and fight for the championship here,” Capps said of the race close to his home in Carlsbad. “In Pomona, Rahn Tobler decided to get a jump on some things that we will need to try at preseason testing and there’s no better way to test them than under race conditions.
“I have to say I’m so happy that we did. We ran great in Vegas (two weeks ago) and stayed and tested there after the race. We learned more about our new set-up for the race car with parts and pieces DSR makes. It’s going to make us all stronger.
“It was a great weekend. We were experimenting a little bit but at the same time to have the performance we had while still learning this new configuration Tobler is working on really makes be eager to get to testing in January. We wanted to end the year strong which we did.
Despite qualifying 12th and not having lane choice in the first round Sunday against former world champion Robert Hight, Capps and the NAPA team produced a time of 4.089 seconds at 315.19 mph even though the higher-qualified Hight had lane choice. But Capps lost traction in the second round and veteran Gary Densham went on to win.
“We qualified OK, but we showed ourselves that we had what it took in first round to get up there and get the win.
“We can put it all behind us now. The points are going to reset and we’re going to get ready for 2014.”
The following are Capps’ results from Pomona and DSR statistics with the 2014 Mello Yello schedule:
Event winner: Matt Hagan (Don Schumacher Racing)
No. 1 qualifier: John Force (John Force Racing) 3.995 sec., 319.37 mph
RON CAPPS, NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 12
First round: CAPPS (4.089 sec., 315.19 mph) def. Robert Hight (4.657, 183.97)
Second round: Gary Densham (4.128, 302.48) def. CAPPS (4.312, 254.86)
Session No. 1: 4.146 sec., 311.20 mph
Session No. 2: 8.196, 74.17
Session No. 3: 4.103, 312.71
Session No. 4: 4.480, 200.17
NHRA MELLO YELLO SERIES STANDINGS
(Unofficial after 24th and last event of season)
1. John Force 2,688
2. Matt Hagan 2,548
3. Jack Beckman, 2,445
4. Cruz Pedregon 2,415
5. Robert Hight 2,413
6. Ron Capps 2,406
7. Courtney Force 2,403
8. Del Worsham 2,309
9. Johnny Gray 2,309
10. Tim Wilkerson 2,238
DSR CHAMPIONSHIPS (11)
2012: Antron Brown, Top Fuel; Jack Beckman, Funny Car
2011: Matt Hagan, Funny Car
2009: Tony Schumacher, Top Fuel
2008: Tony Schumacher, Top Fuel
2007: Tony Schumacher, Top Fuel
2006: Tony Schumacher, Top Fuel
2005: Tony Schumacher, Top Fuel; Gary Scelzi, Funny Car
2004: Tony Schumacher, Top Fuel
2013 DSR WINS TOTALS (23)
Matt Hagan, 5
Antron Brown, 4
Spencer Massey, 4
Johnny Gray, 4
Tony Schumacher, 3
Ron Capps, 3
2013 DSR EVENT WINS
219. FC Matt Hagan, Pomona 2
218. TF Antron Brown, Las Vegas 2
217. TF Antron Brown, St. Louis
216. TF Spencer Massey, Brainerd
215. FC Ron Capps, Brainerd
214. FC Matt Hagan, Seattle
213. FC Ron Capps, Sonoma
212. TF Spencer Massey, Denver
211. FC Johnny Gray, Norwalk
210. TF Tony Schumacher, Chicago
209. FC Matt Hagan, Chicago
208. TF Spencer Massey, Epping, N.H.
207. FC Matt Hagan, Englishtown
206. FC Johnny Gray, Topeka
205. TF Antron Brown, Atlanta
204. FC Johnny Gray, Atlanta
203. TF Spencer Massey, Charlotte 1
202. FC Matt Hagan, Charlotte 1
201. TF Tony Schumacher, Las Vegas 1
200. TF ANTRON BROWN, GAINESVILLE
199. FC Johnny Gray, Gainesville
198. TF Tony Schumacher, Phoenix
197. FC Ron Capps, Phoenix
2014 NHRA MELLO YELLO SERIES SCHEDULE
Feb. 6-9, Pomona, Calif.
Feb. 21-23, Phoenix
March 13-16, Gainesville, Fla. (Pro Stock Motorcycle)
March 28-30, Las Vegas
April 11-13, Charlotte, N.C. (PSM)
April 25-27, Houston
May 16-18, Atlanta (PSM)
May 23-25, Topeka, Kan.
May 29-June 1, Englishtown, N.J. (PSM)
June 13-15, Bristol, Tenn.
June 19-22, Epping, N.H. (PSM)
June 26-29, Chicago (PSM)
July 3-6, Norwalk, Ohio (PSM)
July 18-20, Denver (PSM)
July 25-27, Sonoma, Calif. (PSM)
Aug. 1-3, Seattle
Aug. 14-17, Brainerd, Minn.
Aug. 27-Sept. 1, Indianapolis (PSM)
COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP
Sept. 12-14, Charlotte, N.C. (PSM)
Sept. 18-21, Dallas (PSM)
Sept. 26-28, St. Louis (PSM)
Oct. 2-5, Reading, Pa. (PSM)
Oct. 30-Nov. 2, Las Vegas (PSM)
Nov. 13-16, Pomona, Calif. (PSM)
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.