Despite having won 39 NHRA titles in 397 events since 1995, Capps has never raced at New England Dragway at Epping, N.H., where the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will visit for the first time this weekend with the New England NHRA Nationals.
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (June 18, 2013) – Ron Capps is coming off a successful weekend of racing at Bristol, Tenn., and he isn’t letting a little broken part get in the way of how confident he is with Don Schumacher Racing’s NAPA AUTO PARTS team.
After four solid qualifying runs at the Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals, including one that earned the No. 5 qualifying position, a small part got in the way of what he expected would be a big improvement over the June 2 race at Englishtown, N.J.
Instead, a part that rarely gives up did and his NAPA Dodge Charger R/T lost in the first round for the second consecutive event.
“You can’t predict something like that is going to happen,” he said. “We had made five straight solid runs on the car going back to when we lost at Englishtown, and I couldn’t have been more confident about how it was going to end up at Bristol. We had won there last year and two other times on Father’s Day and no one on our NAPA team could have anticipated that we were going to lose because of a little part in our (throttle) linkage.
“We were disappointed, but we are feeling even better about this weekend because we won’t have that problem again and our NAPA Dodge has been running great.”
“I’ve never even been to the track,” Capps said of the facility which had been part of a smaller, national drag racing series before recently joining NHRA.
“I know the track will be good, and it’s great that we can race in New England for the first time. I’ve met a lot of people from our NAPA family already from that area, and it will be fun to have them as our guests in the NAPA Club Nitro pavilion at the track.”
Capps flew directly to Boston from Bristol and is scheduled to attend Tuesday’s baseball game at Fenway Park when the Red Sox host Tampa Bay. Carlyle Tools has arranged a tour of Boston’s Samuel Adams brewery on Wednesday that will be followed by a visit from Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS team from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Bentley’s Saloon in Arundel, Maine (BentleysSaloon.com). On Thursday, Capps will play in a NAPA golf outing.
Last event: Qualified No. 5; lost in first round to Chad Head
At Epping: Inaugural event
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings
(After 10 of 24 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series national events; through Bristol)
Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2013 5th 10 1 1 2 0 0 12-9
Career 397 39** 40 65 14 17 483-341
**38 Funny Car/1 Top Fuel
Best Time, Speed
3.964* (5-31-12, Englishtown. N.J.); 320.89 (5-31-12, Englishtown); * Quickest ever
NHRA MELLO YELLOW DRAG RACING SERIES STANDINGS
(Unofficial standings after 10 of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. MATT HAGAN, 746
2. Cruz Pedregon, 730
3. JOHNNY GRAY, 677
4. JACK BECKMAN, 584
5. RON CAPPS, 579
6. Tim Wilkerson, 571
7. Courtney Force, 560
8. Del Worsham, 557
9. John Force, 555
10. Robert Hight, 514
2013 EVENT WINNERS
FUNNY CAR: C. Force, CAPPS, GRAY, C. Pedregon, HAGAN, C. Pedregon, GRAY, GRAY, HAGAN, J. Force.
THIS WEEKEND AT EPPING, N.H.
Inaugural New England NHRA Nationals, New England Dragway
Friday: 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., nitro qualifying
Saturday: 1 p.m., 3 p.m., nitro qualifying
Sunday: 11 a.m., championship eliminations, noon (ET)
Saturday: 8-10 p.m. ET, qualifying (delayed)
Sunday: 7-10 p.m. ET, championship eliminations (delayed)
Nick Palermo is a freelance automotive writer and NAPA Know How blogger. Since becoming an auto news and reviews contributor at AutoTrader.com in 2011, he has broadened his coverage of the automotive industry to include topics like new car technology, antiques and classics, DIY maintenance and repair, industry news and motorsports. A committed advocate for automotive media professionals, Nick is a member of the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association.