BROWNSBURG, Ind. (June 8, 2016) – Rahn Tobler has been working to add consistency to the NAPA AUTO PARTS Funny Car and to improve the Dodge Charger R/T in qualifying.
The world championship crew chief accomplished both for driver Ron Capps last weekend and the winner of 46 NHRA Funny Car titles won’t be surprised if the success carries over to this week and the 47th annual NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park at Englishtown, N.J.
Capps and the NAPA team were quickest in two of four qualifying sessions and second best in the other two to earn 10 of a perfect 12 in bonus points at Epping, N.H.
Their quickest run of 3.865 won Capps his second pole of the season and was the second quickest run in the history of Funny Cars.
But the event got better for Capps after Sunday eliminations were rained out. On Monday, under sunny skies and despite a warm track, the NAPA team battled to its second win in nine events.
Capps and his NAPA team also became the first Funny Car ever to complete all eight runs of a weekend in the 3-second range. That might have been the NAPA team’s greatest accomplishment.
“Tobler and the NAPA guys have been working hard all year to find that kind of consistency,” said Capps, who moved up to third in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings and is only 22 points out of first.
“We have so many smart people at DSR and in our fabrication shop that develop such great parts, and then Tobler puts his own spin on them.
“We were disappointed that we didn’t run any better a couple weeks ago at Topeka (Kan.) when all those records were set. I knew this car was capable of running numbers like that.”
At Topeka, the NAPA team’s best qualifying run was 3.895 but it was only eighth best.
“Tobler, (assistant) Eric Lane and all of our guys had a lot to do with the way we ran at Epping, but I also have to give some credit to the owners of New England Dragway. When they joined the Mello Yello Series four years ago they promised to improve the track, and they did.”
— Ron Capps (@RonCapps28) June 8, 2016
Capps is encouraged that the NAPA Dodge can maintain consistency to benefit from momentum this weekend, which will be the second of four events in four weekends.
“This isn’t a make-or-break race for us, but it is important to stay on a roll especially during this stretch,” he said.
Capps’ only win at the track was in 2006, but he reached the championship round four other times, most recently in 2012 when he also won the pole.
RON CAPPS: NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T
Last event (June 6), Epping, N.H.: Qualified No. 1, won in championship round over Tommy Johnson Jr.
A year ago at Englishtown: Qualified No. 9, lost in semifinals to Matt Hagan
Career at Englishtown: Wins 1 (2006); Runner-ups 4 (2003, 2005, 2006, 2012); Poles 1 (2012)
2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
After 9 of 24 events
|1||Courtney Force (1)||654|
|3||Ron Capps (2)||632|
|4||Tim Wilkerson (2)||608|
|6||Matt Hagan (2)||556|
|7||Robert Hight (1)||545|
|9||Tommy Johnson Jr.||503|
|10||Alexis DeJoria (1)||483|
NHRA Summernationals Event Schedule (ET)
Friday: 4:30, 7 p.m., nitro qualifying
Saturday: 2:30, 5 p.m., nitro qualifying
Sunday: 11 a.m., championship eliminations
ON FS1 (ET)
Sunday: 9-11 a.m., qualifying show
Sunday: 4:30-7:30 p.m., championship eliminations show
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.