Capps, NAPA team kick off the ‘Get Back and Give Back’ campaign this weekend at Route 66 in special NAPA Batteries Funny Car with Intrepid Fallen Heroes paint scheme.
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (June 26, 2013) – No one wants to win more than Ron Capps, and no group of technicians works harder than his NAPA AUTO PARTS team.
Winning for himself, his family, his sponsor and Don Schumacher Racing are what matters most at each NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.
But two events this year, including this weekend’s Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Joliet, Ill., provide even greater motivation for Capps, the California native and resident who has won 39 NHRA titles in his career and one this season.
July is a very special month for NAPA AUTO PARTS and its two professional racers, Capps and Martin Truex Jr., the Michael Waltrip Racing driver and most recent winner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
The NAPA Batteries/Intrepid Fallen Heroes paint scheme will be on Capps’ Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car July 5-7 at Norwalk, Ohio, and on Truex’s No. 56 MWR stockcar in two July Cup races.
Each driver 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 $350,000 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 the next two weekends and to really give something back to someone who has given so much more than we could ever imagine,” said Capps, who won the Route 66 NHRA Nationals in 2005 at Joliet, Ill.
“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.”
NAPA Get Back and Give Back: How it works
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.
NAPA also is encouraging the public to donate $10 – no purchase is needed – to Intrepid by texting the word NAPA to 27722.
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 Kicking it for Camo” T-shirts and support bracelets can be purchased at select NAPA locations and on the Internet at NAPAonline.com.
Join us at the Route 66 Raceway this weekend to cheer on Ron and the NAPA Funny Car, or watch the racing action on ESPN2.
Saturday: 5-7 p.m., 11-midnight (ET, delayed), qualifying
Sunday: 9 p.m.-midnight, (ET, delayed), eliminations
CAPPS TO MAKE A PITCH
Ron Capps’ visit to the Chicago area this week will be a throwback for him in a couple ways.
The fun starts when he represents NAPA AutoCare Centers by throwing out the first pitch of Thursday night’s Kane County Cougars-Beloit Snappers baseball game in Geneva, Ill., located about an hour from where he’ll be racing this weekend at Route 66 Raceway at Joliet.
After a “throwback” to his youth baseball days, Capps will flashback to the days when he first began attending big-time drag racing and the races often were held at night.
At nearly all Mello Yello events, only one and at most two of the four qualifying sessions for professional categories are held in the evening. But in the Route 66 NHRA Nationals the four qualifying sessions are scheduled for around 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday under ideal track and weather conditions.
For fans, that means quicker times, faster speeds and fire in the header pipes.
“I love the two night sessions,” said Capps, a California native and resident who has won one of his 39 NHRA titles this year. “It’s like old school drag racing for a California kid. We would go watch Funny Cars at night, and nothing was better than that. The fans are going to get their money’s worth.”
After a hot start by finishing as the runner-up at the opener at Pomona, Calif., and winning the title the following week near Phoenix, Capps and the NAPA team began testing some new parts and set-ups on their Funny Car that put them in a little tailspin.
A first-round loss three weeks is misleading because Capps’ had one of the quickest times of the round. At the next race the NAPA qualified fifth at Bristol, Tenn., but an unlikely part broke that ended the day in the opening round.
After qualifying No. 4 last weekend at the inaugural New England NHRA Nationals at Epping, N.H., Capps advanced to the semifinals for the third time in 11 Mello Yello events.
He’s eager to return to Route 66 where he won the title in 2005 and was runner-up twice.
Last event (June 23, Epping, N.H.): Qualified No. 4; lost in semifinals to John Force.
A year ago at Route 66: Qualified No. 9; lost in first round to Alexis DeJoria.
Career at Route 66: Wins 1 (2005); Runner-ups 2 (2007, 2002); Poles 0.
Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2013 7th 11 1 1 3 0 0 14-10
CAREER 398 39** 40 66 14 17 485-342
**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 YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES STANDINGS
(After 11 of 24 events; through Epping, N.H.; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. MATT HAGAN, 788
2. Cruz Pedregon, 767
3. JOHNNY GRAY, 711
4. Courtney Force, 677
5. John Force, 662
6. JACK BECKMAN, 659
7. RON CAPPS, 654
8. Tim Wilkerson, 624
9. Del Worsham, 609
10. Robert Hight, 549
2013 FUNNY CAR WINNERS: C. Force, CAPPS, GRAY, C. Pedregon, HAGAN, C. Pedregon, GRAY, GRAY, HAGAN, J. Force, C. Force.
Route 66 NHRA Nationals, Route 66 Raceway, Joliet, Ill.
Friday: 5:15 p.m., 8 p.m., nitro qualifying
Saturday: 5 p.m., 8 p.m., nitro qualifying
Sunday: 11 a.m., championship eliminations
WEATHER.COM (As of June 25)
Friday: High 81, 10 percent chance of rain
Saturday: High 73, 30 percent chance of rain
Sunday: High 75, 0 percent chance of rain
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.