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Ron Capps, NAPA start Countdown ranked third at Charlotte

Ron Capps burnout Indianapolis 2014

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 9, 2014) – Ron Capps has won nearly everything in his NHRA drag racing career, but two “bucket list” items remained when the 2014 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series opened nine months ago.

He was intent on taking them off his list but now both remain unchecked.

Despite falling short of the final round in the U.S. Nationals, Ron and the NAPA AUTO PARTS team arrive at Charlotte with momentum after winning their second event title of the season when they defeated John Force at Indy in the rain-delayed championship round of the event that began at Brainerd, Minn., two weeks before arriving at Indy.

“That’s huge to get momentum and the confidence for the team,” Ron said. “Winning the Brainerd trophy Saturday night (Aug. 30), to be in the Traxxas Shootout where we lost a close race to Courtney’s great 4.00 and then we advanced to the semifinals Monday with a shot of getting to the final round. It takes a few days for the whole Indy experience to wear off. It’s almost like a whole season in one long weekend.

“We had the best car for the weekend based on consistency. You can’t ask for anything better than a great race car to drive when you start the Countdown.”

The six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship opens with this weekend’s Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway near the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the ultimate prize awaits: Ron’s first NHRA world championship.

“A couple years ago (2012) we won the first Countdown race and battled for the championship right down to the wire,” he said of losing the championship by a record two points to teammate Jack Beckman.

“That was the season when we got (crew chief) Rahn Tobler. He’s a big picture crew chief who makes sure everything like clutch discs and all of our parts are in order to start the Countdown. He’s already thought out what parts and pieces he wants for different conditions all the way through to Pomona.”

After points were reset after Indy for the Countdown combatants, Ron’s deficit was cut from 232 points to 40.

“We’ve seen other teams that barely got into the Countdown win the championship and other teams that dominated the regular season struggle in the Countdown. History has shown it doesn’t matter where you start.

“You can have all the confidence in what your team has done all year, what it did at the last race or on the last run. In drag racing it doesn’t mean you’re going to get a win the next time out.

“We’ve seen it all.”


Ron Capps, NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T

Last event (Sept. 1, Indianapolis): Qualified No. 5; lost semifinals to John Force

Traxxas Nitro Shootout (Aug. 31): lost in first round to Courtney Force

4-Wide this spring at zMAX: Qualified No. 1; lost in first round

Last fall at zMAX: Qualified No. 12; lost in second round to Courtney Force

Career fall at zMAX: Wins 1 (2012); Runner-ups 0; Poles 0

Career at zMAX: Wins 1; Runner-ups 0; Poles 1 (2014)



(Points reset for contenders in six-race Countdown that opens Sept. 12-14 near Charlotte; DSR drivers in CAPS)

driver (wins)pointsbehind

1. John Force (3)2,110——–

2. Robert Hight (5)2,080    -30

3. RON CAPPS (2) 2,070    -40

4. Alexis DeJoria (3)2,060    -50

5. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1)2,050    -60

6. Courtney Force (2)2,040    -70

7. MATT HAGAN (1)2,030    -80

8. Cruz Pedregon (1)2,020    -90

9. Del Worsham2,010  -100

10. Tim Wilkerson2,000  -110


NHRA Carolina Nationals Event Schedule
1:30, 3:30 p.m., nitro qualifying
1:30, 3:30 p.m., nitro qualifying
Noon, championship eliminations


3:30-5 a.m., qualifying; re-air TBD
Sunday: 8:30-11:30 p.m., championship eliminations


Chicagoland/Charlotte TV Listings

Thursday, September 11

2:00 PMNASCAR Camping World Truck PracticeNO TV

3:30 PMNASCAR Camping World Truck Final PracticeNO TV


Friday, September 12

12:00 PM NASCAR Nationwide Series Practice FOX Sports 1

1:00 PM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series PracticeFOX Sports 1

3:15 PMNASCAR Camping World Truck QualifyingFOX Sports 1

4:30 PM NASCAR Nationwide Series Final Practice FOX Sports 1

6:45 PMNASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying ESPN2

8:30 PM NASCAR Camping World Truck RaceFOX Sports 1


Saturday, September 13

11:00 AM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series PracticeFOX Sports 1

12:15 PM NASCAR Nationwide Series Qualifying FOX Sports 2

2:00 PM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final PracticeFOX Sports 2

3:30 PM NASCAR Nationwide Series Race ESPN2


Sunday, September 14

2:00 PM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series RaceESPN

8:30 PM NHRA Charlotte Final Eliminations ESPN2

All Times Eastern Standard, Please Check Your Local TV Listings


Don Schumacher Racing View All

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.

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