EPPING, N.H. (June 22, 2014) – A day after summer officially began, Ron Capps and his NAPA AUTO PARTS team picked the right time of year to officially begin a hot streak. The popular face of the NAPA Know How commercials raced to his first win of 2014 Sunday afternoon at New England Dragway.
“To get a win, it feels so good for this entire NAPA team,” Capps said of his first triumph in 19 races. “Chase Elliott has been racking it up on the NASCAR side and we really needed to get a win for NAPA and what a better place to do it with all the NAPA folks from Boston and Maine and the entire northeast here this weekend. This has just been a great weekend.”
Capps dispersed veteran Tim Wilkerson on a slight holeshot, former champion Cruz Pedregon, fan-favorite Courtney Force, and rising star Alexis DeJoria in the final round at the second annual Epping, NH race to collect his 42nd career NHRA Wally trophy.
“I told (crew member) Joe (Chrisman) that we were going to win this race last Sunday after we lost in Bristol and he laughed at me,” Capps said. “Then I told him we were going to win the Western Swing. I hope he wrote it down like I said and my predictions keep coming true.
“We knew there was only one spot left in the Traxxas Shootout and it didn’t want it to come down to a fan vote,” Capps said of the race within a race bonus event during the U.S. Nationals. “That was important to us.”
The last time two DSR teams doubled-up for the win was at Brainerd, Minn. last August when Capps and Spencer Massey collected the Wally trophies. Capps and Schumacher doubled-up at the Phoenix race in February 2013. It was the 39th double-up for DSR nitro teams and DSR now has 228 NHRA wins.
“The guys have been working so hard and we struggled on race day at Bristol and (crew chief) (Rahn) Tobler was real upset with himself after qualifying here yesterday and he stayed here late with Eric (Lane) until they got it sorted out in what they wanted to do today,” Capps, who now ranks fourth in the NHRA Funny Car standings, said. “And to open up with that 4.06 in the first round, I knew our NAPA car was back.”
Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS team look to keep their momentum going strong next weekend when the NHRA Mello Yello Series visit Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill. June 27-29. Capps, who earned the pole at the Joliet race last July, has one win in three final rounds at the Chicagoland track.
The following are Capps’ eliminations results and other notes from the NHRA New England Nationals:
New England Dragway Funny Car Results
Event winner: Ron Capps (DSR)
No. 1 Qualifier: Robert Hight (John Force Racing) 3.988 sec.*, 321.58 mph (*track record)
RON CAPPS, NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying Position: No. 10
First round: CAPPS (.077 4.064 secs., 316.45 mph) def. Wilkerson (.086 4.061 secs., 314.46 mph)
Second round: CAPPS (.068 4.07, 311.13) def. C. Pedregon (.057 4.109, 308.85)
Semifinals: CAPPS (.080 4.104, 314.09) def. C. Force (.080 4.131, 312.21)
Final round: CAPPS (.077 4.095, 315.19) def. DeJoria (.097 4.121, 309.80)
FRIDAY: 4.102 sec., (no speed due to timer malfunction) (Session 1), 7.585, 77.81 (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.113, 308.92 (Session 3), 6.742, 92.75 (Session 4)
NHRA MELLO YELLO STANDINGS
(unofficial, after 11 of 24 events)
Driver (wins) points points behind
1. Robert Hight (4) 970 —-
2. Alexis DeJoria (2) 716 -254
3. John Force (1) 713 -257
4. RON CAPPS (1) 683 -287
5. TOMMY JOHNSON, JR. (1) 682 -288
6. Courtney Force (1) 658 -312
7. Del Worsham 645 -325
8. Cruz Pedregon (1) 599 -371
9. Tim Wilkerson 569 -401
10. MATT HAGAN 564 -406
11. JACK BECKMAN 547 -423
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.