Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team eagerly await racing at Reading, Pa., this weekend after losing the NHRA Mello Yello Series points lead for the first time since April with a second-round loss Sunday near Charlotte in the opening event of the Countdown to the Championship playoff.
Capps isn’t accustomed to looking up to anyone in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car standings.
The reigning world champion with crew chief Rahn Tobler and team held the No. 1 spot in the standings after the previous 13 Mello Yello events before Sunday’s loss in the second round of eliminations at zMAX Dragway.
Capps lost to J.R. Todd of Kalitta Motorsports after qualifying 10th and then lost the points lead when Robert Hight of John Force Racing won in the same round. Hight went on to win the Carolina Nationals event title and leads Capps by 44 points after the first of six events in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoff.
It is the first time the NAPA team isn’t the points leader since April when they won the Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte.
“We wanted to go through the Countdown like we did last year when we never were out of first place,” Capps said. “But this team with Tobler knows how to bounce back.
“All things considered, this was one of those weekends where we had to grind it out. We didn’t qualify where we wanted, but again, that shows what our team can do. No lane choice, up against one of the toughest guys in Tim Wilkerson in the first round and we were able to win.
“Then to go up and run a 3.96 (seconds) against J.R. in the next round when no Funny Cars were even getting down that lane we were in. We made a great run, he was just a little better. So, it hurts and it hurts us in points but we will definitely bounce back from it. It’s just good to know that we have a good hot rod.”
The Countdown continues this weekend with the NHRA Dodge Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa.
Start / Finish: Qualified No. 10 / Lost in second round to J.R. Todd
Points Earned: 53
Countdown to the Championship Points Standing / Total: 2nd / 2,153
Next Race: Sept. 22-24, Reading, Pa.
How to Watch or Listen: Fox Sports 1; NHRA All Access
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.