AFTER TOUGH SONOMA LOSS, CAPPS EYES REBOUND IN BRAINERD BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 9, 2006) - NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points leader Ron Capps took a deep breath after his first-round loss in Sonoma, Calif., July 30. And, when he ...
AFTER TOUGH SONOMA LOSS, CAPPS EYES REBOUND IN BRAINERD
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 9, 2006) - NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points leader Ron Capps took a deep breath after his first-round loss in Sonoma, Calif., July 30. And, when he exhaled, he found he was still leading the point standings. With a 70-point margin over John Force heading into this weekend's Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd Int'l Raceway, the driver of the Brut Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car is aiming to keep up the momentum. He knows it won't be easy to win his first Funny Car championship.
Eight races remain in the 2006 season. "The further along the year goes, just to maintain any points lead is going to be a big deal," said Capps, who also receives support from Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels. "We've obviously shown with the whole Don Schumacher Racing team - not just the Brut team but all the Funny Cars - that we can run as good or better than any other team out here in any given conditions. It's just a matter of doing it at the right time.
"That's the focus and the goal of every Funny Car team out here right now. That's why this class is so difficult, so tough, to win in," added Capps, a two-time Brainerd Funny Car winner.
"But, really, we've stretched the points lead out a few times in the triple digits (122 points was his largest lead) and had some weekends when we went out early. But so did Force.
"I tell you, it's not just Force right now we have to worry about. Some other guys have crept up a little bit (Tony Pedregon, Robert Hight and Eric Medlen). We just need to focus on doing what we need to do.
"Sonoma was a tough, tough loss because that was one of the first weekends where we rolled into eliminations having the best car the whole weekend under all conditions. We ran pretty much better than any other car. I was confident about going into eliminations and so was Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch). And that's why I think it hurt us more than anything else.
"The great thing about our team is I got back and I told Ace that it was my fault for maybe letting the car move around too much. And he argued with me that he thought it was his fault, that maybe it had a little more tire spin at half track than it had before. And we fought each other on whose fault it was," Capps laughed. "It doesn't happen a whole lot.
"I'm getting more and more critical of what I do in the car, and to win championships you have to be on top of your game. The team is just doing a great job, Ace is doing a great job. I need to make sure that I do a great job to win each round and those things are important."
Capps is looking forward to visiting "The Zoo" in Brainerd. "I've always gone out to the campground at different races," he said. "It's a thing we started several years ago. We'd go out and just hang out with the campers and eat. It's funny. You go out there and they recognize you, and then they invite you in and you get to eat some of the best food and just have a good time."