Charlotte: Ron Capps preview

CAPPS EXCITED TO BEGIN COUNTDOWN RUN IN CONCORD CARLSBAD, Calif. (Sept. 15, 2009) - Ron Capps, driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Funny Car in the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, is excited to begin the Countdown to 1 playoffs at...

CAPPS EXCITED TO BEGIN COUNTDOWN RUN IN CONCORD

CARLSBAD, Calif. (Sept. 15, 2009) - Ron Capps, driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Funny Car in the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, is excited to begin the Countdown to 1 playoffs at the NHRA Carolina Nationals this weekend at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C.

He begins the chase to his first Funny Car championship from second in the point standings and as the elapsed-time national record holder racing to 1000 feet. He did not earn the 20 bonus points for this record that had been available during the quarter-mile era, as NHRA announced it would begin awarding bonus points for 1000-foot racing during the final six-race playoffs. He, and all the other Funny Car drivers, will have to better his 4.023-second pass from Phoenix this year and back it up by one percent during the weekend to earn those bonus points.

Also, NHRA announced that it would award bonus points for qualifying (in addition to the regular qualifying points earned) in the top three in each qualifying session (3, 2, 1 points) during each event of the playoffs.

"I think (track owner) Bruton Smith and the people at zMAX have earned the right to be the opening race of the Countdown," said Capps, who has scored a class-best five victories this season. "I said it last year. I had more media requests and more media attention prior to last year's first race at zMAX than I did at the U.S Nationals in Indianapolis, and that's considered NHRA's biggest race.

"That amazed me, along with the number of awesome fans and the sell-out crowds. That really makes you feel great about going to a new track. Of course, it does not surprise me that zMAX was awarded a second race on the 2010 NHRA schedule.

"We didn't run that great there last year," added Capps, who qualified 10th in 2008 in Concord and advanced only to the second round.

"We started the Countdown not even in the top five in 2008, but we have a whole new attitude this year. We had led the points through many of the races this season and won the most races. The NAPA team is so driven and we are ready to race hard. But we're also having a lot of fun, and we're all excited about going to Charlotte.

"We know the conditions might warrant record-type runs if it cools off and clouds come in. But, it could also be warm and tricky, and that brings out the best in the crew chiefs.

"On top of that, we have a new points system in qualifying where you can gain three, two points or one point depending on where you are in every session of qualifying. You're going to have all the teams trying their hardest to be the quickest car each session. I applaud the NHRA for what it has done."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps