CAPPS AND BRUT DODGE TEAM IN THE GROOVE FOR COLUMBUS HEBRON, Ohio (May 19, 2005) - Happy with the tune-up they developed in the hot, humid (and often wet) conditions at Atlanta Dragway last weekend on their backup car, Ron Capps, crew chief Ed...
CAPPS AND BRUT DODGE TEAM IN THE GROOVE FOR COLUMBUS
HEBRON, Ohio (May 19, 2005) - Happy with the tune-up they developed in the hot, humid (and often wet) conditions at Atlanta Dragway last weekend on their backup car, Ron Capps, crew chief Ed "Ace" McCulloch, co-crew chief Dan Olson, and the entire Brut Dodge Stratus Funny Car team feel they're in the groove for the next two races on the schedule and the rest of the summer. This weekend's NHRA Nationals at National Trail Raceway, just outside of Columbus, Ohio, is the second of a back-to-back three-race swing.
"Our race-day tune-up on late Sunday after the rain in Atlanta, where it got pretty warm and pretty humid after the rain stopped, produced a first-round pass of 4.85 seconds and then a 4.79 in the second round in probably the hottest part of the day," said Capps, who made it to the semifinal round and moved into seventh in NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points.
"Ace was very happy with that tune-up and we're excited about racing through the summer months. These next few races will probably be both humid and hot at times on race day.
"The tune-up with which we ran the 4.79 is going to be just a great baseline."
Capps, of Carlsbad, Calif., has one win notched here at National Trail Raceway in his pro NHRA career. It was in 2002. "I got the win here and it was on Father's Day, so it was a special race," he said. "And I always feel comfortable going to a track where I've won at before. Ace was my crew chief then also.
"This is the first time that we'll run Columbus a little bit earlier in the year. And they've re-paved the track. I think the track is going to be a lot better than we've seen it in the past. I think people will be pretty surprised in the Friday night session how well everybody runs.
"It's going to be one of those deals where you make your best shot Friday night to put yourself into the field the best way you can and then concentrate on Sunday's race-day tune-up because, more than likely, it's going to be warm on Sunday.
"Right now I feel very comfortable that Ace and Olson have a great tune-up for a night session as well as for the hot and humid conditions. That's what really separates a lot of these good crew chiefs from the great crew chiefs. The great ones can step it up when the conditions change drastically.
"With everybody at Don Schumacher Racing sharing data and acting as a team it's only going to get better for us.
"The points are so bunched up right now. It's exciting that we're right there in the hunt. I consider us really well ahead of schedule, to where we actually thought we would be. I know a win is just around the corner. I can feel it. Looking back I felt like we should have won Atlanta, and we definitely should have won Las Vegas. Those were two races we kicked ourselves Sunday night because we felt like we really gave those away."
The Brut team found that the chassis on the car that was raced up until Atlanta was bent and are now competing in the backup car, which was a brand-new chassis at the start of the season.