Dallas: Ron Capps preview

CAPPS AND BRUT REVOLUTION TEAM RECALL THEIR '05 DALLAS TRACK RECORD ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 19, 2006) - Funny Car points leader Ron Capps, crew chief Ed "Ace" McCulloch and the Brut Revolution Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team have become famous for...

CAPPS AND BRUT REVOLUTION TEAM RECALL THEIR '05 DALLAS TRACK RECORD

ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 19, 2006) - Funny Car points leader Ron Capps, crew chief Ed "Ace" McCulloch and the Brut Revolution Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team have become famous for their consistency in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series and not for establishing record elapsed times and high speeds.

So, it surprised even Capps when he set an elapsed-time track record of 4.694 seconds at the Texas Motorplex last year while in the middle of a three-way battle for the Funny Car championship.

Capps lost that fight for the crown at the season finale, finishing second, eight points behind teammate Gary Scelzi, with John Force taking third. Last year's event here proved pivotal to that chase.

This weekend's O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals in Ennis, Texas, will see the points lead being contended between just two of the same combatants, Capps and Force, as Capps holds a 19-point margin over the 13-time champion entering this year's event. The next closest contender, in third, is Robert Hight, 159 points behind Capps.

"Last year the Dallas race was postponed because of weather and we had to go back to Dallas a few weeks after the originally scheduled race," recalls Capps, who receives additional support from Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels. "And we were locked in the battle for the title. We had just come off of our win in Chicago, and that really moved us into serious contention for the championship. Then we went to Dallas and set low elapsed time and set a track record, which is something we weren't necessarily known for.

"I was almost in shock when I heard on the radio at the top end of the track that we'd gone to the No. 1 qualifying spot and set a track record. Prior to that weekend Ace had said he was going to let himself go and take a chance of the car smoking the tires but going for low ET. And so we went for it and we got it."

To date, it is Capps' only No. 1 qualifying result since 2000.

"It was a pivotal race for us. Scelzi, who was leading the points had gone out first round and we actually went a couple of rounds, but Force went on to win the race and gain a bunch of points. We left Dallas in third place, but two races later, at the finale, Scelzi came out the champion, I was second and Force was third."

The Texas Motorplex is famous as the original state-of-the-art facility. "It's a great track," says Capps, winner here in 1998 over Force. "When we talk about narrow grooves and wide grooves, you can probably get over next to the wall at this track and still have a lot of traction. And that's what happens a lot of times because the track is so grippy."

With last weekend's event in Reading, Pa., re-scheduled to Sept. 29-Oct. 1 because of rain, five events still remain before a Funny Car champion is most likely crowned.

"Every single point at this part of the season is very important," adds Capps, a five-time season winner, "especially with Reading being rained out. It changes the focus now. You have to approach each race like it may be the last one of the season. And we're hanging on to a 19-point lead. This has happened several times this season where Force had gained a lot of points on us and we've rebounded. The Brut Revolution team has made me very proud by showing just how resilient they are. It may look like we're going to lose the points lead and then we rebound and gain a bunch of points.

"I'm hoping that this weekend is another one of those weekends where we have a good solid weekend of qualifying and going rounds on race day."

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Gary Scelzi