Englishtown: Ron Capps preview

FUNNY CAR POINTS LEADER CAPPS SAYS HIS JUICES FLOW WHEN THE PRESSURE IS ON ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 15, 2006) - There's no doubt that NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points leader Ron Capps is under pressure. His lead over John Force...

FUNNY CAR POINTS LEADER CAPPS SAYS HIS JUICES FLOW WHEN THE PRESSURE IS ON

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 15, 2006) - There's no doubt that NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points leader Ron Capps is under pressure. His lead over John Force is down to 48 points (from as high as 122) following his quarterfinal finish last weekend in Chicago, and Force's victory.

But the driver of the Brut Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car is excited about getting back on the quarter-mile at the historic Old Bridge Township Raceway in Englishtown, N.J., this weekend for the K&N Filters SuperNationals, round 11 of 23 events.

"There is so much racing left," said the California native who has never won a Funny Car championship. "My response and my thoughts on the championship are the same as when we were 109 points ahead (going into the last event in Chicago).

"Yeah, Force pulled up right with us, but I guarantee, and I said it earlier in the season, it is going to be a fight down to the finish with Force. And you can't count him out. Whether we're 109 points or 48 points ahead, we just show up and do the same thing.

"I really am not worried. I'm excited, in fact. It gets my juices flowing even more when I know the pressure is on."

Following the cooler conditions at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill. (just west of Chicago) last weekend, where Capps barely qualified for the quickest Funny Car field in NHRA history, then suffered through a series of mechanical glitches to exit in the quarterfinals, he's ready for hot and humid conditions.

"Englishtown has a very, very wide groove," said Capps, who is looking for his first win at this track. "The conditions are definitely going to be hot and humid and we know how we've done in the past with the humidity and the heat and I really have the utmost confidence in (team consultant) Dan Olson and (crew chief) Ed 'Ace' McCulloch in those conditions."

"Facing these conditions makes me smile a little bit because I know that I feel very confident with my team when the conditions are going to be difficult," added Capps, who won in the heat and humidity in Gainesville, Fla., and Houston, Texas.

With Father's Day being celebrated this Sunday, Capps would like to take home a win for his kids, daughter Taylor and son Caden. "I won once on Father's Day when it fell on the Columbus, Ohio, race and that was a great moment," he said. "To talk to my dad on the phone from the winner's circle was great. My son Caden is very much into drag racing (and Taylor raced Junior Dragster for a while). That's all he thinks about, that's all he watches on TV and he knows every single name out there. With Caden and Taylor watching the ESPN2 show back in California on Father's Day, getting a win for them would be unbelievable."

Capps' results at Englishtown include two runner-up finishes, in 2003 and 2005.

RON CAPPS QUICK FACTS: * Leading 2006 Funny Car point standings after 10 events, by 48 over John Force

* Has four wins, two runner-up finishes, one semifinal finish in 2006 so far

* Qualified No. 10 at 2005 K&N Filters SuperNationals, was runner-up to Del Worsham

* Is also the 2003 Funny Car runner-up here

* Had three wins, four runner-up finishes in 2005 (St. Louis was his first win for DSR in '05), won at Chicago 2 at Route 66 Raceway and Las Vegas 2

* 2005 Funny Car championship runner-up, eight points short of title

* Qualified No. 1 once in 2005, in Dallas; first time since Brainerd 2000

* A perennial fan favorite, Capps has driven and won in both Top Fuel and Funny Cars since he began his pro NHRA career in 1995

* His best season points finishes were seconds in Funny Car in 1998, 2000 and 2005

* He has 21 event wins in 43 final rounds to his credit (20 national event wins in Funny Car, one in Top Fuel)

* His career-best elapsed time (established during an event) is 4.694 seconds, set in 2005 in Dallas

* His career-best speed is 329.02 mph (Chicago 2, '05)

* Age 40 (June 20, 1965); born and raised in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

* Lives in Carlsbad, Calif., with wife Shelley and daughter Taylor (9) and son Caden (3)

* Is the subject, along with son Caden and the Brut racing crew, of a number of Brut ads appearing in mainstream magazines, such as People, Sports Illustrated, etc.

* New to Don Schumacher Racing in 2005 after eight years with Don Prudhomme.

* Has tested for IROC Series and competed in Skip Barber Formula Ford, Dirt Late Models and Go-Karts

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Don Prudhomme , Skip Barber , Don Schumacher