Ron Capps wants nothing more than to win an NHRA world championship. He's devoted most of his adult life to winning one of the ultimate prizes in motorsports.
The 47-year-old Southern Californian has come close three times, falling short in 2005 by the smallest margin (eight points) in NHRA history.
The driver of the NAPA Batteries/Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund Dodge Charger R/T for Don Schumacher Racing will start this weekend's NHRA Route 66 Nationals near Chicago as part of the hottest team in drag racing.
He surely wants to win for the third time this season, and he will have extra motivation to drive into the winner's circle Sunday afternoon at Route 66 with crew chief Rahn Tobler and the rest of the team.
Nothing would make Capps happier than to share the spotlight with that day's NAPA AUTO PARTS Honorary Crew Member, retired U.S. Army Sgt. Robert "Rob" Dickey, a native of Capps' San Diego area who resides in San Antonio, Texas.
The 35-year-old Dickey is himself a drag racer who can share his memories with Capps of legendary Carlsbad Raceway in Southern California.
We're so focused on getting to the track and doing everything we can to win and taking care of our sponsors that we tend to forget a lot of time about what goes on in the outside world.
Dickey, a husband and father of five, will be at the Route 66 Nationals courtesy of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which has provided more than $120 million in support for the families of military personnel lost in service to our nation, and for severely wounded military personnel and veterans.
"We're so focused on getting to the track and doing everything we can to win and taking care of our sponsors that we tend to forget a lot of time about what goes on in the outside world," Capps said.
Intrepid has helped Dickey adjust to life after a land mine in Afghanistan on Sept. 6, 2010, forced surgeons to perform a below-the-knee amputation of his right leg and partially remove part of his left calf.
"The best thing about having a great sponsor like NAPA and an owner like Don (Schumacher) is being able to do a special car like the one we'll run this weekend and to really give something back to someone who has given so much more than we could ever imagine," he said.
Capps' traditional blue and yellow NAPA AUTO PARTS Funny Car this weekend will feature a special paint scheme to bring attention to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and NAPA's "Get Back, Give Back" campaign that runs through July to encourage consumers to apply all or part of their rebates from NAPA Battery, Starter or Alternator purchases to Intrepid. Consumers can receive up to a $25 rebate on their purchases. Additionally, NAPA will donate $1 per consumer rebate redeemed.
Martin Truex Jr. and his Michael Waltrip Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup entry will field a similar look on the No. 56 NAPA Toyota in the July 7 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
"Our car this weekend will touch a lot of people when they see it and they want to cheer for it because of what it represents," Capps said. "It's always special to run a car like that but to put that car in the winner's circle and have Rob there with us would mean more than anything."
A victory also would get Capps closer to points leader Robert Hight of John Force Racing. Capps was eighth in the standings and 209 points behind Hight after four events before Tobler took over as Capps' crew chief. Since then, the Capps-Tobler combination has advanced to six consecutive championship rounds with a 19-4 record in eliminations and cut Hight's lead to 73 points.
Source: Don Schumacher Racing