Memphis: Ron Capps preview

CAPPS SHOOTS FOR SECOND MEMPHIS WIN CARLSBAD, Calif. (Sept. 24, 2008) - No one will deny that Ron Capps is a winner. He's collected 25 national-event victories in 53 final rounds in his professional career and has battled for a Funny Car ...

CAPPS SHOOTS FOR SECOND MEMPHIS WIN

CARLSBAD, Calif. (Sept. 24, 2008) - No one will deny that Ron Capps is a winner. He's collected 25 national-event victories in 53 final rounds in his professional career and has battled for a Funny Car championship every season since he entered the Funny Car class in 1997. He's been a runner-up for the crown three times since then, but wearing it has eluded him.

Capps was victorious in Memphis in 2000 and he's back for this weekend's 21st annual NHRA Mid-South Nationals to make it a double as he battles for his first championship in this season's hotly-contested Countdown to 1 playoffs for the top 10 in the Funny Car standings.

For the driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, this weekend's third of six events in the playoffs to determine a champion is crucial. He's ninth in the standings, and the points are likely to shuffle with each round of eliminations, as they have in the last two events.

"It is tight," said Capps, still looking for his first win of the season. "Last year the biggest complaint about the Countdown was the fact that if you had one bad race in the end with only Vegas and Pomona (Calif.) being the Countdown to 1, that was it, your season was over. Now, with six races in the Countdown for the top 10, you could have one or two bad races and still fight your way back in.

"Granted, last weekend (in Ennis, Texas, where he exited in the opening round) we expected to really climb ourselves back into the top of the points, and it was such a disappointing day on Sunday. Now, we still have our backs against the wall, sort of. With four races left, we have to have two or three great races, not good races. We can't expect to go a few rounds; we need to go to the winner's circle, or at least the final round.

"And that's the mindset we have to have. And I know I talked this year about everything that we have tried to accomplish, certain goals that we set. We plain qualified terribly for our standards. If we're not in the top half of the field we're not happy and we haven't been, and we have to turn that around.

"Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) is the first guy who will tell you he's disappointed in our qualifying efforts (only one top-half result since NHRA opted to race to 1000 feet nine races ago) and we're all working on that. And I think you're going to see a huge difference in Memphis with the NAPA AUTO PARTS car because we are going to go in there with the mindset that we need to qualify in the top five and then we need to go from there. Those qualifying points are critical and having lane choice first round is extremely important."

Capps was also a Funny Car runner-up in Memphis in 2005 to Eric Medlen.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , Eric Medlen