CAPPS AND NAPA TEAM REGROUP FOR MEMPHIS CARLSBAD, Calif. (Sept. 30, 2009) - Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Funny Car regrouped following the Ennis, Texas, NHRA Fall Nationals last Sunday and tested at the Texas Motorplex on Monday, ...
CAPPS AND NAPA TEAM REGROUP FOR MEMPHIS
CARLSBAD, Calif. (Sept. 30, 2009) - Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Funny Car regrouped following the Ennis, Texas, NHRA Fall Nationals last Sunday and tested at the Texas Motorplex on Monday, pulling out the chassis that won them four races in the beginning of the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Raciing Series. With two successful passes completed, Capps and the NAPA team are ready to attack the NHRA Mid-South Nationals this weekend in Memphis, the third of four back-to-back national events before the circus heads West for the final two events in Las Vegas and Pomona, Calif.
"We stayed and tested in Texas on Monday," said Capps, who is sixth in the Countdown to 1 playoffs following two first-round exits in the first two events of the playoffs. "We pulled out the car that we had run the first half of the year.
"Even though you have cars that are built identically to each other, you hear a lot about a crew chief finally just going back to the car he knows best. We hear about it all the time in the Pro Stock class. You struggle a little bit and you start to think maybe it's your tune-up. And then, lo and behold, you go back to a proven chassis that you know will react to what the commands are from the crew chief, and it reacts right away.
"That's what happened to us. We stayed on Monday and basically just went back to what we knew.
"We had pulled out a new car in Norwalk (Ohio) this year. It was the sister to the chassis we ran the first half of the year and we front-halved the car that we'd been running the first half of the year - the one that won four races for us and is the current holder of the national elapsed-time record (4.023 seconds in Phoenix).
"You just don't think that a car that has been built identically is going to be any different. First pass on Monday the car ran 4.18 (seconds) in conditions that were quite a bit warmer than in the first round on Sunday. And Sunday's quickest run was a 4.17 by Bob Tasca. That was very encouraging. It went right down the track like it had in the past. We ran 4.18 and 4.17 in two passes.
"We asked ourselves, is it too late now? We're not sure," he said of his chances to move up in the standings. "We're going to give it a heck of a try and we think, if we can run the way we ran earlier in the year and if we run the way we ran on Monday, we should have a great chance.
"Robert Hight's team went from last to first in two races, and we've got four left. A couple of top-running cars in the Countdown also went out early in those first two races, so the points are tightened up. It's anybody's game.
"We're going to rely on some luck in Memphis," added Capps, the 2000 titlist there and 2005 runner-up.