RON CAPPS ON HUNT FOR ANOTHER MINNESOTA TROPHY AT UPCOMING LUCAS OIL NHRA NATIONALS
BRAINERD, Minn., August 15, 2011 – Ron Capps has a simple goal for this weekend’s 30th-annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals: drive his NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car into the winner’s circle, something he has done twice before here at Brainerd International Raceway.
A life-long Californian, Capps always enjoys his trips to Minnesota thanks to family gatherings, sponsor activities and on-track success.
“This is one of those dates on the schedule you circle because you like going to the track and the region,” said the Don Schumacher Racing driver. “I’ve had great success here (wins in 1998 and 2001 plus two other final-rounds in 1997 and 2009), as has Tim Richards (crew chief).
“Right now I feel even better about coming here because we are running really well. The win in Sonoma two races ago, plus the way we’ve been qualifying and running in the last several races, has shown everyone we are a force to be reckoned with – especially on race day.
“It’s been neat watching Tim and Kim (his wife and active crew member, who along with Tim, joined the NAPA team in mid-season) getting more and more used to the car, getting it to do the things they want it to do. Tim just keeps working to get the NAPA car down the track, to get good data and to win – win rounds and races.”
Since Richards took command of the NAPA team nine races ago in Atlanta, Capps has climbed from a precarious ninth in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car standings to a solid sixth, 33 points (less than two race-round wins) out of fifth.
“I think we can continue to move up in the next two races,” Capps said about the final pair of events in the regular season, which will set the playoff field (top-10 drivers in the standings) for the six-race Countdown to 1 playoffs. “I feel like we have a really good game plan for these two races and the Countdown; Tim has mapped things out for the remainder of the season.”
This weekend Capps will enjoy the racing and the off-track activities, as well.
“My wife’s family is from the area, so we spend some time with them, which is great,” he explained. “We’ll also have a great evening with folks from NAPA and the Power Lodge where our crew will get a chance to relax, have a barbecue, and try out some of the great off-road ATVs and stuff Power Lodge offers.
“And on Saturday night, I’ll again select the ‘best-looking zoo vehicle,’ NAPA’s celebration of the creativity exhibited by the folks who populate Brainerd’s extensive campsite. It’s always great fun.”