POINTS LEADER CAPPS HOPES NEW CAR WILL PRODUCE RESULTS CARLSBAD, Calif. (Aug. 15, 2007) - NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points leader Ron Capps hopes that a new car the Brut "Test Drive" Dodge Charger R/T team will bring out for...
POINTS LEADER CAPPS HOPES NEW CAR WILL PRODUCE RESULTS
CARLSBAD, Calif. (Aug. 15, 2007) - NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points leader Ron Capps hopes that a new car the Brut "Test Drive" Dodge Charger R/T team will bring out for this weekend's Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa., will produce better results than the team has seen in the past few races.
Capps continues to lead the rankings, has clinched a spot in the Countdown to the Championship, is 75 points ahead of Robert Hight and has admitted that crew chief Ed "Ace" McCulloch and the Brut team have been testing some things which might benefit them during the final phases of the Countdown. With this weekend's race, the last event before the "Countdown to Four" kicks in, the team hopes they'll get some answers to why it's incurred first-round losses in the last three races.
"We've got a whole lot of stuff going on," says Capps, who has held a lead as high as 154 points this year since taking over the top spot at the fourth race. "Leading the points for the Countdown for as long as we have, we've been able to test some things. And to hold on to the points lead while we're testing is very hard to do. You expect to be able to lose a lot of ground in points testing and we still seem to be hanging on.
"But we came to a conclusion in Brainerd that the car we brought out in Topeka as a new car has just not been right. We've been testing a lot of other things and Ace kind of went back a few times to his normal setup and the car just wouldn't react. The car just didn't seem to drive the same from my vantage point. Ace and Ronnie Thompson (assistant crew chief) would make huge changes they would never have made before and the car would not react.
"So, after we lost first round in Brainerd we decided we would pull out our back-up car and we'll start running it in Reading. That's part of being on a great team. Were going to put a brand-new car together, we're going to unload it in Reading and that car should go right down the track first pass in qualifying.
"I've always bragged about my Brut crew, and there's not a whole lot of crews out there who could put a car together like that and make the first run and have the confidence. But, here's the problem. We've been testing a lot of things. If we find out that the chassis just wasn't the same as what we expected, it kind of throws a question mark at all our testing. Ace may have to put all those testing results into another folder and file them away for another time."
Capps, 25-time career victor, is looking for his first win at Maple Grove Raceway. "One of the biggest changes this year was the schedule, and going to Reading before the U.S. Nationals at Indy is odd. We're so used to going to Reading after Indianapolis. Reading has now become the last race where you can claim points both for the Skoal Showdown and the Countdown, and routinely that race track has had national records set there. It's going to be warmer going there in August instead of September, and it's a very hard track for a driver because the groove is always very narrow. But it's a very, very fast track.
"You always kind of reach down and pull your belts a little tighter at Maple Grove Raceway, and now that it's before Indy, it's taking on a whole new importance."