RON CAPPS SLOTTED 11TH FOR SPRING NATIONALS OUTSIDE HOUSTON
BAYTOWN, TEXAS, April 30, 2011 – Ron Capps credited the “NAPA know how” of his supporting cast for his last-minute heroics in cracking the field for tomorrow’s 24th annual NHRA Spring Nationals here at Royal Purple Raceway.
Battling difficult track conditions during both days of qualifying, Capps drove the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car into 11th starting position with a final-qualifying round of 4.209 seconds at 299.53 miles per hour.
“I just can’t say enough about how great a job my NAPA guys did to get us in; they really exhibit ‘NAPA know how,’” said the Southern California native. “And it was great how all of the guys – Tommy DeLago and his guys, Rahn Tobler and Tim Richards – got together and made the decisions which made a difference.
“Having the resources of Don Schumacher Racing made it possible for us to succeed with all of the changes we’ve made since Charlotte.”
Capps came into this weekend, the fifth event on the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule, ninth in the Funny Car standings, armed with a new car and a new crew chief.
Actually, the tuning responsibilities, as well as getting the new car ready in quick fashion after the last race two weeks ago, fell to DeLago and Tobler, who also were responsible for running the Funny Cars of Matt Hagan and Jack Beckman, respectively. Richards, who joined DSR Thursday, officially takes command of the NAPA car for the next race, but is already lending his veteran expertise.
“Tim has more nitro wins than any other crew chief out here, except Alan Johnson,” Capps said. “I’m so excited about the direction we are headed and getting into the field today was a big plus.”
The team had struggled to get down the 1,000-foot strip at the former Houston Raceway Park during the first three qualifying rounds, coming into the final session 20th out of 20 entries. According to Capps the positive results in the final round were even better than the numbers indicated.
“I feel really good going into tomorrow,” he explained. “We were actually a little soft in that round; there’s a lot more left in this car, so I am confident about the race. Again, those guys figured it out in less-than-ideal conditions.”
Capps squares off against Bob Tasca III in the opening round of eliminations which begin at 11 a.m. CDT, a race with special meaning for him.
“Tomorrow is May 1st, the beginning of the month-long NAPA Ultimate Tune-Up Big Event and I really didn’t want to start it by not having the NAPA car in the field,” he explained. “The great people at NAPA, who really support us wherever we go racing, deserve the best from me and my team and we will do whatever it takes to give it to them.”