Ron Capps, Ed McCulloch Join Don Schumacher Racing With Brut Sponsorship INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 26, 2005) - Multi-team owner Don Schumacher has confirmed that he has signed Ron Capps to drive a Brut-sponsored Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car in the 2005...
Ron Capps, Ed McCulloch Join Don Schumacher Racing With Brut Sponsorship
INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 26, 2005) - Multi-team owner Don Schumacher has confirmed that he has signed Ron Capps to drive a Brut-sponsored Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car in the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Schumacher also confirmed that Ed "Ace" McCulloch will tune this new entry from Don Schumacher Racing, along with co-crew chief Dan Olson.
Capps, 39, of Carlsbad, Calif., joins the largest team in NHRA competition and will partner with Whit Bazemore, driver of the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus, and Gary Scelzi, in the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus, in the Funny Car class. His other teammates will include reigning Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher, in the U.S. Army Dragster, Antron Brown and Angelle Savoie, on the U.S. Army Pro Stock Motorcycles, and Pro Stock Car drivers Jeg Coughlin Jr., in the Jeg's Mail Order/Mopar Dodge, and Richie Stevens in the Team Mopar HEMI-powered Dodge Stratus.
Capps, a perennial fan favorite, has driven and won in both Top Fuel and Funny Cars since he began his pro NHRA career in 1995, with his best season points finish a second in Funny Car in 1998 and 2000. He has 14 event wins in 30 final rounds to his credit, and a 207-174 career round win-loss record.
McCulloch, 62, is a Funny Car legend, who produced 22 victories in that class as a driver, as well as four in Top Fuel. He became a crew chief in 1995 and tuned Capps' Funny Car from the Pomona Finals in 1999 through Sonoma 2003. A resident of Indianapolis, he joins team crew chiefs Lee Beard, Mike Neff, Alan Johnson and Bob Glidden. Olson has been a crew chief for Schumacher since 1999.
The Brut brand, a popular men's fragrance from Idelle Labs Ltd., a division of Helen of Troy, the world's leader in personal-care products, will be the primary sponsor. Associate sponsors will include Torco Racing Fuels, Valspar, Jeg's Mail Order, Oakley, Matco Tools, Mopar, Gates Belts and Hoses, as well as other longtime associates of Don Schumacher Racing.
"I am extremely proud to welcome Ron Capps into our Don Schumacher Racing family," said Schumacher. "He is one of the most talented and versatile drivers in the NHRA and will be an outstanding addition to our team. Not to mention that he has the personality and looks that will make him an ideal spokesperson for Brut.
"We are honored to have Brut on board. This is a brand that is not new to motorsports, and we look forward to a long promotional and marketing relationship with Brut and their agency, Just Marketing," he added.
"And what can I say about having Ed 'Ace' McCulloch tuning the Brut Funny Car? He is a legend in this sport and I am confident he has the natural savvy and ability to tune this car to an NHRA POWERade championship."
"Right now when you take a look at drag racing and you go to a national NHRA event, you look at the pit area that Don Schumacher has and the lineup he has, and there's no doubt that he's paving a path," said Capps. "He's not only working on a championship in Funny Car, but he's shown that he can put the personnel together to win a championship in Top Fuel.
"So, I'm very excited. I'm also very excited to be racing with Ed McCulloch again. Ace to me is not only one of my heroes growing up as a Funny Car driver, but is truly one of the best 'racers' out there. When you show up on Sunday morning and you have a crew chief with the intensity and the race face that Ace has it just brings an extra fire to everybody on the crew.
"Put that together with Lee Beard, Mike Neff, Dan Olson and, of course, Alan Johnson, that's a brain trust that we really feel we can put up against the truly best brain trust that's out there, which is Austin Coil and Bernie Fedderley and that whole group over there at John Force Racing.
"It's cool that Brut is returning to the sport," he added. "They are used to winning. I got to see their old commercials and there were Joe Namath, Muhammad Ali, Mickey Mantle and Jimmy Connors. It was pretty neat to see, because these athletes were the best in their particular sport and in their prime and they spoke of how they gave 100 percent and wanted to smell their best.
"It made my hair stand up on my neck to know that I'll be associated with them and Brut when I'm driving the Brut Funny Car."
The Brut marketing program will run from the start of the 2005 season and will feature promotional offerings such as guest appearances from driver Ron Capps, an extensive show-car program and multiple at-track activation points.