TWO-TIME SEATTLE CHAMP CAPPS LOOKS FOR FIRST SEASON WIN THIS WEEKEND KENT, Wash. (July 15, 2008) - Ron Capps has made a steady move up the charts in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car this season as he aims for a spot in the top 10...
TWO-TIME SEATTLE CHAMP CAPPS LOOKS FOR FIRST SEASON WIN THIS WEEKEND
KENT, Wash. (July 15, 2008) - Ron Capps has made a steady move up the charts in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car this season as he aims for a spot in the top 10 for the Countdown to the Championship, which begins following the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend. He's tied in seventh in the rankings, but what he'd like to add to his accomplishments is his first national-event victory in that class for his new sponsor this year.
Coming into this weekend's NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways for the 14th of 24 events in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, he has history on his side. He's won here in both the Top Fuel (1995) and Funny Car (1998) categories, and was runner-up in Funny Car in 2001 and 2006.
"Seattle is a place that's close to my heart," said Capps, "because I had my first win here as a pro in Top Fuel, and then I was able to win again in Funny Car. It's just always been a great track. Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) and I working together have always done well here, and we'll be racing here to 1000 feet as well." The finish line in last weekend's Mopar Mile-Highs in Denver was set at 1000 feet for the first time in NHRA pro nitro history.
"I think we really learned something on Saturday in Denver. We were able to put in some parts that Ace had designed that were built in-house at Don Schumacher Racing that paid off for us. What we learned came from one of the bigger things we've been able to try at a race and it worked well. And to build the stuff in-house is great. So I'm excited to see how it's going to work when we get down to these tracks that are close to sea level. The NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge is just a whole new animal.
"I'm also excited about going to a track like Seattle because you always strap your belts a little tighter there. With all the trees and oxygen surrounding the track it helps provide extra power, and it's a lot of fun driving this car under those conditions.
"We're coming down from the mile-high mountain in Denver and like (Top Fuel racer) Larry Dixon has said, it was like trying to run a marathon breathing through a straw. So, when you leave there and go down to sea level in Seattle it's the most adverse condition change that we'll see all year long.
"These 8000-horsepower engines are much like your lungs are. If you go out to run a marathon or go out and work out, the better the oxygen, the better the cool air is, the better you're going to run. Everybody was struggling to make power on the mountain. Then you come down to Seattle and the power is there and you're struggling to manage the power of these engines."
As for racing to the 1000-ft. finish line for the second time: "I don't know if we're going to see 1000-ft. finish lines the rest of the year, but we're behind NHRA with whatever they decide to do," said Capps of the decision by NHRA to shorten the tracks as an interim step to slow down the cars following the tragic death of Scott Kalitta in Englishtown, N.J., on June 21.
"I'm so proud to be sponsored by NAPA through all this because NAPA knows everything there is about motorsports and they're one of the best sponsors I've ever worked with. I think we all have a common goal. Winning this weekend for NAPA would be a great reward."