CAPPS EXPECTS AN ALL-NEW DYNAMIC IN ST. LOUIS; REMEMBERS HIS FIRST AND SECOND WINS MADISON, Ill. (May 2, 2007) - With an earlier date this year for the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals, and a change from a night race to a standard NHRA POWERade...
CAPPS EXPECTS AN ALL-NEW DYNAMIC IN ST. LOUIS; REMEMBERS HIS FIRST AND SECOND WINS
MADISON, Ill. (May 2, 2007) - With an earlier date this year for the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals, and a change from a night race to a standard NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series weekend format, Funny Car points leader Ron Capps hopes this weekend's event at Gateway International Raceway will bring him better results than it did in 2006.
"Last year was not a good weekend for us," explained the driver of the Brut Revolution Dodge Charger R/T, also leading the points at the time, who qualified 15th then and was bumped out in the first round by his teammate Whit Bazemore. "This is going to be the first time in a long time St. Louis won't be in the same conditions we've had the last few years. It won't be a night race.
"You know how excited I get when a track gets tough and hot," said Capps, who has won twice so far this season and is 45 points ahead of Robert Hight in the rankings. "We usually do pretty well. It will still be warm and tricky, but it'll be interesting."
Temperatures in the 70s are expected this weekend in Madison, Ill., where Gateway is located, just across the river from St. Louis.
Capps recalls his first of two victories at Gateway: "I got to win the inaugural race there in 1997 against Cruz Pedregon, which is pretty special, so going back there is always a great feeling. It was when the event was on network TV. It was an ABC race and Gary Gerould was there working, and I was a big fan of his. It was huge to win one of those races when they had only three or four network races.
"Rusty Wallace, Kenny Wallace, Mike Wallace were all there, because they're from that area. Kenny Schrader was there and they all hung out afterwards. It was a lot of fun. It was also my first win with (former crew chief) Roland Leong.
"We're looking forward to going back. We also won there with the Brut car for the first time in '05. Gary Gerould was there for that win too. Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) was in the hospital for his first surgery, so we took the trophy back to him and that was pretty special. There are good memories for me at Gateway.
"Things are good right now. We're leading the points, we know it's going to be a whole new season in Indy (U.S. Nationals), so we just want to get into the Countdown to the Championship and still keep chugging along. It's going to be an exciting season."