Baytown: Ron Capps preview

CAPPS HANGS OUT WITH JAMES STEWART, WANTS TO STAY UNDER RADAR IN HOUSTON BAYTOWN, Texas (March 28, 2006) - Funny Car points leader Ron Capps and his buddy, Supercross ace James Stewart, will have the chance to hang out together again this...

CAPPS HANGS OUT WITH JAMES STEWART, WANTS TO STAY UNDER RADAR IN HOUSTON

BAYTOWN, Texas (March 28, 2006) - Funny Car points leader Ron Capps and his buddy, Supercross ace James Stewart, will have the chance to hang out together again this weekend, as both the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series and the Supercross tour compete this weekend in Houston.

Stewart's race is on Saturday night, Capps' final eliminations at the O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway are on Sunday. At the last NHRA event in Gainesville, Fla., following his win in Orlando Saturday night, Stewart and his dad celebrated with Capps and the Brut Dodge Stratus R/T team in the winner's circle on Sunday.

Capps, who leads John Force by 31 points after just three events of 23 this season, admits the Brut Dodge team has not always been the fastest or the quickest, but that consistency, reliability, excellent tuning and good equipment have kept him high in the points standings and somewhat under the radar.

"We're relying on our consistency," says Capps, who defeated 13-time champion Force in the final round in Gainesville by being first at the finish line, despite Force's disqualification for crossing the centerline. "It's a little disappointing to read a few of the articles after Gainesville talking about how we won the race because John Force crossed the centerline. We didn't have lane choice that round, but we were one of the few cars that actually went down that left lane without shaking or without having to pedal the car. That was a great tune-up call by Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch.)

"There was no way that Force was going to catch us anyway. It's a little disappointing at times when the teams don't get their kudos, but we're used to flying semi under the radar. There's not a lot of times we've been low qualifier when qualifying was over, but I've said it time and time again nowadays you need to qualify and it's a bonus to have lane choice first round.

"Going down the track consistently puts a lot of pressure on your opponents," says Capps, whose string of solid elapsed times of 4.799, 4.810, 4.871 and 4.860 (seconds) in Gainesville helped garner him the victory. "But, I tell you, it's already evident that John Force is on his game this year and everybody is going to fight tooth and nail to keep him from taking the championship back.

"Everything is clicking right now for our team," adds Capps, who is looking for his first win here at Houston Raceway. "Our close runner-up championship finish last year made believers out of a lot of people. I constantly pay homage to the Brut guys because they give Ace a great car to go up there and help him make a call on the track. I'm a small piece of the puzzle as far as I am concerned. Our job as drivers is not to be a hero. As a driver it's your job not to make a mistake. If everything goes right and you do your job everything is going to be great.

"I've done well here in Houston in the past. Yet it's another place that we've never won at, but it's earning points that counts," he says. "After the results of 2005 we know we have to count every single point, beginning in Pomona in February. And anybody who says he's not counting or not thinking about it is lying because losing the championship last year by eight points proves that every single point is important. And that's how we're approaching it."

As for James Stewart, "We invited him out to our Friday-night qualifying and we're all looking forward to getting our qualifying done on time on Saturday so we can run into town and watch the Supercross on Saturday night," Capps says. "There are a lot of big drag-racing fans that are in the motorcycle industry, and we have a lot of them coming out. Everyone on the Brut Dodge team is a huge fan of Supercross."

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , James Stewart