BRAINERD A SPECIAL RACE FOR TWO-TIME EVENT CHAMP CAPPS CARLSBAD, Calif. (Aug. 10, 2010) - With the Countdown to 1 playoffs beginning following this weekend's 29th annual NHRA Nationals at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway, Ron Capps is ...
BRAINERD A SPECIAL RACE FOR TWO-TIME EVENT CHAMP CAPPS
CARLSBAD, Calif. (Aug. 10, 2010) - With the Countdown to 1 playoffs beginning following this weekend's 29th annual NHRA Nationals at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway, Ron Capps is comfortable with his and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger Funny Car team's position at this point. He stands No. 5 in the rankings, has clinched a spot in the Countdown, and is battling with his Don Schumacher Racing teammates Matt Hagan and Jack Beckman for third in points.
The two-time Brainerd champion (in 1998 and 2001), and last year's runner-up, plans to enjoy his stay in Northern Minnesota while seeking a second season victory before the playoffs kick in for the top 10 in points in the final six events of the year.
"For me, Brainerd has always been a pretty special race," said Capps, who was also No. 1 qualifier there in 2000. "For the fans it's always a really exciting race because the final spots in the Countdown are contested there and it's a great time to be a fan to watch all the drama. Also, my wife Shelley's family is from the Minnesota area, so it's kind of a home track for me. It's always fun to visit and hang out with family. And, it always bolsters your confidence to go back to a track where you've done well.
"Right now I feel like (crew chief) John Medlen has such a great outlook for the rest of the season with the NAPA car. He and (former crew chief turned team consultant) Ed McCulloch are working so well together, that it can only improve our performance.
"It's been tough to have two weekends off after losing that close race against Robert Hight in Denver (a holeshot loss in the quarterfinals). And I've been kind of champing at the bit to get back in the car. I really felt like the NAPA car was the car to beat on Sunday in Denver, and that excites me when we're looking at the long-term goals of getting ready for the Countdown and winning the championship.
"I also believe that most teams that are going to be fighting for a championship will be fine-tuning their setups in this last race before the Countdown. Many teams will be testing in Indianapolis after Brainerd and I expect they will be using Brainerd as a tune-up for the test and the start of the Countdown.
"The Brainerd staff has done such a great job on that track that it's become a great facility. If the weather and track conditions are good there, you can really get after it. And, as we saw last year, there could be some pretty quick times set."