CAPPS ON ROAD TO TOP FIVE IN FUNNY CAR POINTS BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 26, 2005) - Ron Capps is in sixth, just one point out of fifth place and 76 out of second in the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings after five races.
CAPPS ON ROAD TO TOP FIVE IN FUNNY CAR POINTS
BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 26, 2005) - Ron Capps is in sixth, just one point out of fifth place and 76 out of second in the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings after five races. He and the Brut Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car team, led by crew chiefs Ed "Ace" McCulloch and Dan Olson, are geared up for a win and a jump in the rankings at this weekend's O'Reilly Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals at Bristol Dragway.
"We keep setting small goals," said Capps, who joined Don Schumacher Racing this year and has reached the final round once in Phoenix and the semifinal round at the last event in Las Vegas. "Ace and I and Olson sit down after every race and talk about how the weekend went, what we did right, what we did wrong, and how we can improve on things. After Las Vegas we talked about what we could do to make ourselves better. The first thing you do is try to wind down after losing, because everyone is really upset." Capps lost a very close race to Tony Bartone in that round.
"And my job is to try to get the morale right back up. Yeah, we lost, yeah, everybody is upset, but let's start looking at the bright side," added Capps, who has won 14 national events in his Top Fuel and Funny Car career, and is looking for his first this season. "I try to get everyone to look ahead, put everything behind them and concentrate on where we're going next.
"I felt like we could have won that race in Vegas and we would have had lane choice going into the final. There were a lot of things that coulda, shoulda happened. I said let's put this behind us and roll right into Bristol and keep the same mentality we had going into that semifinal in Vegas.
"The win will happen. It's just a matter of things falling into the right places. There are a lot of guys on the crew who have been around the sport a while with different teams and haven't won yet. It's going to be exciting to give these guys their first win. Giving Brut it's first win with our team will really be neat. I feel like it's just around the corner.
"The main thing for me is to keep the guys motivated and it's not that difficult right now because we ran so well on Sunday in Vegas," he said of his round wins against John Force and Bob Gilbertson after barely qualifying into the field on Saturday.
"Going back to Bristol is always exciting," added Capps, winner here in 2001 against Al Hofmann with Ed McCulloch his crew chief. "The track surface speaks for itself when you say it's a Bruton Smith track. And any crew chief can take out of his mind any variables as far as worrying about the track doing this or doing that. It sure helps the crew chief knowing that we're going to be racing on a pretty decent track surface.
"Having won here with Ace as my crew chief is a big deal. Knowing you've already won and you ran good here makes you feel like you have a little extra behind you. It's like the Nextel Cup guys going to a certain difficult track, like a Martinsville or a Bristol, where they know they have a good setup from the past. I'm sure they feel like they might have a tad bit more of an advantage over someone who hadn't won there before."
SCHEDULE: On Friday, April 29, professional qualifying sessions are scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, April 30 -- pro qualifying sessions are at noon and 3 p.m. On Sunday, May 1, Pre-race ceremonies begin at 11 a.m. Final eliminations begin at noon.