Denver: Ron Capps preview

CAPPS IS CAUTIOUS ABOUT CHAMPIONSHIP TALK MORRISON, Colo. (July 13, 2006) - NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points leader Ron Capps is being cautious when he's asked about his 44-point lead over John Force in the championship chase as...

CAPPS IS CAUTIOUS ABOUT CHAMPIONSHIP TALK

MORRISON, Colo. (July 13, 2006) - NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points leader Ron Capps is being cautious when he's asked about his 44-point lead over John Force in the championship chase as the series comes to the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway this weekend and whether he can win his first Funny Car crown.

The popular driver of the Brut Dodge Charger R/T has collected five wins so far this season, two runner-ups and one semifinal finish, but 13-time champion Force is nipping at his heels and the season is only half over.

"We talk about the points chase in almost every interview," says Capps, who also receives support from Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels. "Everybody wants to talk about it. And once you're halfway through the year, like we are now, it does become more apparent that you are in a pretty good battle for the championship. But, it's still so early. You don't want to play on it too much.

"If you start looking down the road too far you could get bitten. And that's what happens to a lot of teams on race day. You start looking at who you are going to run second round or semis or who you're going to possibly match up with in the final, and you overlook your first-round opponent, and you get beat.

"It's going to be fun. This little break we had after St. Louis was great for everybody. We had three races in a row. It's good to get a little time off for the whole team, get our batteries recharged and just get ready, because it's going to be pretty much on from now on. You get through the West Coast Swing, you get a quick break and then it's Brainerd (Minn.), Memphis and all of a sudden you're in Indy (U.S. Nationals in September). And then you can really see (final event) Pomona at the end of the tunnel."

Crew chief Ed "Ace" McCulloch is back at the helm this weekend following successful cancer surgery he elected to undergo during the two-week break. "Ace had his surgery, he's pumped up and he's excited to go racing," Capps says. "And Denver is always a place that is not for the weak of heart. You make your own power up here and if you're underpowered it will definitely show. And we've always come here with plenty of power and I always feel that we can win here."

Capps' best result at the Mopar Mile-High Nationals was a runner-up to Tony Pedregon in 1998.

"It's going to be a very grueling race," he adds, referring to the altitude. "Just walking up the stairs from the staging lanes to the pit area will tax your body and you won't realize it. All of a sudden you'll feel a little bit fatigued. If you don't take it all into consideration and you don't pay attention and drink a lot of water, it could affect you. You just have to stay on top of everything, and not just with the race car. Everybody has to take care of his or her body and get through the weekend. And I think that is why Denver is such a crucial race."

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force