CAPPS READY FOR COUNTDOWN, SHOWDOWN AT INDY CARLSBAD, Calif. (Aug. 26, 2008) - Having clinched a spot in the Countdown to 1 championship playoffs in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, driving the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny...
CAPPS READY FOR COUNTDOWN, SHOWDOWN AT INDY
CARLSBAD, Calif. (Aug. 26, 2008) - Having clinched a spot in the Countdown to 1 championship playoffs in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, driving the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, Ron Capps will focus on winning his first national event of the season as well as a fourth $100,000 Showdown bonus-event title at this weekend's U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.
Last year, Capps entered the U.S. Nationals, which was then the first event of the Countdown to Four playoffs, with a huge points lead which was knocked down to only 10 markers for the final battle. He struggled through the two-race Countdown to One, ending up fourth for the year.
This season, the U.S. Nationals is the last event before the Countdown to 1 kicks in for the top 10 in the remaining six events of the year. Capps, in eighth, could move up to sixth with a strong result this weekend.
"This year Indy is quite a bit different from last year," said Capps, who has never won the U.S. Nationals. "Last year was the first time for the Countdown, and we were quite a bit ahead in points, much like (No. 1 in points) Tim Wilkerson is right now, and then of course they reset the points.
"I think in 2007 a lot of people kind of questioned how to approach it properly, and obviously we proved that you don't have to be leading the Countdown to win the championship.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing my team tested because it looks like we're either going to be sixth or 10th in the points. Best-case scenario is we will be in sixth place, which is still going to put us quite a few points behind first (70). I'm really excited to see how my NAPA guys are going to react."
The NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge is tuned by the winningest U.S. Nationals Funny Car driver: Ed "Ace" McCulloch, a five-time U.S. Nationals champion. "I truly believe we've got the best leader there is in the pit area when you have to go to battle on race day," said Capps. "And this weekend it's the U.S. Nationals, the granddaddy of all drag races. It's a race where you need Ace's intensity and his experience at a place like Indy.
"And then on top of that we have the Showdown for $100,000," added Capps, who is making his ninth appearance in this bonus event. "I've been lucky enough to win it three times (1998, 1999, 2002). I think that success has been because I've been around good, experienced racers in the past, and Ed McCulloch has taught me so much. And this is a place where you really have to rely on that."