TOPEKA TESTS PREPARE CAPPS FOR RECORD-BREAKING ROUTE 66 JOLIET, Ill. (June 7, 2005) - Ron Capps, crew chiefs Ed "Ace" McCulloch and Dan Olson, and the entire Brut Dodge Stratus Funny Car team took advantage of a day off on Memorial Day following...
TOPEKA TESTS PREPARE CAPPS FOR RECORD-BREAKING ROUTE 66
JOLIET, Ill. (June 7, 2005) - Ron Capps, crew chiefs Ed "Ace" McCulloch and Dan Olson, and the entire Brut Dodge Stratus Funny Car team took advantage of a day off on Memorial Day following the ninth round of the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series at Heartland Park Topeka to make some test runs down the quarter-mile.
With another three-race swing coming up after the off weekend, the team readied itself for this weekend's CARQUEST NHRA Nationals at everyone's favorite Route 66 Raceway, the super-slick, record-breaking track outside of Chicago.
"I'm always excited about Chicago, because it's one of the best tracks we go to," said Capps, who made it into the semifinal round in the last three races and is sixth in points. "You can look at the record books in NHRA in just about every class and most of the records were set in Chicago."
Capps is encouraged by the progress of his new Don Schumacher Racing team this year after posting a career-best run in Topeka testing. "This season is very exciting for me, and after the test session we had in Topeka on Monday it got even better and more exciting. We ran a 4.71 ET at 328 mph, which was my career best. We also ran a 4.78 and a 4.84."
He also was given the opportunity to test his teammate Tony Schumacher's world championship U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster. "That was unbelievable," he said. "I got to drive it twice for (U.S. Army team crew chief) Alan Johnson. The last run it made it got loose just past half-track, but the numbers up to half-track were right with Tony's run in Columbus, the 4.489 at 336 mph. That was awesome.
"I haven't driven a Top Fuel car in 10 years. It was a very strange feeling after driving the Funny Car the last nine years to get back into a Top Fuel car. I hope to get to do it again. Alan says we would. It was just a lot of fun. To be able to go that quick right off the bat in a Top Fuel car again definitely caught my attention."
Capps is in the middle of a tight championship battle among six Funny Car drivers and is just 73 points out of second. A good result at Route 66 could easily move him closer to the front. "We're starting up another three-race swing this weekend. These races are very important. You could either really get hurt by falling back in points or you can make a good run to the front.
"For the Brut Dodge team, everything has gone to plan. We made a good run in this last three-race swing. We're just several rounds out of second place at this point. This is still a brand-new team that was put together this year so to be where we're at and to watch the excitement on the Brut guys' faces when we keep going rounds is very rewarding.
"It's great to watch the bump in their step at the end of a day of going to the semis and knowing that we have a car that we can win with. We have a great team, and we have a lot of bonding that we're doing right now."
Capps' best result at Route 66 Raceway was a runner-up finish to Tony Pedregon in the 2002 fall event. "Ace was my crew chief then also," he said. "We did a wheelie at half-track and lost to Tony when we should have done well."