CAPPS AND VEGAS: DEJA VU "ALL OVER AGAIN" LAS VEGAS (Oct. 24, 2006) - Ron Capps is having a bad case of deja vu as the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series comes down to the final two events of the season. He finds himself in second place to...
CAPPS AND VEGAS: DEJA VU "ALL OVER AGAIN"
LAS VEGAS (Oct. 24, 2006) - Ron Capps is having a bad case of deja vu as the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series comes down to the final two events of the season. He finds himself in second place to John Force in the Funny Car point standings and once again in a three-way battle for the crown.
It was exactly one year ago when he was in a similar position entering the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This time, the driver of the Brut Revolution Dodge Charger R/T is looking for a different outcome. In 2005 he ended the season second to teammate Gary Scelzi in the most hotly-contested championship in NHRA history. Having led the point standings for most of 2006, Capps is aiming to land his first Funny Car title after three career runner-up finishes.
"We're in a precarious position again this year," says Capps, who receives additional support from Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels. "We went into Vegas (in 2005) with not a whole lot of pressure. We were in third place at the time. In Dallas, the race before Vegas, we were No. 1 qualifier and went a couple of rounds. We were 57 points back of Force going into Vegas, and Gary and the Mopar/Oakley team were only 21 ahead. We didn't feel a whole lot of pressure and we went there to win that race.
"I remember Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) telling me that's what the plan was, to go in there and win the next two races and let the points lay where they were going to lay. And that's what happened. We went into Vegas, we won the race, beat Gary in the final, Force went out first round and everybody knows what happened then. We moved into second place, and went to Pomona all tied together, or pretty close."
The plan for the end of this season is the same: "Ace, the guys and I talked on the phone from the shop and that's the plan," says Capps. "The first thing Ace told me was we're going to concentrate on winning both races, and the other guys are going to have to go as many rounds as they can. If we do our job, then we're going to have another exciting chase right down to the end in Pomona."
At this stage, Capps is 46 points behind Force and eight points ahead of Robert Hight. He has won five times in eight final rounds and led the point standings following 17 of the 21 events so far.
"We're going to two different tracks now that are going to decide the championship, both with very good track surfaces," he adds. "We expect to have very good weather. It looks like it will be in the mid-70s in Vegas. When you get down to a point of a season like this, you start counting every single thing. Well, we've been counting all year long. And there's a reason why we're in this chase down to the end. It's because we did so well earlier in the year. Force has struggled at times and Robert Hight's team has struggled at times. Frankly, they probably weren't struggling. Our Brut Revolution team seemed to do real well early on and it made it look like everybody else was struggling at the time."
Capps is a two-time Las Vegas 2 winner: in 2001 and 2005.