CAPPS AND VEGAS A FAST COMBINATION LAS VEGAS (April 13, 2005) - Ron Capps, new to Don Schumacher Racing this 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season, driving the Brut Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car, is in a fast relationship with The Strip at...
CAPPS AND VEGAS A FAST COMBINATION
LAS VEGAS (April 13, 2005) - Ron Capps, new to Don Schumacher Racing this 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season, driving the Brut Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car, is in a fast relationship with The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
At this quarter-mile, he established his career-best "official" top speed in the Funny Car class last year at the first of two events, a 324.75 mph run, which he then surpassed in preseason testing in January here by producing an "unofficial" 326.71-mph run in his first outing with his new team.
The Carlsbad, Calif., resident is also a winner here, in the second event of the season in 2001, where he beat Bob Gilbertson in the final round.
Capps is eager to get back to The Strip this weekend for the NHRA Nationals and get back on his horse following a pair of consecutive first-round losses which followed his stellar runner-up finish at the second race of the season in Phoenix.
With a first-round loss at the Houston, Texas, race last Sunday fresh in his mind, Capps is glad to be back on the track so quickly.
"We were kind of disgusted with our results in Houston," he says. "The great part about having a bad weekend - if you can look at the only bright side - is that we go straight to another race. For a driver it's like you're a kid in a candy store, being able to go to a back-to-back or even back-to-back-to-back races, because I love racing.
"When you have a weekend where you don't do well you want to get right back. It's like riding a horse. I'm sure Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) and (co-crew chief Dan) Olson are beating themselves up, the guys are upset, but you get a chance to make up for it the next weekend. And the thought of going to Vegas is nice.
"Tune-up-wise I feel good about this weekend because we tested here in January, which was the first time I was in the Brut Dodge. I ran a 4.759-second ET then, which is still the quickest I've gone so far in the new car. Ace also really got acclimated to the car and the track conditions. It's a high-desert track, but the track is unbelievable as far as the track surface goes.
"I've had great success here. I've been able to win here. It's also kind of a home track. A lot of my family comes here, and a lot of Ace's family. A lot of the guys are able to have their families come out because it's a great track for people to come visit. It's a great facility."
As for the track itself, drivers consider it a gem. "If the drivers make a few comments about something not being to their liking, that place jumps right on it and it's fixed the week that we leave here. They don't waste any time. (Owner) Bruton Smith wants to make sure that he gives us the best track."