Don Schumacher Racing press release
RON CAPPS QUALIFIES SEVENTH FOR SUNDAY’S AAA TEXAS NHRA FALL NATIONALS
ENNIS, TEXAS, September 24, 2011 – Ron Capps drove his NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car into the top-half of the field, thus securing a crucial factor - lane choice, for the first round of Sunday’s AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals here at the Texas Motorplex.
The Don Schumacher Racing driver banked a 4.167-second lap at 302.62 miles per hour in Friday’s second qualifying round to earn the seventh-starting spot and a first-round race with 10th-qualifier Tony Pedregon.
“Tony will keep us honest; he’s a great race driver,” said Capps. “This is a demanding place. If you are standing in the winner’s circle at the end of the race, especially in these (hot) conditions, you know you’ve accomplished something.
“Getting down the right lane can be challenging under normal circumstances, but even tougher under these conditions. I’m very encouraged by the way Tim (Richards, crew chief) responded to everything throughout the last two days.”
Capps believes the NAPA car’s qualifying position was not indicative of the car’s performance, especially in today’s heat which will be more like Sunday’s conditions than those encountered on Friday.
“Seventh is not a true sign of how well Tim and my NAPA guys prepared this car and combatted the Texas heat,” said the California native. “We ran well today and I was especially impressed with how well the NAPA car got down the right lane in the final session.
“It is so challenging for the crew chiefs. They have to take power out to get down the track, but that makes the car act and sound very differently, which is even tougher for the driver. I actually shut it down early on that 4.19 run (today’s first attempt) because of the sounds in the car, but even if I hadn’t, we wouldn’t have changed positions. I did that today in qualifying; on race day, I’d act differently.
“One thing – every driver has to be ready to pedal the car in this heat. It’s going to be an interesting race. We just want to go rounds and get into the winner’s circle to make up ground in the championship race.
Capps comes into the race, the second of the six-race 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship, sixth in the standings.
Cruz Pedregon will be on the pole for Sunday’s contest.