WEATHER IN READING STILL AN ISSUE FOR CAPPS AND BRUT REVOLUTION TEAM MOHNTON, Pa. (Sept. 27, 2006) - It was only two weeks ago that the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway were re-scheduled because of rain to this coming weekend....
WEATHER IN READING STILL AN ISSUE FOR CAPPS AND BRUT REVOLUTION TEAM
MOHNTON, Pa. (Sept. 27, 2006) - It was only two weeks ago that the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway were re-scheduled because of rain to this coming weekend. But the weather remains the No. 1 topic of conversation and concern for points leader Ron Capps and the Brut Revolution Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team as they return to Pennsylvania.
And it's not the possibility of rain again so much as it is the temperature. Temperatures in the Northeast are predicted to barely reach 60 degrees all weekend. While teams often wish for cooler conditions to help increase the performance of their 7000-plus-horsepower machines, it can sometimes get too cold.
Following the conclusion of this weekend's event outside of Reading, Pa., the teams travel to Richmond, Va., for the 21st of 23 season events. "Maple Grove is going to prepare us for Virginia," said Capps, who is enjoying a 37-point lead over second-place John Force following the O'Reilly Fall Nationals in Dallas on Sunday, "because it's going to be most likely cold there too.
"The crews often thrive on the cool conditions at this time of year, but there's also a point where it gets too cold. It's similar to when a track is too hot. It poses a whole new problem, trying to figure out the Goodyear tire in the cool conditions. Not even cool, cold conditions, I should say."
The face on the battle for the Funny Car championship has suddenly changed, as Robert Hight has now joined the fray in third place, 93 points behind Capps, following his two consecutive victories. "The cold conditions will change the approach for everyone," said Capps. "It's another curve ball thrown at the crew chiefs, especially at Ace (Capps' crew chief Ed McCulloch), Austin Coil (Force's crew chief) and Jimmy Prock (Hight's crew chief), the guys battling for a championship right now.
"It's going to be very interesting," added Capps, who also receives support from Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels. "You're going to have to be on your toes."
Capps is still dizzy from his first-round triumph over Force in Dallas on Sunday, earning him 20 valuable points on Force as the championship chase comes down to these last four events of the season. "The round 1 win over Force was, as I said before, epic," he said. "Up to that point that was probably the biggest round of my career personally and I had probably the least amount of sleep I've ever gotten on a Saturday night.
"Prior to that run, I wasn't doing so good. My stomach was a little tied up and Ace grabbed me by both shoulders and stood in front of me and told me not to worry, that this first round certainly wouldn't be the end of a championship for either team, but it was surely going to set the pace. And those were his exact words. He was about three inches from my face with both hands on my shoulders. It was a pretty neat moment."
Capps is looking for his first Funny Car championship following three runner-up career finishes, and has never won a Funny Car event at Maple Grove Raceway.