FUNNY CAR POINTS LEADER CAPPS HEADS 'HOME' TO SONOMA SONOMA, Calif. (July 24, 2007) - For the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points leader Ron Capps, racing at this weekend's Fram-Autolite NHRA Nationals is like coming home. Born...
FUNNY CAR POINTS LEADER CAPPS HEADS 'HOME' TO SONOMA
SONOMA, Calif. (July 24, 2007) - For the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points leader Ron Capps, racing at this weekend's Fram-Autolite NHRA Nationals is like coming home.
Born in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and raised in the Bay Area, Capps plans to enjoy part of this week before and after the event with family now that he's clinched a spot in the top eight for the Countdown to the Championship playoff, which begins at the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day. But don't think the driver of the Brut "Test Drive" Dodge Charger R/T is getting complacent. Far from it. He hasn't won a Funny Car national event at this track since 1997, and he'd like to score another victory for his family and his Don Schumacher Racing team led by legendary Ed "Ace" McCulloch.
"It's great to clinch," said Capps, who is 149 points ahead of Robert Hight in the rankings. "It's great to know that we're in it, but we still want to roll into the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend as the points leader.
"We built those points up for a reason. If we want to test some things during a race weekend we could still do that, but, honestly, it's all about peaking at the right time, and we've said it before: We want to get to Indy and be peaking for the Countdown.
"Knock on wood, but we haven't had anything fall off the car, no oildowns, and the Brut guys have done a great job giving Ace a great car," during this grueling back-to-back six-race swing (Sonoma is the sixth), as well as all year. "Yeah, we lost to Ashley Force first round in Seattle on Sunday," Capps added, "but the car went down the track and it ran a pretty good number. A lot of people may not realize how good we still ran.
"If we had smoked the tires, that would have been a hard pill to swallow. Even when we lose we can't hang our heads too low. I hate to lose, but I try to pep Ace up and remind him that he's doing a great job."
As for the Sonoma event, "I am so looking forward to Sonoma and to the week off after it's over," said Capps, who has won three events this season, more than any other Funny Car driver. "I have so much family and friends that come to Sonoma and then we're all going down to a lake where I grew up right after that right down the road.
"Sonoma has always been kind of a home track for me and since Bruton (Smith, track owner) built the place up, I've tried to get friends and family to go there. It's a fantastic place and we're going to have some wine tasting after the press conference on Wednesday, and just do a lot of fun stuff off the track, but it won't keep us from continuing to try to keep up our momentum on the quarter-mile.
"We love to work with the people at Infineon, including p.r. guy John Cardinale and everyone else the track, because they take care of you. And we love what they do. Whether it's the go-kart race for the Children's Charities, the Eric Medlen dinner, or the press conference in the city, it's always a first-class effort."