Topeka: Ronn Capps preview

CAPPS AND BRUT DODGE TEAM ON PLAN TOPEKA, Kan. (May 26, 2005) - Following their strong fourth run of the season to the semifinals in Columbus, Ohio, last weekend, Ron Capps and the Brut Dodge Stratus Funny Car team are on plan to improve on ...

CAPPS AND BRUT DODGE TEAM ON PLAN

TOPEKA, Kan. (May 26, 2005) - Following their strong fourth run of the season to the semifinals in Columbus, Ohio, last weekend, Ron Capps and the Brut Dodge Stratus Funny Car team are on plan to improve on those results at the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals this weekend at Heartland Park Topeka (Kan.).

Capps, who has also notched one runner-up finish this year, is eager to complete this first three-race NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series swing of the year with a trip to the winner's circle. He has one win here, in 1998, when he beat Al Hofmann in a chilly midnight run. The Carlsbad, Calif., driver was also runner-up here in 2000.

"We're right in the middle of the six-races-in-seven-weeks swing, and the end of the first three-in-a-row," he said, "and everything is really coming into plan. Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch), (co-crew chief Dan) Olson and (team owner) Don Schumacher and I had a talk before going into this string of six races. We concluded that we could easily come out of this hurt in points, or we could easily come out of this three-race swing having benefited from it and move up in points."

Since Bristol, Capps has indeed moved up in points, from eighth to sixth. "We feel good, especially after Columbus," where he was defeated by eventual event winner John Force in the semifinal. "Ace and Dan just did a great job on Sunday. We were consistent, the Brut Dodge was just a great car to drive on a very tricky race track. I'm excited not only about Topeka, but about the races coming up past Topeka.

"We keep gradually moving up in points," he added. "I looked at the point standings and noticed that, even though we're in sixth place, we're only a few rounds out of second place. Ace is very focused right now. His favorite saying is, 'Just keep focused on your job at hand.' And that means concentrate on each round. We need to work on qualifying better, and that's what Ace's and Olson's goals are for the next few races.

"Heartland Park is one of those super tracks that were built years ago and when it was first built it held every record for many of the first years that it was around until the other tracks caught up to it.

"We can never underestimate Topeka. We know that this time of year it could be tricky with the weather, but it's a very, very good race track. And being on Memorial Day weekend, there's going to be a huge crowd."

SCHEDULE: On Friday, May 27, professional qualifying sessions are at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, May 28, pro sessions are scheduled for noon and 3 p.m. On Sunday, May 29, final eliminations begin at 11 a.m.

TELEVISION: On Saturday, May 28, ESPN will televise one hour of qualifying highlights at 8 p.m. (ET). On Sunday, May 29, ESPN2 will televise three hours of eliminations at 8 p.m. (ET). Also on Sunday, May 29, ESPN2 will televise NHRA 2Day, a 30-minute magazine show at 11:30 a.m. (ET).

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Al Hofmann , Ron Capps , John Force , Don Schumacher