CARLSBAD, Calif. (Mar. 24, 2009) -Ron Capps, Funny Car points leader in the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, is shooting not only for his third NHRA Spring Nationals victory at Houston Raceway Park but also his third triumph of the season.
Winner of the first two of three 2009 national events and back-to-back Houston champion in 2006 and 2007, Capps is ready to steer the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Funny Car back into the winner's circle after a first-round loss at the last event in Gainesville, Fla.
"I say it every year,” said Capps, who leads the field by 38 markers. “No matter where we are in the standings, we don't ever start counting the points or looking at them until we're in Gainesville or Houston and things kind of settle down and the points start being what they're going to be.
"Obviously, it was a huge disappointment to go out early in Gainesville after winning the first two races. That being said, we have a car that should have won the race in Gainesville and I as a driver didn't do my job as I'm used to doing.
"The good news is that we definitely have a car that can win any race that we show up to. It's going to be a very fun year. I know we're going to see the winner's circle again, for sure.
"It's such a great feeling to have the kind of energy that our NAPA AUTO PARTS team has right now. And, going to a race like Houston where we’ve won back-to-back, elevates our adrenaline level. It's nice to return to a track you've had success at, no matter what. Any driver will tell you that.
"We seem to have a big target on our backs and that showed in Gainesville. Guys are going to take shots at you whether it's at the Christmas Tree or on the track. And it reminds me, I guess, of the old days, when you'd put a notch in your belt for knocking off somebody whose had success.
"If somebody's on a roll and you can stop his or her momentum, you feel you're helping the whole class and helping everybody in the points. It's a tough deal, but we feel the same way.
"Being the points leader also comes with being able to roll into town, get a little extra media attention and know that you have a lot of confidence in your team."
RON CAPPS QUICK FACTS:
FRIDAY, March 27 - PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING SESSIONS at 1:30 & 5 p.m.
SATURDAY, March 28 - PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING SESSIONS at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
SUNDAY, March 29 - Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m. FINAL ELIMINATIONS begin at 11 a.m.
Saturday, March 28, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise one hour of qualifying highlights at 8 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, March 29, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise NHRA Race Day, a 30-minute news magazine show, at 11a.m. (ET).
Sunday, March 29, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise three hours and thirty minutes of coverage starting at 4:30 p.m. (ET).
Friday, March 27, 9 - 9:30 p.m. (ET), AMC 15 / Transponder 1K (11720 MHz, vertical)
Saturday, March 28, 8 - 8:30p.m. (ET), AMC 15 / Transponder 1K (11720 MHz, vertical)
Sunday, March 29, 8 - 8:30 p.m. (ET), AMC 15 / Transponder 1K (11720 MHz, vertical)
Video news release contains race action highlights each day and winners' interviews on Sunday.