CAPPS TAKES POINTS LEAD INTO VEGAS


Funny Car points leader Ron Capps has no objection to getting right back on that horse and racing again within days of the previous NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event. In fact, he welcomes it. He's more than eager to sit behind the wheel of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Funny Car at this weekend's NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and make up for a disappointing last Sunday in Houston.

Despite two first-round losses which followed two consecutive victories for the season so far, he hangs on to a 29-marker lead, a clear indicator that the Funny Car category is outrageously competitive.

"After the Houston race it's a quick turnaround for a lot of the teams to come to Las Vegas and to really have to adapt to conditions coming from sea level to the high desert," said Capps, a two-time Vegas winner and twice a runner-up.

"And, for our NAPA team, starting out with two wins, leading the points, there's a lot of confidence brewing. But it's such a difficult category right now and the competition is rising all the time. The good thing is we go to Vegas where we've had great success in the past.

"We've won there, we've runner-upped there, and it's close to home for me," said the Northern California native. "I get a lot of family to come there, my brother Jon lives there, so it's a race that we look forward to.

"Once we leave Vegas, we go back East. It's kind of the last time our families can come out and watch us and we're excited about it."


RON CAPPS QUICK FACTS:

  • * No. 1 in 2009 Funny Car points, after winning the first two races of the season in Pomona, Calif., and Phoenix. Two first rounds in the next two events
    * Leads Del Worsham by 29 points
    * Round win-loss record in 2009 is 8-2
    * Las Vegas 2 winner in 2001 and 2005; Las Vegas 1 runner-up in 2006 and 2007
    * Qualified No. 6 in 2008 Vegas 1, lost semis to Tim Wilkerson
    * No. 8 in 2008 Funny Car points; two runner-up, five semifinal, four quarterfinal finishes, 13 first-rounds
    * 2008 round win-loss record was 20-24
    * Is tied with Tony Pedregon with longest qualifying streak among active Funny Car drivers: 43
    * No. 4 in 2007 Funny Car point standings
    * Led 2007 Funny Car point standings by as much as 154 points through 14 of the first 17 races of the season
    * NAPA AUTO PARTS is primary sponsor for second straight season
    * Joined Don Schumacher Racing in 2005
    * Has three U.S. Smokeless Showdown titles: 1998, 1999 and 2002
    * Third in 2006 final point standings
    * Had class-best five wins in 2006
    * Had three wins, four runner-up finishes in 2005 (St. Louis was his first
    win for DSR in '05)
    * 2005 Funny Car championship runner-up, eight points short of title
    * Qualified No. 1 once in 2005, in Dallas; first time since Brainerd 2000
    * Has eight career No. 1 qualifiers, none in 2006, '07 or '08. One in 2009 so far
    * A perennial fan favorite, Capps has driven and won in both Top Fuel and Funny Cars since he began his pro NHRA career in 1995
    * His best season points finishes were seconds in Funny Car in 1998, 2000 and 2005
    * He has 27 event wins in 56 final rounds to his credit (26 national event wins in Funny Car, one in Top Fuel)
    * His career-best elapsed time (established during an event) is 4.694 seconds, set in 2005 in Dallas
    * His career-best speed is 331.61 mph (Pomona 1, '07)
    * Capps' career round win-loss record is 341-257
    * Capps' career record against 14-time champion Force is 18-41 in round wins. He's won 10 of the last 15 meetings against Force, and has won five of the last seven first-round match-ups over Force
    * Age 43 (June 20, 1965); born and raised in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
    * Lives in Carlsbad, Calif., with wife Shelley and daughter Taylor (7/25/96) and son Caden (7/1/01)
    * Has tested for IROC Series and competed in Skip Barber Formula Ford, Dirt Late Models, Mini-Sprints and Go-Karts

SCHEDULE:    
FRIDAY, April 3 - PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING SESSIONS at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, April 4 - PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING SESSIONS at noon and 3 p.m.
SUNDAY, April 5 - Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m. FINAL ELIMINATIONS begin at 11 a.m.

TELEVISION:    
Saturday, April 4, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 8 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, April 5, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise NHRA Race Day, a 30-minute news magazine show, at 11a.m. (ET)
Sunday, April 5, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise three hours of coverage starting at 4 p.m. (ET).
    
SATELLITE:    
Friday, April 3, 10 - 10:30 p.m. (ET), AMC 15 / Transponder 1K (11720 MHz, vertical)
Saturday, April 4, 10:30 - 11p.m. (ET), AMC 15 / Transponder 1K (11720 MHz, vertical)
Sunday, April 5, 7:30 - 8 p.m. (ET), AMC 15 / Transponder 1K (11720 MHz, vertical)


Video news release contains race action highlights each day and winners' interviews on Sunday.