CARLSBAD, Calif. (May 27, 2009) – Following what was to be a “one-off” appearance of the Ron Capps-driven Adaptive One Brakes Dodge Funny Car body at Bristol Dragway last week, NAPA AUTO PARTS has opted to run the body one more time at this weekend’s NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka, the ninth round of the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
“It’s a cool design representing a great product,” said Capps, the class points leader and winner of three of the first eight national events of the season. “And we’d like nothing better than to put it in the winner’s circle in Topeka.”
Adaptive One Brake Pads are designed to reduce noise and brake dust without sacrificing the "stop-on-a-dime" braking power. During the month of May, NAPA is offering a great rebate of up to $90 on a four-wheel brake job using NAPA’s Adaptive One Brake Pads. For all the rebate details, consumers may go to www.AdaptiveOne.com.
With one third of the season completed, Capps is not concerned that his points lead has dropped to 57 markers over second place. “Our lead was diminished a little bit before going to St. Louis and we opened it up to over five rounds of racing after that,” he said. “But, to be honest with you, we're not even looking at the points. The approach this year has always been to focus on the next run in front of us.
“So far, it's worked great,” added Capps, the two-time Topeka titlist who is seeking his first series championship. “I didn't even know who was in second place going into the last three races. I hadn't even glanced at the points. We’re not that worried about it. If we keep up what we've been doing we will be leading the points when we go into the Countdown (the last six races of the year). All the points are going to come with the success that we plan to have the remainder of this regular season.”
This weekend’s Summer Nationals begin a three-event series of back-to-back races during the warmer spring months. “Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) is showing that when the conditions warrant it he has a tune-up that can run with anybody,” said Capps. “Now that we're going to the tracks that in the past have been a little trickier in warmer weather, he already knows he can run well in those conditions. We’re looking forward to running these next few races.
“Heartland Park is a track that historically has been a place where if you get cloud cover it’s as good as any track. But, more than likely, it’s going to be warm there. And that's when a team has to grit it out. Everybody has to dig down deep. It can be very demanding on everybody, not just the driver.
“We’ve won twice in Topeka and the last time (in 2006) it was approaching 100 degrees in air temperature. Those are the days you really relish winning. At the end of the day you want to fall over because you're so exhausted. You know you gave it ever bit you had.”
RON CAPPS QUICK FACTS:
* No. 1 in 2009 Funny Car points, after winning three of the first eight races of the season (Pomona, Calif., Phoenix and Las Vegas)
* Leads Del Worsham by 57 points
* Round win-loss record in 2009 is 17-5
* Topeka winner in 1998 and 2006; runner-up in 2000
* Qualified fourth in Topeka in 2008, lost semifinal round to John Force
* 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: 47
* 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 nine career No. 1 qualifiers, none in 2006, '07 or '08. Two 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 28 event wins in 58 final rounds to his credit (27 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 350-260
* Capps' career record against 14-time champion Force is 19-41 in round wins. He's won 11 of the last 16 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
FRIDAY, May 29 - PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING SESSIONS at 4 and 6:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, May 30 - PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING SESSIONS at 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
SUNDAY, May 31 - Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m. FINAL ELIMINATIONS begin at 11 a.m.
Saturday, May 30 ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 8 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, May 31 ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will televise NHRA Race Day, at 11 a.m. (ET). Sunday, May 31 ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will televise three hours of eliminations at 4 p.m. (ET).
SATELLITE (Analog feed):
Friday, May 29, 10:30 - 11 p.m. (ET), AMC 15 / Transponder 3K (11760 MHz, vertical)
Saturday, May 30, 8 - 8:30p.m. (ET), AMC 15 / Transponder 3K (11760 MHz, vertical)
Sunday, May 31, 7:30 - 8 p.m. (ET), AMC 15 / Transponder 3K (11760 MHz, vertical)
Video news release contains race action highlights each day and winners' interviews on Sunday.