ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 11, 2009) – NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Funny Car points leader Ron Capps is ready to get back to winning at this weekend's NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J. He's the 2006 Funny Car champion at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park and would like to earn another victory at this historic venue.
After using the previous event in Joliet, Ill., to basically test components and tune-ups on the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge he drives for Don Schumacher Racing, he's ready to attack each qualifying and eliminations round this weekend head-on as he and crew chief Ed "Ace" McCulloch aim to add to his season's tally of four wins in five final rounds.
"We're going to one of the more historic races we have on our schedule this weekend," said Capps, who enjoys a 58-point lead over Tony Pedregon, despite his first-round loss in Joliet. "Really, I was overwhelmed by finally getting to win this race a few years ago.
"When you look back at this event over the years it’s been very instrumental in the growth of the popularity of the NHRA, which I remember hearing and reading about when I was growing up in California. And, for a driver, it's also a track, when cool conditions prevail, that can definitely hold some record-setting runs, but it can also be pretty hot, humid and tricky here. Right now the weather looks like it's going to be kind of in-between this weekend.
"The NAPA team tested some things in Joliet, and given the fact that we had a strong points lead, we felt it was something we had to do, especially with the new limits to testing the NHRA has imposed. This limit to four days of testing is going to be a factor, especially later in the year.
"You'll see the NAPA car this weekend back to the way it's been running most of the season. This is the third race of three in a row, and considering that we went out in the first round in Chicago and are still leading the points is a testament to Ace and the awesome NAPA crew."
Besides winning in Englishtown in 2006, Capps was the Funny Car runner-up in 2003 and 2005.
RON CAPPS QUICK FACTS:
*No. 1 in 2009 Funny Car points, after winning four in five final rounds of the first 10 races of the season (Pomona, Calif., Phoenix, Las Vegas, Topeka)
* Leads Tony Pedregon by 58 points
* Round win-loss record in 2009 is 21-6
* E-town winner in 2006; runner-up in 2003 and 2005
* Qualified seventh in E-town in 2008, lost first round to Mike Neff
* 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: 49
* 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
* 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 29 event wins in 59 final rounds to his credit (28 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 354-261
* Capps' career record against 14-time champion Force is 20-41 in round wins. He's won 12 of the last 17 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, June 12 - PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING SESSIONS at 3 and 6 p.m.
SATURDAY, June 13 - PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING SESSIONS at noon and 3 p.m.
SUNDAY, June 14 - Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m. FINAL ELIMINATIONS begin at 11 a.m.
Saturday, June 13, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise one hour of qualifying highlights at 7 p.m. (ET).
Saturday, June 13, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise one hour of qualifying highlights at 11:30 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, June 14, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise NHRA Race Day, a 30-minute news magazine show, at noon (ET).
Sunday, June 14, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise three hours of coverage starting at 10 p.m. (ET).
SATELLITE (Analog feed):
Friday, June 12, 10 - 10:30 p.m. (ET), AMC 15 / Transponder 3K (11760 MHz, vertical)
Saturday, June 13, 6:30 - 7 p.m. (ET), AMC 15 / Transponder 3K (11760 MHz, vertical)
Sunday, June 14, 6:30 - 7 p.m. (ET), AMC 15 / Transponder 3K (11760 MHz, vertical)
Video news release contains race action highlights each day and winners’ interviews on Sunday.