DINWIDDIE, Va. (Oct. 7, 2009) – On behalf of NAPA, Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Funny Car team will showcase Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest breast cancer advocacy organization, at this weekend's Fourth Annual NHRA Virginia Nationals at Virginia Motorsport Park, located outside of Richmond, Va.
The body of the NAPA Dodge will sport a brilliant paint scheme as part of a unique initiative designed to raise $250,000 by highlighting the importance of preventive maintenance for both the body and the vehicle.
"We recognize the devastating effects cancer has on both the mind and body and are excited to actively join the millions fighting for a cure each day," said Bob Susor, NAPA President. "Our $250,000 donation is made on behalf of everyone affiliated with NAPA, as all of us care deeply for those affected by this debilitating disease."
The partnership includes a number of initiatives designed to help raise awareness:
* Consumers who spend $25 or more at participating NAPA AUTO PARTS Stores or NAPA AutoCare Centers during the month of October receive a unique NAPA/Susan G. Komen for the Cure travel mug free.
* The NAPA No. 55 NASCAR Sprint Cup Car will feature a Susan G. Komen for the Cure paint scheme Oct. 17 in Charlotte, N.C., (broadcast on ABC) while the NAPA NHRA Funny Car will feature a similar paint scheme Oct. 9-11 in Richmond, Va. (broadcast on ESPN2).
"Our service technicians preach the importance of regular preventive maintenance for your vehicle and the same principle applies for the attention your body needs," added Susor.
Approximately 87 percent of donations, like the one from NAPA, go directly toward Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s promise to end breast cancer forever by funding live-saving research and community outreach projects.
More details can be found at http://www.napaonline.com or http://www.komen.org.
"I am proud to be a part of this unique initiative to support a great cause," said Capps, who has previously helped raise money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure through his racing efforts apart from competing in the NHRA Full Throttle Series.
As for his effort this weekend to keep himself in the hunt for his first Funny Car championship in the fourth of six events of the Countdown to 1 playoffs: "We're pretty sure the weather conditions in Richmond are going to be much like they were last year," said Capps, who is fifth in the Countdown to 1 playoffs standings, just 88 points out of first place. "There were some outstanding runs last year when the track cooled off. We really needed a great run in Memphis (last weekend plus Monday) to get back in the hunt, and that's what we got.
"And now it's encouraging for us, and we're just hopeful the track can hold the power the teams are expected to put down. But, personally, I feel Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) and the NAPA guys have a good handle on our race car after bringing our 'old' chassis back out.
"Robert Hight went 4-flat (elapsed time) there last year and there were some low 4.0s. It could be risky, but there are 20 points looming out there for anybody who can break the national record, which we hold right now (4.023 seconds), and to back it up by one percent that same weekend.
"Don't think there's not going to be some teams shooting for that. Those extra 20 points could decide a championship," added Capps, who was runner-up in Virginia in 2000 and 2007.
RON CAPPS QUICK FACTS:
* No. 5 in Countdown to 1 playoffs, following three events of six
* Is 88 points out of first place
* No. 2 in 2009 Funny Car "regular season" after winning class-best five in seven final rounds of the first 18 races of the season (Pomona, Calif., Phoenix, Las Vegas, Topeka, Denver)
* Round win-loss record in 2009 is 34-16
* Currently holds the national record racing to 1000 feet of 4.023 seconds (Phoenix 2009)
* Richmond runner-up in 2000 and 2007
* Qualified No. 14 in 2008 Richmond, lost semifinal round to Jack Beckman
* 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: 60
* 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. Three in 2009 so far (Phoenix, St. Louis, Denver)
* 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 30 event wins in 61 final rounds to his credit (29 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 (racing to 1320 feet)
* His career-best speed is 331.61 mph (Pomona 1, '07) - racing to 1320 feet
* Capps' career round win-loss record is 367-270
* Capps' career record against 14-time champion Force is 21-41 in round wins. He's won 13 of the last 18 meetings against Force, and has won five of the last seven first-round match-ups over Force
* Age 44 (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, Oct. 9 - Professional Qualifying Sessions at 1:30 and 4 p.m.
SATURDAY, Oct. 10 - Professional Qualifying Sessions at noon and 2:30 p.m.
SUNDAY, Oct. 11 - Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m. Final Eliminations begin at 11 a.m.
Saturday, Oct. 10, ESPN and ESPN2 HD will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 10:30 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, Oct. 11, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will televise NHRA Race Day, a 30-minute pre-race show at 11 a.m. (ET).
Sunday, Oct. 11, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will televise three hours of eliminations at 7p.m. (ET).