POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 8, 2010) – Ron Capps is ready to get the 23-event 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series started this weekend at the 50th annual Winternationals as the defending Funny Car event champion. He's also proud to be one of 30 different Funny Car champions of the Winternationals in its 49 years.
"Every year we get excited about what the upcoming year will be like," said Capps, who claimed a class-best five victories in 2009 and finished third in points. "And this year, kicking the season off with such a historic race in Pomona as a two-time winner here, makes for a much anticipated season start."
Capps' legendary NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge crew chief Ed "Ace" McCulloch has also won two Funny Car titles at Pomona as a driver, one of them at the Winternationals, in 1972. Team owner Don Schumacher is on the Winternationals Funny Car win list as well, as the 1973 titlist. “I have a lot of experience to draw from at Don Schumacher Racing,” added Capps.
"Once again, Ace - who always inspires me as a successful Funny Car and Top Fuel racer - and all the NAPA guys had a great test in Florida in January, which reminded me a lot of last year, when we came out of the test feeling great and ended up winning in Pomona.
"Nowadays, with the Countdown, there's not such an emphasis on the past when you had to just get the season started off well. Now, the approach is to try to win every race and do the best you can for your sponsors at every event.
"I feel like we always have a good chance of winning, if not a great chance. I feel now like we have a more complete team that can contend for a win any weekend and a championship," said Capps, who is still seeking his first Funny Car crown since going pro in 1995.
"I can tell you, in years past, when the off-season was looming, you just couldn't wait for it to come. The 2009 season was so great for us, after winning five races and finishing third, we wanted to get right back into it. I can't wait to get on the track at Pomona this weekend."
Capps' Pomona record includes two wins (1998 and 2009), a runner-up in 2006 and a No. 1 qualifier in 1999 - all at the Winternationals. He was also runner-up at Pomona 2 in 2008.
THURSDAY, Feb. 11 - PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING SESSION at 3 p.m.
FRIDAY, Feb. 12 - PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING SESSIONS at 3 p.m.
SATURDAY, Feb. 13 - PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING SESSIONS at noon and 3 p.m.
SUNDAY, Feb. 14 - Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m. FINAL ELIMINATIONS begin at 11 a.m.
Saturday, Feb. 13, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 11 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, Feb. 14, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise NHRA Race Day, a 30-minute news magazine show, at 11a.m. (ET).
Sunday, Feb. 14, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise three hours of coverage starting at 8 p.m. (ET).
SATELLITE (Analog feed):
Friday, Feb. 12, 8:30 – 9 p.m. (ET), AMC 9 / Transponder 18K (12060 MHz, vertical)
Saturday, Feb. 13, 10 –10:30p.m. (ET), AMC 9 / Transponder 18K (12060 MHz, vertical)
Sunday, Feb. 14, 10 – 10:30 p.m. (ET), AMC 9 / Transponder 18K (12060 MHz, vertical)
Video news release contains race action highlights each day and winners’ interviews on Sunday.