POMONA 09 EVENT CHAMP CAPPS SET FOR
NHRA SEASON START


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.

RON CAPPS QUICK FACTS:
  • Ended 2009 season No. 3 in the point standings
  • Won class-best five events in 2009 - Pomona 1, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Topeka, Denver - in seven final rounds
  • Entered 2009 Countdown to 1 No. 2 in 2009 Funny Car "regular season" after leading standings in12 of the first 14 events
  • Qualified No. 1 three times in 2009
  • Round win-loss record in 2009 is 39-19
  • Currently holds the national record racing to 1000 feet of 4.023 seconds (Phoenix 2009)
  • Pomona 1 winner in 1998 and 2009, Pomona 1 runner-up in 2006, Pomona 2 runner-up in 2008
  • Pomona 1 low qualifier in 1999
  • Qualified No. 13 in 2009 Pomona 1, won event over Jim Head
  • 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: 63
  • 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  (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 372-274
  • Capps' career-best speed racing to 1000 feet is 310.55 mph (Las Vegas 2, 2009)
  • Capps' career record against 14-time champion John 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


WEEKEND SCHEDULE:      
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.
 
TELEVISION:    
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.