CAPPS LOOKS FOR VEGAS REPEAT WHILE TESTING
NEW GOODYEAR TIRE


Ron Capps will be testing a new Goodyear tire at this weekend's 11th annual NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway while he goes for his second straight victory at this event.

Driving the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger, Capps defeated his teammate Matt Hagan at The Strip last year to capture his third victory at this track and the first at this event. He's the 2001 and 2005 LV2 champion, and was also runner-up at LV1 in 2006 and 2007.

"Even though it's early in the year, and the teams are not really focused on points quite yet, Vegas is going to be a pivotal race in the 2010 season," he said, "because Goodyear has just come out with a new tire that will be available for the Vegas race and will probably be mandatory from St. Louis on.

"I think you're going to see a lot of teams start running the tire right away," added Capps, third in the point standings after five of 23 events, behind John Force and Hagan. "We know the tire will be quite a bit different, and you have to applaud Goodyear for staying on top of the advancement in technology. The biggest thing we'll face is having the crew chiefs adapt to this new tire. When a new tire comes out, more often than not, it's never a 'throw it on and continue down the road' situation. It's going to be quite a bit of change.

"Some teams will adapt quickly and some not. So, we'll see. We hope we can adapt pretty quickly to the tire, but we're not going to wait until St. Louis to run it.

"What's great about Don Schumacher Racing, among all the crew chiefs and all the teams, is the communication that we're able to have when something like this happens. That's the benefit of having all these great crew chiefs around. The drivers can relay back to the crew chiefs what they feel with this new tire and the crew chiefs will work on adapting to it.  

"At this time of the year in Vegas the conditions are still pretty good. It's not too hot out and we know the track is a great track, so you can always take that out of the variables. And it's obviously been great for me. I've won there three times.

"We're third in points right now after Matt (Hagan) won the Houston race," said Capps. "It was great to have my teammate Hagan go around us in points. I've never said that before where I was actually happy that somebody went around me in points. Hagan's team is a young team. (Crew chiefs) Tommy DeLago and John Medlen have done a great job, and it's neat to see their communication with Ace (Capps' crew chief Ed McCulloch). It was neat to stick around and watch Matt win.

“I think all of the DSR teams are going to get better and better, but the Vegas race is a good place to start making a move back toward the top of the points."

RON CAPPS QUICK FACTS:

  • No. 3 in 2010 Funny Car points, after five events (one runner-up, one quarterfinal, two semifinal, one first round)
  • Has three wins at The Strip: LV2 in 2001 and 2005; Runner-up at LV1 in 2006 and 2007
  • Qualified No. 6 at 2009 LV1; won event over teammate Matt Hagan
  • 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 in 12 of the first 14 events
  • Currently holds the national record racing to 1000 feet of 4.023 seconds (Phoenix 2009)
  • Qualified No. 1 three times in 2009 (Phoenix, St. Louis, Denver); none in 2010 so far
  • Has nine career No. 1 qualifiers
  • No. 8 in 2008 Funny Car points; two runner-up, five semifinal, four quarterfinal finishes, 13 first-rounds
  • Is tied with Tony Pedregon with longest qualifying streak among active Funny Car drivers: 68
  • 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 third 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
  • 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 62 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 380-279
  • Capps' career-best speed racing to 1000 feet is 313.80 mph (Concord 2010)
  • (THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE THE FOUR-WIDE RACE IN CONCORD) Capps' career record against 14-time champion John Force is 22-42 in round wins. He's won 14 of the last 20 meetings against Force, and has won five of the last seven first-round match-ups over Force. His final-round record against Force is 3-1
  • 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