CAPPS RETURNS TO ST. LOUIS TO ADD TO HIS WIN RECORD


Ron Capps returns to Gateway International Raceway for this weekend's 14th annual NHRA Midwest Nationals as the top Funny Car winner at this track located outside of St. Louis. Capps, who drives the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger for Don Schumacher Racing, boasts three victories at Gateway, more than any of his competitors. He'd like to add to that record on Sunday by scoring his first triumph of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season.

"St. Louis has always been special to me and our team," said Capps, fourth in the point standings after six of 23 events so far. "Obviously, winning there as many times as we have is something that makes you fond of going back to that track.

"More than that for me is that I won the inaugural race there (in 1997) and it also was my very first Funny Car win. For many years that race was held in temperatures of over 100 degrees, and the humidity was very high. And we've always said that it takes a big team effort to win a race like that because you really have to come together as a team. The driver has to do his job and the crew chief has to be on his game to get the car down the track in those conditions.

"In 2007, when we won our last race in St. Louis, we faced some challenges," added Capps, who has 30 wins in 62 final rounds to his credit. "Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) was sick with cancer and he went into surgery that weekend and that was the first time Ace had missed a race and I missed him pointing at me through the windshield at the starting line.

"We ended up winning the race with (assistant crew chief) Ronnie Thompson on the phone talking to Ace after every run while Ace was in the hospital in Indianapolis. And we presented the trophy to him after winning the race.

"So, for many reasons this race has become special to me. I believe that championships have been won on these hot and humid tracks. Having the Countdown now takes away from that a little bit, but I still think that a team can show what it's made of at races like the ones we run in St. Louis."

Capps also won at Gateway in 2005 and was runner-up last year to Del Worsham after qualifying No. 1.

RON CAPPS QUICK FACTS:

  • No. 4 in 2010 Funny Car points, after six events (one runner-up, one quarterfinal, two semifinal, two first rounds)
  • Has three wins at Gateway: 1997, 2005 and 2007 and one runner-up in 2009
  • Qualified No. 1 at 2009 Gateway event; was runner-up to Del Worsham
  • 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: 69
  • 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 unny 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 380-280
  • 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