CAPPS TO RACE NAPA BATTERIES DODGE IN CHICAGO


Ron Capps will race the NAPA Batteries Dodge Charger Funny Car in this weekend's 13th annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Ill., as part of a month-long NAPA AUTO PARTS promotion. He'll be aiming for his first victory of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

Consumers can visit a NAPA AUTO PARTS store or a NAPA AutoCare Center in June and get the following mail-in rebates: $20 rebate on the NAPA Optima Heavy-Duty batteries, $15 rebate on NAPA Legend 84-month batteries and $10 rebate on all NAPA LEGEND 75-month batteries.

"NAPA always has great promotions," said Capps, "so I hope our fans take advantage of these offers then come out to Route 66 Raceway to root for us this weekend.

"This is the start of four races in a row, and then we run into the three-race, back-to-back Western Swing, and before we can blink we'll be at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend," added Capps, who last won at Route 66 in 2005. "So, this is a crucial part of the season to make sure we stay in the top 10 in order to fight for a championship in the Countdown to 1 playoffs in the final six events of the year.

"Route 66 Raceway has proven in the past that it can hold national records, fast speeds and great elapsed times, and when they changed the date from the fall to June, the warm weather became a factor.

"One great thing about the track is that the crew chiefs can pretty much count on it being as good as it's going to get for the weather conditions. So that takes a little bit of a variable out.

"And, coming from Heartland Park Topeka (Kan.), where I think we saw only one car in the nitro classes smoke the tires on Sunday, we know how a track can be prepared. Heartland Park and the NHRA did a great job.

"I believe everyone learned something in Topeka. And that excites us as drivers, because we know we're going to be in the heat, we know we're going to a track that in the past held some great ETs, and we know the crew chiefs can throw a little more at it. It's reassuring to know that the crew chiefs won't have to deal with bumps and other aspects of a track surface that would cause them to have to slow the cars down for certain spots on the track.

"On top of that, the Chicago-area race is really big because our team owner Don Schumacher lives there, there's always a lot of customers of Schumacher Electric and other sponsors at the event, as well as a lot of local fans of DSR. And, although it's not always said, there's a little bit of extra pressure on the team to hand the trophy over to Don in the winner's circle that he could literally drive over to his house and put on the mantle.

"And that's something you always want to do as a driver."

RON CAPPS QUICK FACTS:

  • No. 3 in 2010 Funny Car points, after nine events (one runner-up, two quarterfinal, four semifinal, two first rounds)
  • Has one win at Route 66, in 2005 fall event
  • Qualified No. 16 at 2009 Chicago event; lost first round to Tony Pedregon
  • 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: 72
  • 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 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 385-283
  • 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