CAPPS TARGETS THIRD WIN IN BRISTOL


Ron Capps has won twice at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, and he's tied for the most number of victories there with John Force and Del Worsham. He'd like to break that tie at this weekend's 10th annual event, the third of a string of four in a row in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

For the NAPA AUTO PARTS Funny Car team this is an important time as Capps and crew chief Ed “Ace” McCulloch aim to be high in the top 10 in the standings when the Countdown to 1 playoffs begin for the final six races of the season.

"We are right in the middle of this four-in-a-row stretch," said Capps, who is currently seventh in the rankings and still seeking his first championship after three runner-up season finishes, "and it's a crucial part of the season because you want to keep your head above water and stay up in the points.

"But, as we've seen in the championship chase the last few years, it really doesn't matter where you end up in the Countdown as long as you're in. And we still talk about doing some experimenting with some in-house parts that we're trying and, with the NHRA limit of just four days for testing, you have to do a lot of your testing during the races and that's what a lot of teams are doing. We heard (points leader) Robert Hight talk last weekend in Englishtown about how they're having to switch up their clutch discs, and that's something that everybody has to go through.

"We are focused on the big picture. We've come up short of the championship a few times and we've done really well in the beginning of the season at different times. We're just trying to take a step back and look down the road and see what we have to do to try to get that championship ring.

"No matter what, having a great leader like Ed McCulloch, you never get too far out of the forest. We always feel like we have a great chance of winning when we go to the starting line.

"We've been lucky enough to win in Bristol a couple of times, and we did well at the All-Star race, where I was in the final. There's just a great atmosphere there. Not only that, it's another excellent Bruton Smith track. So, it's always nice to go there, especially when you come off a race like Englishtown (first-round loss). We didn't meet our expectations on Sunday, although we qualified well."

"When you go to Bristol you know you're going to get a good track surface. Every track is going to have its nuances. That's part of the character of each track and that's when it pays off to have a talented crew chief like Ace. I feel like we're just one run away from getting our first win of the year."

RON CAPPS QUICK FACTS:

  • No. 7 in 2010 Funny Car points, after 11 events (one runner-up, two quarterfinal, four semifinal, four first rounds)
  • Has two wins in Bristol: 2001, 2006
  • Qualified No. 5 at 2009 Bristol event; lost second 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
  • 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: 74
  • 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 385-285
  • His career quickest ET at 1000 feet is 2.023 seconds (Phoenix 2009)
  • Capps' career-best speed racing to 1000 feet is 314.09 mph (Houston 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