LAS VEGAS, October 24, 2011 – Ron Capps hopes his new NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car carries him into the winner's circle at the conclusion of this weekend's 11th-annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals here on The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
With two races remaining in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season, the California native wants to finish the year on a high note.
"We're probably not going to win the championship, but you want to end the season strong for your sponsors and yourself," said Capps who sits seventh, 139 points behind his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman. "Our goal is to move up in the standings, to improve our position.
"And there is nothing better than to go to the (post-season awards) banquet having won the last two races!"
A short weekend in Phoenix due to not qualifying for the last race might ultimately have provided an edge for the NAPA team going forward.
"We had a new front half on our car in Phoenix and it never really responded to Tim's (Richards, crew chief) inputs; something that can happen with a new car," explained Capps. "But one of the nice things about being part of a great organization like DSR with a sponsor like NAPA is we had a brand-new race car with us as a backup.
"We took advantage of our early exit in Phoenix to come here and test last Monday. We pulled out the new car, slapped in a new motor and in the heat of the day went down the hot track twice at 4.21 and 4.15."
According to Capps, a strong showing at this weekend's race, at a track where he has won three times, means more than gaining ground in the standings.
"This is a great race to showcase your team and your sponsors as it comes right on the eve of the SEMA (trade) show in town which means there are a lot of additional folks attending," he explained. "There will be a lot of NAPA execs coming around and this is our chance to show them - and others who might not have realized it before - why they chose to be a part of the best sport in the world and why they picked our team to sponsor."
FRIDAY, October 28 - Full Throttle nitro qualifying 4 and 7 p.m. ET
SATURDAY, October 29 - Full Throttle nitro qualifying 2:45 and 5:30 p.m. ET
SUNDAY, October 30 - Pre-race ceremonies 1p.m. ET; Full Throttle Series eliminations begin at 2 p.m. ET
Saturday, October 29 -- ESPN2/ESPN2HD will televise two hours of qualifying highlights 10:30 - 12:30 a.m. ET
Sunday, October 30 -- ESPN2/ESPN2HD will televise three hours of final-eliminations coverage 7 - 10 p.m. ET
Wednesday, November 2 -- ESPN/ESPN2HD will re-air an hour and a half of eliminations highlights 2:30 - 4 a.m. ET
Funny Car standings following 20 of 22 races; four of six in the Countdown to the Championship: