Streaking Capps one of three DSR Funny Car drivers with NHRA titles at legendary New Jersey dragstrip


Three Funny Car drivers at Don Schumacher Racing have won NHRA titles at fabled Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J.

The most recent winner at E-Town for DSR can win another title at the track this weekend in the 43rd annual Toyota NHRA SuperNationals.

The first DSR driver who won there can win again but won't have to don a firesuit and helmet to do so.

Ron Capps, driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T, won the Englishtown title in 2006.

And 34 years before that, DSR owner Don Schumacher drove to the title in 1972 for one of his five NHRA titles as a driver/owner, who has added 175 titles solely as an owner.

Capps, now 45, was 7 years old when his current boss won at Englishtown.

"That is good trivia. It's cool," Capps said.

"There is so much history at Englishtown. As a kid in California I went with my dad to great dragstrips like Lion's, Irwindale, Ontario ... all legendary dragstrips. But everybody on the West Coast talked about Englishtown in New Jersey.

"I never thought one day I'd be able to go there let alone race there and win."

The other DSR Funny Car driver to win there was Whit Bazemore in 2003.

Capps recalls the year he won the race when it was held on Father's Day.

"That just made it better; to be able to look at that trophy and remember it happened on Father's Day."

This Sunday won't be Father's Day, but it could be another memorable race day for Capps, who has advanced to a career-best four consecutive championship rounds with crew chief Rahn Tobler and assistant crew chief John Collins. The team won the event title on May 6 at Atlanta Dragway.

The NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T has moved solidly into second place in NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series standings and has been by far the best Funny Car team since Tobler took the helm April 1.

"I've been so much more relaxed," Capps of the team's run. "My confidence is there again, and I attribute that to Rahn, John and the whole NAPA team.

"This car has made it to the finish line under power for 49 of its last 50 runs, and that is unheard of. In qualifying a couple races back after we ran a 4.16 - and that was good on a hot track - you would have thought we hadn't qualified. The expectations are always so high and that's what drives this team."

PRELUDE TO THE PRELUDE

Capps is surely focused on this weekend's Full Throttle event, but he also is looking toward to June 6th when he returns to drive in NASCAR star Tony Stewart's eighth annual Prelude to the Dream dirt Late Model all-star race at Eldora Speedway at Rossburg, Ohio.

Capps is one of a few drivers who will have competed in each Prelude to the Dream that includes top drivers from NASCAR, IndyCar and World of Outlaws. Cruz Pedregon will be the only other NHRA competitor in the field.

Capps, who has three top-10 finishes, will drive the NAPA AUTO PARTS entry owned by Kennedy Motorsports.

Proceeds from the event, which will be shown live on HBO pay-per-view, will support "Feed the Children."

RON CAPPS: NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T AT ENGLISHTOWN
In 2011: Lost in semifinals to Mike Neff
Career: Wins 1 (2006); runner-ups 2 (2003, 2005); poles 0

STATISTICS

(Updated through Topeka, Kan.; 8th of 23 events)

2012 Pts W Rup Poles DNQ Win/Loss
Ron Capps 2nd 1 2 0 1 16-6
Career Titles Rup Poles DNQ Win/Loss
Ron Capps 34 38 11 17 441-321
NITRO SCHEDULE:

FRIDAY: Qualifying, 3:45 and 6:15 p.m.
SATURDAY: Qualifying, noon and 2:30 p.m.
SUNDAY: Championship eliminations, 11 a.m.

ESPN SCHEDULE

SATURDAY: Qualifying, 4:30-6 p.m. (ET, delayed) on ESPN
SUNDAY: Championship eliminations, 4:30-7 p.m. (ET, delayed) on ESPN2

Race Facts

(Through eight of 23 events; DSR drivers capitalized)

  1. Robert Hight, 775
  2. RON CAPPS, 596
  3. Mike Neff, 557
  4. JACK BECKMAN, 491
  5. Cruz Pedregon, 467
  6. JOHNNY GRAY, 438
  7. Bob Tasca III, 419
  8. John Force, 386
  9. Courtney Force, 358
  10. Jeff Arend, 355
  11. MATT HAGAN, 288