Runner-up in 2007, Capps aims to step up this weekend
Chicago, pre-race: Ron Capps, the Funny Car runner-up to his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Gary Scelzi in last year's Route 66 NHRA Nationals and the winner of the 2005 fall event here, is ready for a second victory this weekend at the driver-friendly Route 66 Raceway.
Driving the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, Capps has jumped up in the last few races from outside of the top 10 into sixth place in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car rankings. He's focused on staying high in the standings when the Countdown to the Championship kicks in for the top 10 following the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend.
"Like I talked about last week in my blog on www.napaautoparts.com ," said Capps, who also was runner-up here in the 2002 fall event, "we are getting into the part of the schedule where adversity is going to be thrown at all of the teams, with the triple-digit track temperatures we expect at all these tracks coming up. You look at Englishtown, N.J., and Norwalk, Ohio, after Chicago, and they're all places we expect to have to run in the heat.
"But Route 66 is a place where the track surface is one of the best we have on the circuit," added Capps, who holds the longest qualifying streak among active Funny Car drivers of 24 (tied with Tony Pedregon). "It will withstand the heat thrown at it and still stay pretty good, much like last weekend in Topeka (where track temperatures reached a sizzling 130 degrees).
"I feel so good about the performance of the NAPA Dodge in the heat. You look back at the championships (14-time champion and Topeka winner) John Force has won in the years past and he has always won them in those summer months at those race tracks that had tough conditions.
"I feel great about the NAPA team right now," said Capps, who'll be competing in the Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway Wednesday night which airs on HBO's Pay-Per-View. "Our confidence level is up and I'm most happy for Don Schumacher and for NAPA Auto Parts. Obviously, we're trying to give NAPA a winner's circle. They have a lot of plans on hold right now for a celebration for our first win and we're very eager to get it for them."
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