Capps shooting for Vegas victory
Las Vegas, pre-race: Ron Capps, crew chief Ed "Ace" McCulloch, and the entire NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team are gearing up for the final two events of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, beginning with this weekend's Eighth Annual Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and ending on Nov. 16 at Pomona (Calif.) Raceway.
Their goal is to bring home a victory for NAPA Auto Parts and Don Schumacher Racing and to finish a tough season high in the point standings.
Capps is seventh right now and, while first place is out of reach, fifth place is within sight. He is 135 points behind Robert Hight in that position. Fourth place is mathematically feasible, although a longshot. A strong performance, such as a win, could result in a sharp move up in the rankings.
"The approach to Las Vegas this year is definitely different than it has been the last few years," said Capps, who is looking for his first victory of the year. "Going back the last three years we've been in a tight battle for a championship and it feels a little strange going to Vegas and not being one of the guys fighting for a championship.
"So, the perspective changes, I think, from my point of view and probably from Ace's as well. Our goals have changed a little bit the last couple of races. We want to move up as far as we can in the POWERade points and we want to try to get a win for NAPA at one, or even both, of these last two races. And Vegas has always been a good track for me and Ace. As long as we have been working together, we've done well there."
The duo's successes at The Strip include two victories (tied with Tony Pedregon with the most Funny Car wins at The Strip) in 2001 and 2005 (both at second event of year), and runner-up finishes in 2006 and 2007 (both in the first event).
"I think we made great strides at the last race in Virginia with the performance of the NAPA Dodge (semifinal finish). The car was like a bracket car all day and I think you'll see a little different approach from Ed McCulloch in the tune-up in Vegas.
"I always look forward to Vegas," added Capps. "We're aiming for that first win of the season, and if we can help our DSR teammate Jack Beckman (second in the point standings) at the same time on Sunday, then that would be great."
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