BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 18, 2015) – Ron Capps couldn’t come up with a better track to make a championship statement than the one in central Minnesota this weekend.
Ron and Don Schumacher Racing’s NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T team led by crew chief Rahn Tobler have paid a small price for continuing to dial-in their Funny Car for a championship run when the NHRA Countdown to the Championship begins Sept. 18-20 near Charlotte.
When racing begins Friday in the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, Ron will start ranked sixth in points but is only 37 outside of fourth and 75 away from making the top-three.
“I believe in what Tobler and our NAPA guys have been working on and we’ve got two races left to make up a lot of the ground we’ve lost the past few races,” said Ron, who has won five times at Brainerd. “And there’s no place better for us to start that climb than at Brainerd.”
The NAPA team will be going for its third NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series title of the year and fourth in a row at Brainerd.
While the stats will verify that Ron has won the last three Brainerd trophies, the last one comes with an asterisk because the rain delayed event was completed two weeks later during the U.S. Nationals outside of Indianapolis.
“I have to tell you the most bizarre experience for me ever holding up (an NHRA) Wally trophy was what happened last Labor Day Weekend during the U.S. Nationals,” he said. “It would have been more special holding that Wally if it was back in Brainerd because that’s where our NAPA AUTO PARTS team started the Mello Yello race with all my friends from NAPA and the famous ‘Zoo’ campground.
“For two weeks, I thought about racing John Force and Tobler and our guys gave me a great car and we ran a 4.02 at 320 mph to beat him. I just wish we could have done it at Brainerd.
“Brainerd has been great to me, especially the fans and our NAPA family there. That’s why I was bummed they only got to share winning in the semis there and didn’t get to be with us when we got the Brainerd trophy in Indy.
“I plan on celebrating two Brainerd wins with my Capps Corner family in the Zoo this weekend to make up for them missing out on all the fun last year.”
COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP
This weekend is the penultimate event of the 16-race Mello Yello season with only the prestigious U.S. Nationals over Labor Day Weekend near Indianapolis left before the fields of top-10 are determined to compete for NHRA world championships in the six-race Countdown to the Championship.
DSR OPEN HOUSE FOR RILEY KIDS
The 10th annual DSR Open House to benefit Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health and Camp Riley will take place Sept. 4 (Friday) at Don Schumacher Racing near Indianapolis.
Over the past 10 years, DSR with its friends, fans and family have raised over $300,000 for Riley Kids.
All seven DSR drivers and owner Don Schumacher will attend to sign autographs for an hour of the free, festive event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Open House features a giant car and bike show, “cackle fest,” silent auction, various displays and contests.
DSR is located at 1681 E. Northfield Drive in Brownsburg, Ind., a couple miles from Lucas Oil Raceway Park where the four-day NHRA U.S. Nationals opens a few hours after the DSR Open House concludes.
RON CAPPS, NAPA AUTO PARTS 2015 Dodge Charger R/T
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2015 6th 16 2 3 1 3 7 0 0 22-14
CAREER 451 45 45 77 91 175 16 18 560-388
Best Time, Speed: 3.964 sec., (2012, Englishtown, N.J.); 324.12 mph (2015, Topeka)
Last event: Seattle (Aug. 7-9, 2015): Qualified No. 8; lost in quarterfinals to Jack Beckman
A year ago at Brainerd: Qualified No. 2; defeated John Force in championship round at Indy
Career at Brainerd: Wins 5 (1998. 2001, 2012-14); Runner-ups 3 (1997, 2009, 2011); Poles 1 (2000)
2015 NHRA MELLO YELLO FUNNY CAR CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
(Official after Seattle; 16 of 24 races; DSR drivers in CAPS)
DRIVER (WINS) POINTS BEHIND
1. MATT HAGAN (4) 1,177 —-
2. JACK BECKMAN (5) 1,172 -5
3. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (2) 1,063 -114
4. John Force (2) 1,025 -152
5. Del Worsham 1,004 -173
6. RON CAPPS (2) 988 -189
7. Cruz Pedregon 872 -305
8. Tim Wilkerson (1) 870 -307
9. Alexis DeJoria 819 -358
9. Robert Hight 819 -358
About NAPA AUTO PARTS
NAPA (www.NAPAonline.com) was founded in 1925 to meet America’s growing need for an auto parts distribution system. Today NAPA has grown to more than 6,000 U.S. NAPA AUTO PARTS stores and 62 distribution centers with more than 400,000 part numbers in inventory and more than 15,000 NAPA AutoCare and AutoCare Collision Centers nationwide.
About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the 2012 NHRA Top Fuel world champion Matco Tools dragster driven by Antron Brown and the Red Fuel Powered by Schumacher dragster driven by Spencer Massey; and in Funny Car, 2011 and 2014 world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots 2015 Dodge Charger R/T, 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge of Ron Capps and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.
DSR has won 261 NHRA national event titles and 13 world championships.