SONOMA, Calif. (Aug. 2, 2015) – Success in professional drag racing is not always based on leaving with the trophy of the day.
Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car has accomplished that twice this year, but this weekend’s Sonoma NHRA Nationals near San Francisco was successful for the team it strives to peak for the six-race Countdown to the Championship that begins after the next three Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events.
The NAPA team qualified fourth on a run that damaged the 2015 Dodge Charger carbonfiber body after an engine malfunction Friday night led to a fireball encapsulating Ron in the cockpit. But the NAPA team led by crew chief Rahn Tobler and assistant Eric Lane got the car ready to produce two solid, consistent 4.091- and 4.058-second runs in his 450th race in the Mello Yello Series.
“When you sit back and reflect on things, it’s great,” said Ron, who lost a close race in the quarterfinals Sunday during championship eliminations a couple hours after being inducted into the Sonoma Raceway Wall of Fame.
“It’s the American Dream to want to be a race car driver and you can achieve those goals. That’s a lot of NHRA races, 450. I’m still in awe of this morning’s Wall of Fame induction here. I would have loved to have capped it off with a win. That’s the way it goes out here. We lost a very close race.
“We want to move back up in the points and get ready for the Countdown. It’s so important to get ready for the Countdown and these races before Indy (over Labor Day Weekend). That’s a big one for us to win.”
The Sonoma Nationals was the second of three races in three weeks that comprise the Western Swing that will include a Mello Yello race next weekend at Seattle.
Winner: Jack Beckman (Don Schumacher Racing),
No. 1 qualifier: Beckman, 3.921 sec.-NATIONAL RECORD/quickest ever, 323.43 mph
RON CAPPS, NAPA AUTO PARTS 2015 Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 4
First round: CAPPS (4.376 sec., 260.56) def. Jeff Diehl (10.602, 70.95)
Quarterfinals: Robert Hight (4.095, 312.21) CAPPS (4.113, 311.27)
SATURDAY: 4.091 sec., 315.56 mph, (Session 3); 4.058, 313.58, (Session 4)
FRIDAY: 4.025., 316.82, (Session 1); 3.970, 322.19, (Session 2)
2015 NHRA MELLO YELLO FUNNY CAR CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
(Unofficial after Sonoma; 15 of 24 races; DSR drivers in CAPS)
DRIVER (WINS) POINTS BEHIND
1. MATT HAGAN (4) 1,142 —–
2. JACK BECKMAN (5) 1,065 -77
3. John Force (2) 948 -194
4. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 947 -195
5. RON CAPPS (2) 935 -207
6. Del Worsham 902 -240
7. Cruz Pedregon 855 -287
8. Tim Wilkerson (1) 815 -327
9. Robert Hight 784 -358
10. Alexis DeJoria 765 -377
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 260 NHRA national event titles and 13 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing