2013 NHRA: Ron Capps NHRA Southern Nationals Event Preview
Ron Capps knows he's been lucky to spend nearly all of his career driving for former Funny Car drivers who became championship NHRA team owners.
The driver of Don Schumacher Racing's NAPA Brakes Dodge Charger R/T appreciates how special it will be Thursday night to watch another boss get inducted into the prestigious International Motorsports Hall of Fame at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.
First it was Don "Snake" Prudhomme in 2000, and now it will be Don Schumacher in the Class of 2013.
"I'm very lucky to be associated with two of the most prolific owners in NHRA history," said Capps, who has won 25 of his 39 NHRA titles with Don Schumacher Racing.
"The people who were inducted with Snake were unbelievable; all the historic racers who attended blew me away," Capps said of Prudhomme's class that included Mario Andretti, Craig Breedlove, A.J. Foyt, Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna. "And I know it will be the same on Thursday."
In addition to Schumacher, this year's inductees include Rick Hendrick, Rusty Wallace and Dale Inman. Schumacher is the 11th drag racer to be inducted.
"Just look who he's being inducted with Don," Capps said. "This is one of the strongest classes ever. It's a great event. I'm so happy for Don, and I'm excited to be part of it.
"It will be a proud event for us drivers to be there with Don."
ON TRACK: Capps' streak of losing in the opening round ended after three events when he advanced to the semifinals Sunday of the Spring Nationals near Houston. The NAPA Brakes driver moved up one spot to fourth in points heading to the Southern Nationals where he won the first of five event titles last year at the track closest to NAPA headquarters in Atlanta.
CAPPS' TRACK STATS FOR ATLANTA DRAGWAY, Commerce, Ga.
Last event (April 26-28, Houston): Qualified No. 11; lost in semifinals to Tim Wilkerson
A year ago at Atlanta: Qualified No. 2; defeated Robert Hight in championship round
Career at Atlanta: Wins 1 (2012); runner-ups 3 (2001. 2000. 1995); poles 0
THIS WEEKEND AT COMMERCE, GA.
Southern NHRA Nationals, Atlanta Dragway, Commerce, Ga.
Friday: 5 and 7 p.m., nitro qualifying
Saturday: 1 and 3 p.m., nitro qualifying
Sunday: 11 a.m., championship eliminations
Saturday: 6-8 p.m. (ET), qualifying
Sunday: 8-10 p.m. (ET), eliminations
Pts Races Titles Rup Semi Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2013 4th 6 1 1 3 0 0 9-5
CAREER 393 39 40 64 14 17 480-337
CAREER BEST TIME, SPEED
3.964* (5-31-12, Englishtown); 320.89 (5-31-12, Englishtown); * Quickest ever
NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES
(Standings after 6 of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. Cruz Pedregon, 470
2. MATT HAGAN, 433
3. Courtney Force, 384
4. RON CAPPS, 381
5. JOHNNY GRAY, 362
6. Tim Wilkerson, 348
7. JACK BECKMAN, 318
8. Robert Hight, 308
9. Alexis DeJoria, 295
10. Bob Tasca III, 293
2013 EVENT WINNERS: C. Force, CAPPS, GRAY, C. Pedregon, HAGAN, C. Pedregon