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Jun 17, 2014 - 05:43 PM
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2014 NHRA: Ron Capps NHRA New England Nationals Event Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jun 17, 2014 - 05:42 PM
2014 NHRA: Ron Capps NHRA New England Nationals Event Preview

Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team head to Epping, N.H., for the second event of the most grueling stretch of the regular season.


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The second annual NHRA New England Nationals begins Friday and the NAPA team knows the next three races over three weeks are critical to how it enters the six-race Countdown to the Championship.

Last weekend marked the 10th event of the 24-race season but the Rahn Tobler-led team that qualified an impressive third at Bristol Dragway was foiled by a tricky, hot racetrack on Sunday that helped sideline the NAPA Dodge in the first round of eliminations.

"It was disappointing and this season it seems like something always comes up that keeps us from going deep into eliminations on Sundays," said Ron, who owns 41 NHRA Wally trophies.

"But I have all the confidence in our NAPA team and we're getting close to getting this turned around."

Sunday's opening-round loss made it 17 straight Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events that ended without Ron pulling into a winner's circle. His fourth loss in the opening round this season contributed to him dropping two spots to seventh in the season standings.

The highlight of the Bristol weekend for Ron was seeing John Collins, the former assistant crew chief for the NAPA team, win the Funny Car title with Don Schumacher Racing's Make-A-Wish team.

"That was so cool to see J.C. win his first Wally as a crew chief. He's worked hard and I couldn't be happier for him."

A year ago at Epping, Ron qualified fourth and advanced to the semifinals.

"I know the track will be good and it will be a lot cooler than it was at Bristol," he said of a New England forecast for highs in the mid-70s compared to temperatures more than 10 degrees higher last weekend.

"It will be great to race in New England for the second time. I look forward to seeing a lot of people from our NAPA family I already know from that area, and it will be fun to have them as our guests in the NAPA Club Nitro pavilion at the track."

Last event Englishtown, N.J. (June 1): Qualified No. 4; lost in first round to Tony Pedregon
A year ago at Bristol: Qualified No. 5; lost in first round to Chad Head
Career at Bristol: Wins 3 (2012, 2006, 2001; Runner-ups 0; Poles 0

Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 7th 10 0 0 5 1 4 1 0 11-10
CAREER 421 41 41 73 84 164 16 18 517-362
Best Time, Speed: 3.964* sec., (5-31-12, Englishtown, N.J.); 320.89 mph (5-31-12, Englishtown)

NHRA MELLO YELLO STANDINGS (after 10 of 24 events)
driver (wins) points points behind
1. Robert Hight (4) 905 ----
2. John Force (1) 640 -265
3. TOMMY JOHNSON JR.(1) 627 -278
4. Alexis DeJoria (2) 619 -286
5. Del Worsham 593 -312
6. Courtney Force (1) 581 -324
7. RON CAPPS 571 -334
8. Cruz Pedregon (1) 538 -367
9. Tim Wilkerson 533 -372
10. MATT HAGAN 527 -378
11. JACK BECKMAN 512 -383

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