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2014 NHRA: Ron Capps NHRA Nationals at Brainerd Event Preview
Posted by: newsla on Aug 13, 2014 - 06:26 AM
2014 NHRA: Ron Capps NHRA Nationals at Brainerd Event Preview

It's unlikely that Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS team can overcome a substantial deficit to move up from third in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings before the Countdown to the Championship playoffs begin in a month.


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But Ron and the NAPA team are looking forward to this weekend's event at Brainerd, Minn., where a third straight title at the northern Minnesota track would help solidify their hold on the No. 3 spot when the standings reset in two races to start the Countdown.

A total of 303 points can be earned in the next two events and holding onto No. 3 is important to Ron's chances of winning his first NHRA Funny Car world championship. When the Countdown begins Sept. 12-14 near Charlotte points will be reset for the 10 qualifiers at 10-point increments.

"Every point is critical to us," he said. "We know we can't move up to first or second but we have to keep our No. 3 spot so we're no more than 40 points outside of first when the Countdown starts. We'll never forget that we lost the championship in 2012 by two points."

Ron and his family arrived Monday in Minnesota to spend a few days with his wife Shelley's family at Lindstrom, Minn., about 120 miles from Brainerd.

"We love this race and not just because we won it four times," Ron said. "We get to start the week with family and then have our NAPA fishing event on Thursday.

"We're going to Brainerd with a lot of momentum after we raced Saturday at Norwalk in the Night Under Fire. That was a blast for me and it showed how great our NAPA team is.

"Our guys had raced in seven events over the eight weeks before we went to Norwalk for the big show. I know they were tired but they worked their tails off and that showed with our last run of 4.087 (seconds) and 315 mph. They put out a big-time effort. They worked like it was an NHRA national event and not an exhibition. That's how much pride they take in their profession."

The NAPA team led by crew chief Rahn Tobler and assistant Eric Lane produced the tune-up and the work was done by crewmen Joe Chrisman, Chris Afflerbach, Mark Stewart, Adrian Long, Tyler Troxell, Dustin Heim and Bill Pickett.

"I had the fun and our NAPA guys did the hard work," Ron said. "It gave us a good chance for a little testing too."

Ron Capps, NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T
Last event Seattle (Aug. 3): Qualified No. 9; lost in first round to Cruz Pedregon
A year ago at Brainerd: Qualified No. 9; defeated Matt Hagan in championship round
Career at Brainerd: Wins 4 (2013, 2012, 2001, 1998); Runner-ups 3 (2011, 2009, 1997); Poles 1 (2000)

Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 3rd 16 1 1 7 1 6 1 0 22-15
CAREER 427 42 42 75 84 166 16 18 528-367
Best Time, Speed: 3.964* sec., (5-31-12, Englishtown, N.J.); 320.89 mph (5-31-12, Englishtown)

(Official after 16 of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS; * clinched spot in Countdown to the Championship)
driver (wins) points behind
1. *Robert Hight (5) 1,271 ----
2. *John Force (3) 1,224 -47
3. RON CAPPS (1) 989 -282
4. Courtney Force (2) 980 -291
5. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 975 -296
6. Alexis DeJoria (2) 961 -310
7. MATT HAGAN (1) 949 -322
8. Cruz Pedregon (1) 894 -377
9. Del Worsham 848 -423
10. Tim Wilkerson 815 -456
11. JACK BECKMAN 785 -486

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