CAPPS SETS HIS SIGHTS ON SEATTLE SUCCESS

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CAPPS SETS HIS SIGHTS ON SEATTLE SUCCESS

CARLSBAD, Calif. (July 6, 2010) - Ron Capps is eager to return to the NHRA Northwest Nationals this weekend at Pacific Raceways in Washington State, the site of his first professional NHRA victory, back in 1995, when he won his only Top Fuel national event of his career.

Since then, he has won 29 titles in the Funny Car class, including his 1998 triumph in Seattle. He was also runner-up at the NHRA Northwest Nationals in 2001, 2006 and 2008, and No. 1 qualifier in 1997. So, it's safe to say that Seattle is a favorite venue for the California native who drives the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger Funny Car in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

"Seattle has always been a great place in my career,” said Capps, who is currently eighth in the class point standings and still seeking his first season victory. "It has a great atmosphere, people come down from Canada to watch, and it's an area that has major drag-racing fans.

"I remember back in the old days when you had all the NHRA big hitters in the '70s match racing up there. So, being able to win there in Top Fuel and Funny Car and knowing it's a place that's always been good to me in my career, is nice. But it doesn't equate to much as far as what you can apply to the car nowadays."

Capps and the NAPA team are adjusting to the crew chief change that was made before the last race in Norwalk, Ohio, when John Medlen took over, with Capps' longtime tuner Ed "Ace" McCulloch becoming a consultant for the three Funny Car teams under the Don Schumacher Racing umbrella.

"It's well documented that you don't have to have the best car most of the season up until Indy (the first of six events in the Countdown to 1 playoffs)," said Capps. "It really does you no good.

"What excites me right now is how the NAPA team feels after Norwalk, how encouraged they are, and how tuned in John Medlen is. "Clinching a spot in the Countdown and all that's going to be fine and dandy, but being able to work our way back to where our NAPA Dodge belongs is going to be a fun time.

"I've always said that you learn the character of a person and a team when you're not doing so well at the track. I've got the best team in the world, there's no doubt about it. There was more cheerleading going on for each other trying to help out when we were struggling, than anything else. That tells me how good a team that we have.

"When you go through spots like we did the last few races and you see the light at the end of the tunnel, it's encouraging, and you can't wait to get to the track on Thursday, see all of your team members, then put on your fire suit on Friday and get ready to make your first run."

RON CAPPS QUICK FACTS:
* No. 8 in 2010 Funny Car points, after 13 events (one runner-up, three quarterfinal, four semifinal, five first rounds)
* Won Seattle twice: in 1995 in Top Fuel, in 1998 in Funny Car. Runner-up in 2001, 2006 and 2008
* Qualified No. 6 at 2009 Seattle event; lost semifinal to Tim Wilkerson
* Was No. 1 qualifier in Seattle in 1997
* Ended 2009 season No. 3 in the point standings
* Won class-best five events in 2009 - Pomona 1, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Topeka, Denver - in seven final rounds
* Entered 2009 Countdown to 1 No. 2 in Funny Car "regular season" after leading standings in 12 of the first 14 events
* Qualified No. 1 three times in 2009 (Phoenix, St. Louis, Denver); none in 2010 so far
* Has nine career No. 1 qualifiers
* No. 8 in 2008 Funny Car points; two runner-up, five semifinal, four
quarterfinal finishes, 13 first-rounds
* Is tied with Tony Pedregon with longest qualifying streak among active
Funny Car drivers: 76
* No. 4 in 2007 Funny Car point standings
* Led 2007 Funny Car point standings by as much as 154 points through 14 of the first 17 races of the season
* NAPA AUTO PARTS is primary sponsor for third straight season
* Joined Don Schumacher Racing in 2005
* Has three U.S. Smokeless Showdown titles: 1998, 1999 and 2002
* Third in 2006 final point standings, with class-best five wins
* Had three wins, four runner-up finishes in 2005 (St. Louis was his first win for DSR in '05)
* 2005 Funny Car championship runner-up, eight points short of title
* A perennial fan favorite, Capps has driven and won in both Top Fuel and
Funny Cars since he began his pro NHRA career in 1995
* His best season points finishes were seconds in Funny Car in 1998, 2000 and 2005
* He has 30 event wins in 62 final rounds to his credit (29 national event wins in Funny Car, one in Top Fuel)
* His career-best elapsed time (established during an event) is 4.694
seconds, set in 2005 in Dallas (racing to 1320 feet)
* His career-best speed is 331.61 mph (Pomona 1, '07) - racing to 1320 feet
* Capps' career round win-loss record is 385-286
* His career quickest ET at 1000 feet is 2.023 seconds (Phoenix 2009)
* Capps' career-best speed racing to 1000 feet is 314.09 mph (Houston 2010)
* (THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE THE FOUR-WIDE RACE IN CONCORD) Capps' career record against 14-time champion John Force is 22-42 in round wins. He's won 14 of the last 20 meetings against Force, and has won five of the last seven first-round match-ups over Force. His final-round record against Force is 3-1
* Age 45 (June 20, 1965); born and raised in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
* Lives in Carlsbad, Calif., with wife Shelley and daughter Taylor (7/25/96)
and son Caden (7/1/01)
* Has tested for IROC Series and competed in Skip Barber Formula Ford, Dirt Late Models, Mini-Sprints and Go-Karts

SCHEDULE:      
FRIDAY, July 9 - FULL THROTTLE SERIES qualifying at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, July 10 - FULL THROTTLE SERIES qualifying at noon and 3 p.m.
SUNDAY, July 11 - Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m. FULL THROTTLE SERIES eliminations begin at 11 a.m.
 
TELEVISION:  
Saturday, July 10, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 10 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, July 11, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise NHRA Race Day, a 30-minute news magazine show, at 11 a.m. (ET).
Sunday, July 11, ESPN3.com will televise three hours of coverage starting at 7 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, July 11, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise two hours of coverage starting at 11:30 p.m. (ET).
                             
SATELLITE:   
Friday, July 9, 10 - 10:30 p.m. (ET), AMC 1 / Transponder 18K
(Digital SD feed)  
Saturday, July 10, 9:30 - 10 p.m. (ET), AMC 1 / Transponder 18K
Sunday, July 11, 10:30 - 11 p.m. (ET), AMC 1 / Transponder 18K                         
(12060 MHz, vertical; Data Rate: 18.295441161 Mbp; Symbol Rate: 13.235 Ms; FEC: ?; Bandwidth: 18 Mhz)
Video news release contains race action highlights each day and winners’ interviews on Sunday.
 

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