Ron Capps Seeks Third Consecutive Win with NAPA Brakes Scheme
What was supposed to be a one-time look for Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Funny Car team has extended to three races – and counting – of campaigning the popular NAPA Brakes scheme, with its next on-track appearance slated for this weekend’s Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Ill.
At the start of the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season, Capps and the NAPA team experienced some uncharacteristic on-track struggles, with only one semifinal appearance throughout the first six events. Their luck turned around when they debuted the NAPA Brakes livery on their Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat at the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals earlier this month. It was there at the Commerce, Ga. track where Capps and the NAPA team raced to their first victory of the year.
Capps’ sprint to the Atlanta Dragway winner’s circle, coupled with tremendous fan feedback of the black-and-gold NAPA Brakes look, led the automotive parts distributor to agree to the team fielding the NAPA Brakes scheme at the very next event, the NHRA Virginia Nationals. That Sunday at Virginia Motorsports Park, Capps and his championship squad placed their NAPA Brakes Hellcat right back in the winner’s circle. The victory, Capps’ first at the suburban Richmond venue, marked his 62nd Funny Car event win and 30th with crew chief Rahn Tobler leading the team.
The special NAPA Brakes paint scheme was run in conjunction with NAPA’s month long May Brakes promotion where from May 1 to May 31, customers can get a $75 pre-paid VISA card with a qualifying NAPA Brake parts purchase of $250 or more at participating NAPA AUTO PARTS stores and/or NAPA AutoCare Centers. In addition, participating NAPA AutoCare Centers will extend this offer until the end of June. Following his back-to-back triumphs, Capps called upon NAPA and asked for their blessing to continue to run the ‘lucky livery’ at the upcoming Joliet event. NAPA opted to support the 2016 Funny Car world champion’s request to continue to field the black-and-gold Brakes body until, essentially, their luck runs out. Armed with this option, Capps took to social media to ask fans whether they wanted the NAPA Brakes Dodge to have a shot at continuing its win streak, or to return to the team’s signature blue-and-gold scheme at the upcoming Chicagoland event.
“I’ve been really, really lucky to have a lot of trips to the Chicago finals throughout my career with different crew chiefs,” said Capps, a two-time Route 66 Raceway event champion, and last year’s Funny Car runner-up. “It’s only fitting that we’re heading there with our win streak of two races with the NAPA Brakes body. It was only supposed to be one race in Atlanta, and we won there, and then they let us run it again in Richmond, and we won there too. After talking to the folks at NAPA, they let us decide if we wanted to continue to run it so, we let the fans choose on social media if they wanted us to go back to the blue-and-gold car or give it another shot with the NAPA Brakes car. The response was overwhelming; a huge thank you to our NAPA Nation NHRA fans for weighing-in. Ultimately, the general consensus was that they wanted us to bring the black-and-gold car out, so we’ll see if we can get it in the winner’s circle again and keep the streak alive.”
Capps’ two consecutive race wins allowed him to leap from ninth at the end of event No. 6, to third in the Mello Yello Funny Car championship point standings following Richmond. With 63 overall wins (62 Funny Car, 1 Top Fuel), Capps is within three race wins of tying teammate Antron Brown’s 66 career victories, which ranks Brown seventh on the NHRA Mello Yello all-time win list.
“Obviously, we couldn’t be happier with where we are at this point in the season,” said Capps. “We’ve made a big jump in the Mello Yello points and we’re going to keep chugging away and making up ground toward the teams that are ranked ahead of us.”
Capps and the NAPA Brakes Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car team begin qualifying for the Route 66 NHRA Nationals at 6:15 p.m. (CT) on Friday, May 31.