CAPPS HOPES NEW SETUP LEADS TO ROUND WINS AT JOLIET

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When things aren?t going as planned, sometimes you need to make a change. And after struggling during qualifying at the NHRA event in Commerce, Ga. last weekend, Ron Capps trio of co-crew chiefs John Stewart, Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler felt a change was in order for Capps and the green Skoal RacingSM Chevy Funny Car to make a strong run towards the top 10 of the NHRA Funny Car standings. The benefit for team owner Don ?the Snake? Prudhomme of having two Funny Cars in his three-car drag racing stable is that each flopper car can try different things or take a slightly different approach to running the car. If one tactic works better, you can apply that to the other car to increase its performance level. ?We?ve seen the benefits of two cars ever since John Force came out with a second car in the mid-1990s,? Capps said. ?Look at the majority of the successful cars out there and they come from multi-car crews. The further we get into the summer months and the tracks are a little tricky and the conditions are a little more difficult, the benefits of having two cars really stand out.? Capps? fellow Skoal Racing Funny Car driver Tommy Johnson Jr. has been running a somewhat different setup on his blue Skoal Racing Monte Carlo, which has seen Johnson qualify well and post solid numbers at the past few NHRA races. With that in mind, Stewart, Okuhara and Shuler decided to apply the setup in Johnson?s Skoal Racing flopper to Capps? hot rod after the completion of qualifying in Georgia. Despite falling to No. 2 qualifier Whit Bazemore in the opening round at Atlanta Dragway, Capps recorded his best elapsed time of the weekend (4.945 seconds) in one of the closest matches of the day. With the new setup that has shown its consistency in Johnson?s car and an extra day of testing in Georgia, Capps, a 14-time NHRA event winner, hopes to make some noise when the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series makes it first visit to Route 66 Raceway, May 20-23, for the seventh annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals. ?We tested at Atlanta and toyed with different clutch setups and different ways to run the car that we think will be advantageous through the hot, summer months,? Capps said. ?We?re going to see a lot of tricky track conditions the next few weeks and we need to be ready for it.? With both Skoal Racing floppers using similar setups, there?s an excellent chance that the consistent tune-up that Johnson has experienced the past few events will pay off for the green Skoal Racing Funny Car with a strong showing at Joliet and further on. 2004 NHRA Funny Car Point Standings 1. Del Worsham (2) 513 - - - 2. Whit Bazemore (1) 462 51 out 3. John Force (1) 450 63 out 4. Tim Wilkerson (1) 427 86 out 5. Gary Scelzi 416 97 out 6. Gary Densham 406 107 out 7. Eric Medlen 400 113 out 8. Phil Burkart Jr. (1) 397 116 out 9. Jerry Toliver (1) 369 144 out 10. Tony Pedregon 337 176 out 13. RON CAPPS 247 266 out Ron Capps? Career Results at Route 66 Raceway (spring event) Year Qualified Finish & Winning Driver 1998 No. 3 Second round?Whit Bazemore 1999 No. 12 First round?Randy Anderson 2000 No. 4 Semifinals?John Force 2001 No. 4 First round?Whit Bazemore 2002 No. 8 First round?Gary Densham 2003 No. 8 Second round?John Lawson Ron Capps? Joliet Schedule Date & Time Location Thurs., 5-20 6-8 p.m. Buffalo Wild Wings (777 E. Broughton Rd., Bolingbrook, IL 60440, 630-739-2999) Fri., 5-21 5 and 8 p.m. FC qualifying sessions 1 & 2 Sat., 5-22 1 and 4 p.m. FC qualifying sessions 3 & 4 Sun., 5-23 10 a.m. Pre-race ceremonies 11 a.m. Final eliminations
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