Ron Capps ends 1-year winless streak with victory in Sonoma

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Capps earns victory

SONOMA, Calif. — Popular Funny Car driver Ron Capps ended a one-year winless streak Sunday with his victory at the 23rd annual NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway.

The other winners at the 15th race in the 23-race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season were Larry Dixon (Top Fuel), Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock) and Michael Phillips (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

Capps’ team owner, Don Schumacher, switched crew chiefs — bringing in John Medlen to replace Ed McCulloch — in June and in the three races since the move, Capps reached the quarterfinals in Norwalk, the final round in Seattle and the winner’s circle in Sonoma.

“It’s all confidence and confidence is built on success,” said Capps (4.169, 296.44), who defeated Jack Beckman (4.210, 298.93) in the final round for his first win since the Mopar Mile-High Nationals in July 2009.

“It’s really a pleasure working with (John Medlen). His approach to racing is let’s have fun. Let’s win, but let’s have fun, too. I can’t even tell you how exciting that is for me.”

The win was the 31st for Capps, who moved from seventh to fifth place in the Funny Car standings and clinched a berth in the Countdown to 1 NHRA Playoffs.

In Top Fuel, Dixon (3.879, 317.12) defeated Tony Schumacher (4.006, 300.73) to remain perfect in final rounds this season, winning for the eighth time in eight trips there including twice against Schumacher.

In Pro Stock, Coughlin (6.590, 209.52) defeated Jason Line (6.502, 209.39) for his 51st career race, one shy of Joe Amato for eighth place on the wins list.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Phillips set a national record for speed with his 6.886-second pass at 196.76 mph in the final round and he needed every bit of the power to defeat Andrew Hines’ 6.909 at 194.16.

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