Staying pretty busyMonday, April 09, 2012

Hey everyone! I just got back home from Vegas and have began this blog a few times since our Gainesville race and every time I sat down to finish it I ended up deleting and starting over.

It seems nowadays with Twitter (@NapaRonCapps) and Facebook ( ) that everything is so instant that when I sit down to write a blog on here it seems like it is such a distant thing I am writing about ... if that makes sense.

It has been pretty much same ol' same ol' since we went to semifinals at the Winternationals and we had run pretty good with our NAPA Auto Parts Funny Car at Phoenix and then again at the Gainesville race as well with a great qualifying effort and then we ran into the Prock rocket and while we ran a great 4.05 second run. Robert beat us with a 4.03 and our weekend was over.

I want to back up for a second though as we ran the March Meet the weekend prior to the Gatornationals and on Sunday of the race I was asked to come to the starting line where I was presented with the Jack Williams Award. Jack Williams was a former Top Fuel driver but made an impact on our sport of drag racing in many ways, and to get the award with his name on it was truly an honor.

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Getting the Jack Williams Award
We had a couple of weeks off, but as usual, I was staying pretty busy. We had the "Tour de Charity" kart race up at Infineon raceway once again and this year Jack Beckman and I spent the day with a sold out group of fans racing karts in the rain, it was a great time and once again we raised more money for the Speedway Childrens Charity.

I flew home to basically change clothes and grab my son Caden and drive up to the Fontana track to attend the NASCAR race and it turned out to be one heck of a day as Martin Truex, Jr. and the NAPA Auto Parts team had Caden and I hang out with them. We spent the race day morning at the NASCAR drivers meeting with Martin Truex and then I was able to introduce Caden to several other drivers, get pictures with them and even ran into actor Vince Vaughn there and chatted with him for a bit and then he kneeled down and took a picture with Caden. It was a great day.

We got to sit up on the NAPA pit box and listen to Martin and his crew chief Chad as they fought all the way up to the 8th position before the rains came and that was when we jumped in the car and headed home.

We headed to Vegas that week for our race there and spent most of the week doing media stuff with a radio tour on Thursday morning with my brother Jon, and several other TV things on Friday before qualifying.

We surely didn’t have the weekend we expected and we didn’t qualify, which was topped by Tim Richards resigning from DSR. It has made this week a very interesting week as we are going to have Rahn Tobler leading our NAPA Auto Parts team starting in Charlotte next weekend.

I have been very lucky to have had worked with three great crew chiefs at DSR with of course my mentor Ed McCulloch (for many years at Don Prudhomme’s team and then of course all the years here at DSR), then John Medlen for a short time and then of course Tim Richards. While I am very bummed out that Tim is no longer my crew chief, I am very, very excited to drive for Rahn Tobler as we have been teammates for a long time at DSR.

I know that NAPA Auto Parts is going to be thrilled with the results we are going to have the rest of this 2012 season. There was a short time during the off season prior to the 2011 season that Rahn was possibly going to be tuning the NAPA Auto Parts Funny Car as John Medlen was having to help get our in-house DSR machine shop running and wasn’t going to be able to concentrate on tuning our car.

Don was vigorously working on getting funding for Jack's car and didn’t have anything concrete and Rahn Tobler and I talked for a brief time about starting out that season working together until Don was able to put our new sponsor Aaron's and Valvoline NextGen together for a full season and that team went on to have a great 2011 season of course.

I have been blessed to have the same core group of crew members that have worked and raced with me at DSR since we wore the Brut cologne colors and then stayed together as a team when we were lucky enough to have NAPA Auto Parts join DSR and they have been a huge part of my family as sometimes it seems like we are actually together more than we are with our own families.

While it doesn’t happen as much in our sport, you see NASCAR teams swapping complete crews at times and even crew chiefs all the time. The cool part about what Don has built at DSR is that the crew member on all seven teams are all great at what they do and they all enjoy what they do, and the same can be said for our crew chiefs and drivers. Trust me, there is a reason that DSR has all those trophies.

You have to keep in mind how much more difficult a Funny Car is to tune for these crew chiefs than a dragster, you can ask any of the top crew chiefs in the sport and will attest to it and when you have any prominent sponsor like we have at DSR, winning a few races and being top 5 in points isn’t in our vocabulary, we want to constantly be the best.

I can tell you that there has been numerous times that one or more of the crew chiefs has helped another crew chief in our organization, and there have been many times (now included) that a crew chief and team will run a new part that DSR designed to see if it is going to help us be a stronger team as a whole. Believe me ... it happens more times than you probably realize and that is what makes our teams so strong.

Our teams are back in Indy and hopefully will be able to enjoy a good Easter weekend with their families and then we will be off to Charlotte for the 4 wide race and our Full Throttle schedule is gonna start kicking into gear a little bit with races getting a little more frequent.

The reality at home is setting in as Taylor is taking her driver’s test and I am letting her drive a little more frequently around the house and that for me is hard to watch our little girl grow up...ugh.

Thanks again for all the nice words from our fans, we really appreciate it!

Talk to you soon.