NHRA: NAPA extends sponsorship of 2016 Funny Car champ Ron Capps

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Fans of NHRA Funny Car driver Ron Capps won’t have to look hard to recognize his car or firesuit in 2019 — they’ll look very similar to what he drove and wore in 2018.

Don Schumacher Racing announced Wednesday that NAPA Auto Parts has extended its contract to sponsor Capps’ Funny Car in a new multi-year agreement.

NAPA first appeared on the side of Capps’ car in 2007 as an associate sponsor, and became primary sponsor the following season. During the 11-year tenure between NAPA, DSR and Capps, the latter has won 36 races, 15 poles, and the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship.

“The longevity of our relationship speaks volumes, and we look forward to many more wins, championships and years representing NAPA Auto Parts,” team owner Don Schumacher said in a media release.

Added Capps, “It’s been an honor to represent the thousands of NAPA Auto Parts stores and NAPA AutoCare Center owners, employees and customers for the last decade, both on and off the race track. Our race fans are as passionate as they come and I’m elated about our future with NAPA Auto Parts and our continued goal to be number one.”

Capps, who has earned 60 wins in his Funny Car career – second-most in NHRA Funny Car annals behind John Force (16 championships, 149 wins) will be celebrating his 25th season as a professional NHRA competitor in 2019.

The upcoming season, which begins at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California, February 8-10, will also mark Capps’ 15th season with DSR.

Capps is coming off a strong 2018 season, winning three races and claiming one No. 1 qualifier position in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT HellCat en route to a fourth-place finish in the Funny Car ranks.

With NAPA now locked up for the next few years, DSR is still seeking a replacement sponsor for the U.S. Army, which did not extend its contract following the just completed 2018 NHRA season.

The Army was primary sponsor for nearly 20 years of eight-time Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher, as well as associate sponsor on the Top Fuel dragsters of Antron Brown and Leah Pritchett.

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Dean Wilson out for rest of Supercross season

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“Such a massive gut punch on Saturday,” Dean Wilson wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye.”

With that post, Wilson announced that he will be out for the remainder of the Supercross season, which includes races at East Rutherford, N.J. and Las Vegas, Nev. An MRI earlier in the week revealed a shoulder injury. He also sustained damage to his kidney in a Lap 8 accident while he was running in the top 10.

Wilson’s injuries will not require surgery.

Wilson’s season began with a lot of promise. Earning the holeshot in the season-opening race at Anaheim, Wilson led for a time before narrowly missing the podium in fourth.

Two weeks later, Wilson finished fifth overall in the Triple Crown event of Anaheim II. Those are his only top-fives of the season.

“The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year,” Wilson continued.

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Such a massive gut punch on Saturday. Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye. Started off Denver topping free practice then went on to qualify P1 in qualifier 1. Qualifier 2 didn’t get the cleanest laps but ended with a 4th. On to the main event I was running around 7th on lap 7 moving forward and as I came around for the rhythm section I tripled in and something freak happened causing the bike to nose dive after I tripled in and pile driving me into the ground. The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year. It’s tough just hoping to have a ride each year. 2nd part is people saying “wilson’s hurt again, big surprise there” when it was something that wasn’t my fault. It’s a tough pill To swallow.. I injured my shoulder and got a contusion on my kidneys. Got MRI and good news is I dodged a bullet on my shoulder and I am just going to give it a few weeks of rest and therapy and see where we are at. Huge disappointment to end my SX season like this. Thanks to my whole team for everything and everybody checking in on me. I really appreciate it. I will be back.

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Next Race: East Rutherford April. 27, on NBCSN and on NBC Sports Gold

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