POMONA, Calif. - There is nothing Ron Capps likes more than racing on the West Coast, especially when races are at Auto Club Raceway in Southern California not far from his home in Carlsbad or at Sonoma, Calif., which is close to where he grew up in San Luis Obispo.
Ron is able to drive his motorhome to those tracks and spend weekends with his family, extended family and friends. The veteran driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T for Don Schumacher Racing relishes the time, but has to balance that with focusing on his job.
"It can get hectic, but I've been doing this long enough and they understand when I have to be with our NAPA team."
Ron has been successful at the Pomona track where he has won three Winternationals titles in four championship round appearances.
His sights are set on winning his first NHRA world championship after finishing second behind Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman by a Funny Car-record two points last year.
But Ron won't have an easy path to winning his fourth Winternationals title; he faces 15-time world champion John Force in the opening round on Sunday. If he and Beckman win their first two races in eliminations, they would meet in the semifinals.
"As tight as the competition is out here you cannot think past your next race. You just can't do it. We had a good run on Friday and the 4.073 (at 311.92 mph) on our first run Saturday put us in the top half of the bracket and that's huge."
Crew chief Rahn Tobler, like other team leaders, had to conquer temperatures around 80 on Friday and Saturday, but a cooler forecast for Sunday with highs in the 60s will present a different set of challenges.
"Weather changes like what we're going to see is perfect for Rahn," Ron said. "Situations like these are where his experience pays off."
Don Schumacher Racing