CAPPS ACCEPTS FIFTH STRAIGHT INVITATION TO RACE IN PRELUDE TO THE DREAM
Will drive Super Late Model May 9 at Santa Maria Speedway in preparation for Prelude
CARLSBAD, Calif. (May 7, 2009) - Ron Capps, the Funny Car points leader in the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series driving the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge, has accepted his fifth straight invitation to drive in Tony Stewart's Fifth Annual Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway in Rossubrg, Ohio, on June 3, 2009. The event held on the half-mile clay oval will air on HBO Pay-Per-View.
Having finished ninth, fourth, 24th and 17th, respectively, in the first four events, Capps is ready to improve on his 2006 fourth-place finish and will take to the Santa Maria (Calif.) Speedway this weekend in a Super Late Model to prepare for the Prelude.
"Honestly, every year to get the phone call from Tony Stewart to be invited to run in the Prelude to the Dream is an honor," said Capps, who has won three of the first seven NHRA events of 2009. "And to watch it unfold the last four years into a high-profile racing event is incredible. What's also neat is Tony's writing that million-dollar check last year to Victory Junction Gang Camp II in Kansas City. This year, four military-themed charities will benefit from the proceeds. It's a privilege for me to compete in support of our injured and fallen heroes.
"This event on Eldora's half-mile clay oval is one of the few times in a race driver's life where you have to check your ego at the door when you walk into that place, because it is awe-inspiring," said Capps, who will pilot a NAPA AUTO PARTS-backed 2300-pound, 800-horsepower Late Model for owner Chuck Sanning. "And to be able to go into turn one and turn three in a good car and not lift off the throttle and keep it wide open is an unbelievable feeling.
"When you're driving an 8000 horsepower Funny Car, everything happens so fast you just react and you don't have time to enjoy it. Driving in the Prelude is the other way around. There's no spotters, you have the best drivers in the world all around you and you're sliding on dirt on a half-mile high-banked track. It just doesn't get any better than this."
This Saturday's race at the one-third mile Santa Maria Speedway clay oval will provide Capps a test session for the Prelude. "Every year it seems like I don't get a chance to race on dirt in a Late Model and I show up for Eldora and race against the best drivers in the world with no practice," said Capps. "And then I hear that Jeff Gordon, Juan Montoya, Carl Edwards and all these guys are off practicing a few times every year before they go to the Prelude. So, I figured it was about time that I at least got some seat time in before this year's race."
The Prelude to the Dream is an all-star dirt Late Model race featuring 25 world-renowned drivers as they battle for dirt supremacy.