CAPPS TOUGHS IT OUT IN 2010 PRELUDE
ROSSBURG, Ohio (June 11, 2010) - Ron Capps survived a tough Prelude to the Dream Wednesday night, finishing 20th in a field of 27 Late Models racing on Eldora Speedway's one-half-mile dirt oval to benefit four charities. Fifteen percent of the proceeds earned at the event went to Team Riley to benefit the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.
Team Riley consisted of Capps, in the NAPA AUTO PARTS entry, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Allgaier, Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Kenny Wallace and team captain Clint Bowyer.
Capps, who is usually behind the wheel of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger Funny Car in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, qualified last for the event, but ended up sixth of nine cars in his heat. He was relegated, however, to 26th position for the Main, while event organizer Tony Stewart started dead last in hopes of earning an additional $50,000 for his team if he won the event, courtesy of IMIS. He ended up sixth.
"Man, they were banging and beating and running into each other," said Capps, who has participated in every Prelude since its inception. "When we unloaded the car, it was great. We were as quick as anybody else in the first hot laps, and then the guys made some adjustments to the car to make it better and just went in the wrong direction. The car was so tight I couldn't even drive it into the corners on the qualifying laps.
"But they made a great call before the Main. We went out and the car was real good on the bottom. I was passing quite a few people and making my way up, but having to start near the back was difficult, because you can get caught up in wrecks that you could avoid if you started up further. For the whole race you just fight your way to get back up.
"It was a tough night, but it was also a lot of fun. It was great to meet some of the new guys, like Travis Pastrana and Ricky Carmichael, and see some of the guys I've raced with in the Prelude in the past, like Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and of course Tony Stewart. There was a lot of hoopla over the event and a lot of money raised.
"Already everybody is looking towards next year and how to get better for next year. It's such a big event; I'm circling the date on my calendar for 2011."
As for the Controversial Capps Cone Caper (you'll have to watch a replay of the race), "They put that commitment cone out there to keep everybody honest on the restarts and not passing before you get to the start-finish line," Capps explained. "We already had six or seven cautions by that time and it was becoming quite a free-for-all on the restarts. Prior to that guys were jumping and passing people coming out of turn 4 already making passes, and I was getting passed before the start-finish line, so I thought, All right, if I can't beat them I'll just join them. Travis Pastrana jumped and went underneath some people and I followed him down there and the next thing I know there's the cone out there with a rope tied to it that has to get pulled back after everybody goes by, and I hit it.
"As I was going down the track I knew something was wrong with the car, something was under it, I could feel it, and they were begging me to stop so they could get it untangled. And, ironically, a couple of cautions later, my NAPA teammate Michael Waltrip's driver David Reutimann also hit that cone. It was funny, because I had already been through it and here I was following him around and he had the rope caught on the back of his car and he was dragging the cone.
"The cone took a lot of abuse that night."
Next up for Ron Capps is this weekend's 41st annual NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J.