Brainerd: Ron Capps preview

BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 9, 2004) - In all walks of sports, players and squads experience highs and lows during certain stretches of any season. Recently, Ron Capps and the green Skoal Racing crew have been in two of the closest races the Funny Car...

BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 9, 2004) - In all walks of sports, players and squads experience highs and lows during certain stretches of any season. Recently, Ron Capps and the green Skoal Racing crew have been in two of the closest races the Funny Car category has seen this season, losing both rounds by just a matter of inches.

"Those things are going to happen," Capps said. "The first round races at Seattle and Sonoma (Calif.) were tough, but we ran into a car that's battling for the championship. On the bright side, to run right with them gives us a lot of encouragement. We know we have a car that has a good chance to win on Sunday."

Winning rounds on Sunday is the goal of Capps and veteran tuner Roland Leong as the NHRA heads to The Northstar State the second weekend in August for the 23rd annual Lucas Oil Nationals, Aug. 12-15, at Brainerd International Raceway, where Capps has driven his Don "The Snake" Prudhomme-owned Funny Car to the winner's circle twice.

"I've won there twice, so it's a place we love to go each summer," Capps said. "The fans at Brainerd are great. You get a lot of fans and the big campground is quite different from most of the tracks we visit. It's a real festive atmosphere in the campground. Also, when you get to Brainerd, you know Indy is coming up real soon and that's the one race we all want to win."

Winning is something at which Capps and Leong had great success during their first stint together0x2022from May 1997 through the 1999 NHRA season. The duo combined for seven wins and a second place finish in the Funny Car points chase in 1998. Now, their immediate goal is to find a consistent tune-up so that Capps can be on the winning end of these all-to-often close finishes.

"Friday's night qualifying session is so important," Capps said. "If you don't run quick Friday night, you probably won't improve on Saturday afternoon. We need to improve our qualifying position and then things will turn our way. I'm very confident of that, and I know Roland (Leong) is working toward that. I love Roland's attitude and approach to everything, and I know we be winning races soon."

Winning races at Brainerd is something that Capps is quite familiar with and should the Capps/Leong/Prudhomme combination have a solid outing in qualifying, there's an excellent chance they'll be competing late in the afternoon on race day at B.I.R.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps