Capps Houston preview

Ron Capps Driver Of Don "The Snake" Prudhomme'S Skoal Racing Green Camaro Funny Car The Race: 14th annual O'Reilly Nationals, Houston Raceway Park, Baytown, Texas, March 23-25 Houston Raceway Park Track History: First Funny Car ...

Ron Capps
Driver Of Don "The Snake" Prudhomme'S Skoal Racing Green Camaro Funny Car The Race:
14th annual O'Reilly Nationals, Houston Raceway Park, Baytown, Texas, March 23-25

Houston Raceway Park Track History:
First Funny Car driver to exceed 315 mph (315.45), October 1997 Best elapsed time: 4.858 seconds, October 2000 Semifinalist, April 2000

Standing:
Third place, 129 points, after two of 24 NHRA Winston Series races. (Gatornationals was postponed until April 21 by rain Sunday at Gainesville, Fla.)

Looking ahead to the O'Reilly Nationals

"We've had the quickest Funny Car fields at the last two races - Phoenix and Gainesville, Fla. - and now we're going to another track that is capable of good times. That shows how tough Funny Car competition is this year," said Capps.

He won three rounds of racing at Raceway Park last year, equaling the number of round wins he had in his previous eight starts at the track, dating back to when he drove in Top Fuel in 1995-96.

"Drivers will tell you there are certain tracks where they usually don't seem to find very good luck. Houston is that way to me," added Capps, who missed the starting lineup at both races in 1999. "We just haven't had much luck there since I ran the 315 (in 1997)."

Last year, Capps was a semifinalist in the spring and a quarterfinalist in the fall.

"We had a good year compared to our others at the track," he said. "We're looking forward to just getting back to racing.

Capps' last event was Feb. 18, so he was definitely happy to get to Gainesville and climb into the racecar.

"With that much time between races it almost felt like we were in the off-season and coming back to go testing," Capps commented. "I felt a little rusty. It seemed like the engine was making weird noises. It just took a little time to get reacquainted with the sounds and feel of the car. We all know what to do and how to do it, it's just a matter of getting comfortable.

"I really enjoy being at a racetrack and the whole competitive feeling that I get. I'd race every day if I could."

Looking back at the Gatornationals

There was a serious drought in northern and central Florida until the NHRA drivers arrived in Gainesville. The drought isn't over, but Sunday's rainfall may have helped wet the parched land, but it did force eliminations to be postponed until April 21.

Funny Car drivers set a record for the quickest field (from John Force's 4.812 seconds to Chuck Etchells' 4.960) and fastest field (18 drivers exceeded 300 mph, marking the first time all 16 qualifiers had equaled or surpassed 300 mph

Capps was the first Skoal Racing Camaro at No. 5 - 4.889 seconds at 311.14. "We achieved the goal of getting qualified on our first run," he said. "That run was so easy it was like driving down Pacific Coast Highway.

"We took a shot at No. 1 qualifier a couple of times after that to see what the track would hold." The car experienced traction problems and Capps aborted the runs.

He races Johnny Gray in the first round when the Gatornationals is run.

<pre> Ron Capps Facts:

Birthdate: 6/20/65 Hometown: Carlsbad, Calif. Career wins: 9 (eight Funny Car, one Top Fuel) Final rounds: 20 (18 Funny Car, 2 Top Fuel) Last win: 10/8/00 at Memphis Last final round: 10/8/00 at Memphis Best Funny Car elapsed time: 4.811 seconds ('00 Dallas) Best Funny Car speed: 315.45 mph ('97 Houston II)

-Joe Sherk

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Chuck Etchells , Johnny Gray