Denver: Capps preview

Ron Capps Driver Of Don "The Snake" Prudhomme's Skoal Racing Green Camaro Funny Car The Race: 22nd annual Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals, July 20-22, Bandimere Speedway, Denver BANDIMERE SPEEDWAY HISTORY: Capps was runner-up in 1998 and ...

Ron Capps
Driver Of Don "The Snake" Prudhomme's Skoal Racing Green Camaro Funny Car

The Race:
22nd annual Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals, July 20-22, Bandimere Speedway, Denver

BANDIMERE SPEEDWAY HISTORY:
Capps was runner-up in 1998 and advanced to the quarterfinals twice (1997, 1999).

STANDING:
Sixth with 738 points after 13 of 24 NHRA Winston Series events.

LOOKING AHEAD TO MILE-HIGH NATIONALS:

Capps goes to Denver seeking to regain early-season form that had him solidly second in points after six races.  

Bandimere doesn't seem like the place to begin a rally - due to the altitude, which limits horsepower - but Capps believes the Skoal Racing Green crew will be ready to go.

"At this point in the season our team has gone into a little slump," Capps commented, "but we are determined to come back hard.  

"I like racing at Bandimere. It's a great track.  The racing surface is awesome and it has a great view of Denver and the skyline.  But the altitude has always been a problem.  Crew chiefs now have to really prove they can conquer the mountain.  

"I couldn't be happier because Ace (crew chief Ed "The Ace" McCulloch) has always done real well there and (crew member) Mike Green has won that race three times (as a crew chief for Cory McClenathan)."

McCulloch was a Top Fuel finalist three straight years (1990-92), winning in 1990. He also was crew chief for Doug Kalitta when he finished second in Top Fuel in 1999.

Last year, McCulloch's first with the Skoal Racing team, Capps qualified ninth.  He experienced a big blower explosion when he mashed the throttle in the first round.

"We want to concentrate on our immediate goal at the rest of the races this year," said Capps.  "That would be winning one race at a time.  If we can't win the title, then we want to finish second. That is what our team is focusing on right now."

Capps was runner-up to John Force in last season's championship chase.  He also was second to Force in 1998.

LOOKING BACK AT 50TH ANNIVERSARY NATIONALS:

Qualifying luck eluded Capps, who was able to make only one run at full throttle.  He stopped the timers at 4.956 seconds at 303.91 mph and held onto the No. 12 starting position.  

"The whole weekend was weird," he said.  "It's strange to struggle like we have been, but we fought through it in qualifying.  And we had a little bit of luck in the first round."

Capps needed it all, too.  He was way ahead of Pedregon when the blower belt came off and Capps began coasting toward the finish line.  Pedregon, whose car smoked the tires hard at the starting line, tried to catch Capps but he couldn't.  Capps' winning time of 6.466 seconds was the slowest of the round.

Luck deserted Capps in the quarterfinal against Gary Densham when his throttle cable broke about mid-track and Densham won.

"The car was running really good when that happened," Capps lamented.

-DPSR-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Doug Kalitta , Gary Densham , Cory McClenathan