CAPPS NEEDS WINGS AND A PRAYER TO WIN FIRST FUNNY CAR CROWN POMONA, Calif. (Oct. 30, 2007) - Ron Capps needs some high-speed wings and a prayer to win his first Funny Car championship at the final event of the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing...
CAPPS NEEDS WINGS AND A PRAYER TO WIN FIRST FUNNY CAR CROWN
POMONA, Calif. (Oct. 30, 2007) - Ron Capps needs some high-speed wings and a prayer to win his first Funny Car championship at the final event of the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series this weekend, the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Pomona Raceway, the last phase of the new Countdown to One playoffs.
After he (No. 4 in points) and two of the other drivers in the top four made first-round exits at last weekend's Las Vegas event, No. 1 Tony Pedregon advanced to victory. That provided Pedregon with a nearly insurmountable 91-point lead over second-place Gary Scelzi, and a 113-point margin over fourth-place Ron Capps.
If Capps, who will finish the 2007 season driving the Brut Revolution Dodge Charger R/T for Don Schumacher Racing, has any chance of earning his first Funny Car championship, the 8000-horsepower Brut Dodge he drives will have to sprout a pair of wings to fly him down the quarter-mile and set a national record this weekend for 20 bonus points, as well as win the event. A prayer to keep Pedregon from even qualifying will help.
Capps, who led the Funny Car standings through 14 of the first 17 events this season by as much as 154 points and who would be the leader (unofficially) by 18 markers over Tony Pedregon under the old points system coming into this final event, is as determined as ever to become the bride instead of the bridesmaid.
"You saw what we did in Richmond," said Capps of scratching his way back into the top four to earn a spot in the Countdown to One in his last opportunity to do so. "When our backs were against the wall we came out swinging, and if there's a crack in the door, we're going to blast it open in Pomona.
"Pomona is Pomona. It's going to be an emotional week because of (NHRA founder who recently passed away) Wally Parks not being there. One of my last conversations with him was him telling me I was going to be a champion some day.
"I'm hoping to have a very good Pomona," said Capps, who lives in nearby Carlsbad, Calif. "I've won there and I've had some pretty decent times there, but it's been a while since I've had great success in Pomona. That place is kind of home to me. It's a unique race with qualifying on Thursday afternoon and again on Friday and Saturday afternoons.
"You have a different mindset going into Pomona. Pomona Raceway is a very, very fast track with a very short shutdown area. You have to be on your game as a Funny Car driver. It demands every bit of your experience and your guts, to be honest with you. So I'd like to be able to go in there and kind of break that jinx of winning there again.
"It's fitting, with Wally Parks passing way and us going to Pomona, to have the Countdown come down to like it is. It's going to be exciting. NHRA says the ticket sales already are sky high."
Capps' best results at Pomona were a Funny Car win in 1998 (Pomona 1), a Funny Car runner-up in 2006 (Pomona 1) and a No. 1 qualifier in 1999 (Pomona 1).