Pomona Ron Capps interview (Funny Car)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 CAPPS MAKING SMOOTH TRANSITION INTO FUNNY CAR POMONA, Calif. -- Ron Capps stood on the starting line last September at the NHRA U.S. Nationals and watched Funny Car...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761

CAPPS MAKING SMOOTH TRANSITION INTO FUNNY CAR

POMONA, Calif. -- Ron Capps stood on the starting line last September at the NHRA U.S. Nationals and watched Funny Car after Funny Car rocket and weave its way down the quarter-mile.

Just a few days earlier, Capps was unveiled as the driver of the Copenhagen Chevrolet Camaro fielded by the legendary Don "The Snake" Prudhomme in 1997. Capps was moving from the apparent stability of Top Fuel, where drivers sit in front of a 5,500-horsepower engine, to the volatile, unpredictable world of Funny Car, where drivers sit between two huge tires with a flame-belching engine roaring right in front of their knees while covered by a carbon fiber body.

"I'm on the starting line watching, and I'm saying, 'Man, those guys are insane,'" Capps said. "Do I really want to do this? I had my doubts."

Not anymore.

Capps, from Carlsbad, Calif., has enjoyed a smooth transition from Top Fuel to Funny Car and could be a contender for victory at the 37th annual, $1,546,100 Chief Auto Parts Winternationals, Jan. 30-Feb. 2 at Pomona Raceway. The race opens the 22-event, $30-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series in 1997.

Preseason testing proved that Capps is ready for prime time in Funny Car. His best pass during testing near Phoenix earlier this month was 5.033, 289.94. He also knows how to win, as his victory in Top Fuel at the 1995 Northwest Nationals with the underfunded Roger Primm Racing team was one of the biggest surprises of that season.

Tutoring from Prudhomme and top tuner Tom Anderson hasn't hurt Capps' progress, either.

"My goal right now is to win the Winston championship," Capps said. "We have a good enough team to do it. Snake is the best. He's just a class act. He's neat to learn from."

Jack Durbin indy500@freenet.tlh.fl.us Motorsport News International jackd@motorsport.com (Moderators for "rec.autos.sport.info") Homepage http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/users/indy500/index.html

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , Tom Anderson