Capps aims for hot start at Pomona and return to championship-contending form in 2004. POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 17, 2004) -- Following a hectic off season in which Skoal Racing green Funny Car driver Ron Capps hit the dirt oval at the Chili Bowl...
Capps aims for hot start at Pomona and return to championship-contending form in 2004.
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 17, 2004) -- Following a hectic off season in which Skoal Racing green Funny Car driver Ron Capps hit the dirt oval at the Chili Bowl and competed against racing superstars Tony Stewart and J.J. Yeley and mingled in Oklahoma with country music recording star Garth Brooks, the Carlsbad, Calif. resident spent the past month gearing up for his eighth season behind the wheel of his Don Prudhomme-owned Skoal Racing Chevy Funny Car when the 2004 NHRA season opens with the 44th running of the K&N Filters Winternationals, Feb. 19-22, at Pomona Raceway.
Capps enters the 2004 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series campaign aiming to improve upon his one win, eighth place finish from last year. The Santa Clara University graduate is energized following encouraging preseason test efforts in Las Vegas in Phoenix and feels the addition of veteran tuner John Stewart to the Skoal Racing green car will ensure Capps' return to championship-contending form.
"Every year we find ways to make the organization better," Capps said. "Snake is always looking at how to make the entire crew better with both the Funny Cars and Larry's (Dixon) team. They won the championship the past two seasons, but you try to build upon what your have. Snake hired John Stewart to work with Todd (Okuhara). I've known John for a long time, so it was an easy transition personally. It's already paid off for us. Everything went as planned during testing and things are going very well."
One of the more demanding projects the Skoal Racing organization assumed this past off season was assisting engineers from General Motors in the development of the new Chevy Monte Carlo Funny Car body that Capps and fellow Snake Racing driver Tommy Johnson Jr. will debut at the Winternationals.
"This is the first time that we've worked with a body that has been done at General Motors in the wind tunnel," Capps said. "Normally, we just get a body mold to work with. We've had tons of input with GM about the new body. It should benefit a lot of people. GM is excited and we're excited to be associated with Chevrolet. It's great to be part of that family."
Another project that the Skoal Racing crews took on this winter was the development of a new engine and clutch combination for the Prudhomme-owned Funny Cars. The Skoal Racing Chevys will feature a new clutch setup, along with the switch from the traditional supercharger to the now popular setback blower.
"Every year the crew chiefs find different ways to make the cars faster on paper from November through January before we get on the track to test," Capps said. "Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, it's only theory. You don't know until you get the car on the track. With the new engine combination, the setback blower and having John (Stewart) involved with the clutch program has proven to us that things are going in the right direction. We're excited to get to Pomona."