Skoal Funny Car Driver Enters Skip Barber Road Racing Championship LAKEVILLE, Conn. (Aug.20) - NHRA POWERade Funny Car driver Ron Capps has entered the Skip Barber Formula Dodge Race Series event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington,...
Skoal Funny Car Driver Enters Skip Barber Road Racing Championship
LAKEVILLE, Conn. (Aug.20) - NHRA POWERade Funny Car driver Ron Capps has entered the Skip Barber Formula Dodge Race Series event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, set for August 27-29. Other than making steering corrections to keep his green Skoal Racing Monte Carlo straight at 300 mph down the quarter-mile, Capps has never deliberately turned left and right in a race car.
Okay, that's not totally true; Capps actually has a few days of seat time in open-wheel road racing machines with Bob Bondurant and Jim Russell, but this will be his first ever race.
Capps has had the seat in Don "The Snake" Prudhomme's U.S. Tobacco Co. Skoal Racing Chevy Monte Carlo since 1997. He has 14 career victories, 15 runner-up finishes, and three victories in the $100,000 Budweiser Shootout at Indianapolis.
Capps, 38, a software engineering graduate from Santa Clara University, had worked his way into crew chief positions on several Top Alcohol dragster teams before getting his first driving opportunity in 1994. His performance caught the eye of Top Fuel owner Roger Primm, who hired Capps to drive part-time during the 1995 and '96 NHRA seasons. Capps, who won his first NHRA title in Top Fuel in 1995 at Seattle, is one of 14 NHRA drivers to have earned victories in both the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories, NHRA drag racing's two premier classes. Prudhomme and Capps' teammate Tommy Johnson, Jr., also are members of the prestigious club.
The Skip Barber Race Series is comprised of four regional championships, and Capps has entered rounds nine and 10 of the Midwest Region. He's set to practice the Monday prior (Aug.23), then head to Indy for Funny Car testing. He'll get back to Mid-Ohio Wednesday night and practice again Thursday and Friday. Capps will then qualify Saturday morning, and his first race will be Saturday afternoon. Where he finishes Saturday will be his starting position Sunday morning.
''I'm really looking forward to this,'' Capps says. ''Skip Barber Racing's CEO knows a couple of the U.S. Tobacco people, and he off-handedly asked them if I would like to do one of their Race Weekends. When I heard about it, I took a look at my schedule and saw that I could fit Mid-Ohio in. I said 'yes' in about 4.725 seconds!''
Capps will be driving an R/T 2000 formula car, a wings-and-slicks open-wheeler with a top speed of just under 140 mph. Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is one of America's best -- and most challenging -- race tracks. With 15 corners and a number of elevation changes in its 2.25 miles, Capps will have his work cut out for him. Also, a gauntlet of sorts has been thrown; the word on the street is that Skip Barber Racing's PR person beat Capps two- out-of-three in Capps' own drag racing video game during a break in the action at the 35th Annual K&N Filters NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J., two months ago; that person is also set to race at Mid-Ohio...
Headquartered in Lakeville, Conn., the Skip Barber Racing School is the world's largest racing and driving school, operating at more than 20 race tracks across the U.S. and Canada. In addition to the Racing School and the Dodge/Skip Barber Driving School, it also owns and operates five prestigious open-wheel racing championships: The Skip Barber National Championship Presented by RACER, and the four Skip Barber Regional Formula Dodge championships (East, West, South and Midwest). Other components include the Corporate Events department and an innovative Special Projects Group, which as part of its responsibilities is active in the emerging youth/tuner/drifting market. Skip Barber Racing has long-term, synergistic partnerships with the Dodge Division of Daimler-Chrysler; BFGoodrich Tires; and Quaker State. More information is available by calling 860.435.1300, and at www.skipbarber.com.