Seattle Funny Car Preview

CAPPS READY TO MOVE FORWARD, PUT SLOW START BEHIND KENT, Wash. - The last thing you'll hear from Ron Capps is a lot of excuses. That's not the way the driver who one year ago came so close to ousting John Force from his ...

CAPPS READY TO MOVE FORWARD, PUT SLOW START BEHIND KENT, Wash. - The last thing you'll hear from Ron Capps is a lot of excuses. That's not the way the driver who one year ago came so close to ousting John Force from his championship perch in NHRA Funny Car competition operates. Not even close. The San Diego driver, mired in the slump of slumps for most of the 1999 season, knows there will be a better day. In fact, he feels certain that it's coming soon. Each event brings new hope. And some events bring more hope than others. Capps is really excited about returning to one of his favorite tracks for the 12th annual Prolong Super Lubricants Northwest Nationals presented by Al's Auto Supply, July 30-Aug. 1, at Seattle International Raceway. Capps is the defending Funny Car winner at the $1.2 million event, the 13th of 22 events in the $40 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. For Capps, who earned his first NHRA victory at the Washington quarter-mile, there's nothing like going back to a place that always brings out his best. "No doubt, Seattle is a special place for me and brings back a lot of great memories," Capps said. "What a great feeling it was to beat Cory (McClenathan) in Top Fuel there in 1995. And last year, to beat Force in front of all those people was a tremendous feeling. I want to experience that feeling again. I know we've not had the best of seasons so far, but I'm positive that this team has turned the corner and we're headed in the direction we need to be going. We're definitely ready to win some races." After winning five races and pushing Force to the limit in '98, Capps and his Copenhagen Camaro Funny Car team have struggled this year. He's posted a couple of DNQ's and posted first round losses in nine events. His recent outing in Denver matched his Englishtown, N.J. run for best outing of the season. In both of those races he advanced to the second round. "We've had a lot of different things go wrong," Capps said. "We just have to face reality and go out there and try to win a lot of rounds and as many races as possible. We've got to focus our efforts on making the best of what remains, while at the same time preparing for the upcoming year." That's exactly what the Don Prudhomme-owned team is doing. The team recently promoted Todd Okuhara to crew chief and named former chief tuner Roland Leong the team's advisor. At Seattle, the team plans to debut its newly configured Chevrolet Camaro body, which fellow Chevy driver Whit Bazemore used with much success at Denver. "We've made some progress in the last couple of weeks that should help us on down the road," Capps said. "I feel like good things are getting ready to happen. Bringing out our old chassis was a big step, and having Roland back was a plus. We're going to get this thing turned around before long."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Don Prudhomme