Sonoma: Capps looking forward to Sears Point

Ron Capps Driver Of Don "The Snake" Prudhomme's Skoal Racing Green Camaro Funny Car The Race: 14th annual Fram Autolite Nationals, Aug. 3-5, Sears Point Raceway, Sonoma, Calif. STANDING: Fourth with 906 points after 15 of 24 NHRA Winston...

Ron Capps
Driver Of Don "The Snake" Prudhomme's Skoal Racing Green Camaro Funny Car

The Race:
14th annual Fram Autolite Nationals, Aug. 3-5, Sears Point Raceway, Sonoma, Calif.

STANDING:
Fourth with 906 points after 15 of 24 NHRA Winston Series events.

Sears Point Raceway One Of Capps' Favorite Stops

There's a lot of Capps' racing history at this drag racing/road course facility near one part of California's wine country. 

Before moving to Carlsbad, Calif. in 1997 when he went to work for Prudhomme, Capps lived in Cupertino, Calif. and considered Sears Point his home track.

Capps worked for several different drag racing teams there before beginning his Top Fuel, then Funny Car driving career.

One highlight was his victory driving the U.S. Tobacco Co. Camaro in 1997, his first year with Prudhomme's Funny Car team.

"That was very special because we'd won in St. Louis a few races before and some people might've thought that was a lucky win there," Capps recalled.  "Then we rolled into Sears Point and won.  That not only showed everybody else, but it also showed us that we were capable of winning as a team."

He was the No. 1 qualifier in 1998 and has won at least one round of competition in five of his six professional races at the track.

"There are a couple other reasons to be excited about returning to Sonoma," Capps commented.  "First, I seem to have good karma at Sears Point.  I always seem to do so well there.

"A lot of my relatives and my wife Shelley's relatives will be at the race and that really makes it special, too.

"Second," Capps continued, "my crew chief, Ed 'The Ace' McCulloch, has had great success there.  Ace was crew chief on Doug Kalitta's Top Fuel dragster when he won at Sears Point in 1998 and 1999.

"So you put those two things together with the hard work the crews on both Skoal Racing Funny Cars have done and it's easy to get excited." 

WILL 'NATURAL PROGRESSION' CONTINUE?

In the last three races, Capps was a quarterfinalist at Pomona, Calif., a semifinalist at Denver and runner-up at Seattle last Sunday.

One-thousandth of a second separated Capps from Whit Bazemore at the finish line.  Capps had the lead until his car began spinning the tires in the last half of the run.  That enabled Bazemore to get the win at 5.049 seconds, 284.56 mph to Capps' 5.086 at 277.43.

"You talk about dejection. That really was," Capps said. 

"After our semifinal loss at Denver we were mad at ourselves for not winning the race.  We felt we had the best car there, and we felt the same way Sunday at Seattle.

"On the bright side, we know we have a great racecar going into Sonoma.  Every week when we show up we always know we have a chance to win and be No. 1 qualifier."

Capps and the Skoal Racing Green Camaro have had the quickest run during Sunday eliminations at the last two races - a track record 4.949 seconds at Denver and 4.855 at Seattle.

Capps was the only one to run in the 4.8s in each of the first three rounds at Seattle. 

"I'm excited to go to every race, especially through the summer," said Capps. "Why shouldn't I be?  When I walk into the pits, I look up and there's my name on Don Prudhomme's trailer.  Ed McCulloch is the crew chief and we have great sponsors."

-DPSR-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , Doug Kalitta , Don Prudhomme