CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES Chief Auto Parts Winternationals NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series Pomona Raceway Sunday, Feb. 1, 1998 TEAM CHEVROLET WINS TWO TODAY: CAPPS TAKES CAMARO TO FUNNY CAR TITLE; LARRY DIXON WINS IN TOP FUEL. Ron Capps,...
CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES Chief Auto Parts Winternationals NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series Pomona Raceway Sunday, Feb. 1, 1998
TEAM CHEVROLET WINS TWO TODAY: CAPPS TAKES CAMARO TO FUNNY CAR TITLE; LARRY DIXON WINS IN TOP FUEL.
Ron Capps, driver of the Copenhagen Camaro Z28, opened the 1998 Winston Drag Racing Series by winning his third Funny Car national event, his first of 1998, his fourth national event win of his NHRA career, and the Camaro's first of the year. Larry Dixon captured his sixth career Top Fuel Dragster victory, and his first of 1998. Both teams are owned by the legendary Don "the Snake" Prudhomme.
Capps beat Tim Wilkerson in the final, after disposing of Jeff Arend, Del Worsham and Tony Pedregon. Capps won with an e.t. of 6.603, and a top speed of 211.71. He smoked the tires at 300 feet and left a 1020-foot trail of smoke to the finish line, as Wilkerson battled to regain control of his car which also smoked its tires at 300 feet. Wilkerson tried to pedal it, but he started to go sideways, crossing the centerline to earn a disqualification.
Dixon defeated Jim Head in the final, with an e.t. of 4.752 and a top speed of 251.18 mph, to Head's 4.739/261.93 mph.
CAPPS: "It was great. 'Snake' came down and had tears in his eyes. He came up and told me I was the best driver he has seen in a Funny Car. It's unbelievabe. We talked, Larry and I, about having the double, to get into the winner's circle. It's enough to get yourself there, let alone two cars, especially in these two classes, with so many class acts here. We struggled all weekend, had a fuel pump go away. And if Roland (Leong, crew chief) didn't earn everyone's respect with this win, come down to the pits and let me show you what we went through here."
HOW MANY TIMES DID YOU HAVE TO PEDAL? "I don't know, you'll have to look at the computer....Running against Tony (Pedregon) I think it was three times. On this run I only remember seeing the win light go on." ....."I just listened for him (Wilkerson) and I knew it would be a pedaling contest, and I just went with it."
IS YOUR LUCK USED UP? "You have to have luck, but I don't believe in that kind of luck. There's a saying you have to be in that position to have that luck, you have to create it. Obviously we were in that position...The team put a good car under me."
HOW MUCH HAS ROLAND MEANT TO YOU SINCE JOINING THE TEAM? "There's not a number that goes that high. He's so neat to be around. Last year I had bonuses coming from my sponsors if we won so many races. Roland said we were going to get me more money for that down payment on the house."...."It's magic, it's the best thing in the world. It's like playing on a good football team, having a good coach, good assistant. Everyone comes together and everyone believes in everyone else. With Roland you don't even have to say anything, there's an understanding, and when we do (say something) it's usually foul -- just kidding."
"Going to Phoenix as the points leader...it doesn't get better than this."
DIXON: "It was great coming around the corner and seeing all of Ron's team they're cheering and all that. People have no idea. Like I worked on a pit crew for a long time, on Snake's cars, and when you see the win light and you're cheering with the rest of the guys. It's a great feeling. And when you win you do all those TV interviews and all that down there, and there's my dad down there. He won this race in 1970. It's a great feeling to have your guys cheering there and to have all the rest of the Snake's Funny Car team there. It was thrillig, it was awesome."
"We get to sit on this one for a couple of weeks. This is wonderful. This is the Winternationals. This is the second biggest race. I have two races I always wanted to win, one's Indy and this one, the Winternationals, and I got to win them both. I'm happy for Snake. I see how much he stresses over our team and Ron's team and to help with both cars. I want to do well for him. He's the motivator for me."
PRUDHOMME: WHAT ARE YOU FEELING? "Between the runs, believe it or not -- there's a lot of people in our pits -- I'll go into the motor home to kind of get away from that. I lay down and take a little nap, or try to relax. This drag racing is something I really like. So to come here and win with both cars is unbelievable. It's indeed a thrill because I know how much that I personally put into it as far as making sure the cars look great, the teams look great and most of all that we have great people with us and that's such a key to anything. It's people, people, people."
"When Capps won I was thrilled, but I didn't want to go to the other end because Larry was still here (waiting to run the final). And Larry is my pet. I just wanted to make sure I didn't get too excited and go to the other end. I gave Larry the normal okay, everything is cool, just keep your head. I just wanted him to win. I'm thrilled with Ron and the Camaro Funny Car and I'm doubly thrilled with Larry, who put it all together with Dale and all the guys on the Miller team."
"This is unbelievable, this is cool. I feel like (Roger) Penske. He wins in those Indy cars and you see the two Marlboro cars flash across the finish line together. It's a real high. God, I hope we can do it again some time. It's overwhelming."
ON DOUBLE CHAMPIONSHIP IN '98: "That would be a dream come true. It's time to celebrate with everybody. I feel on top of the world, to be honest with you."
ON WINNING AS AN OWNER VS. A DRIVER: "I think it's better (winning as an owner). I don't know why. Maybe because I'm older now or something. I've been asked this a million times Don't you wish you were driving the car? No, I don't, I don't miss it at all. You have a young Ron Capps and a Larry Dixon driving for you -- I don't miss it at all. To see the two cars win here is fabulous. I mean it from the bottom of my heart. I absolutey love it. It's an unbelievable feeling."
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