Capps Hopes for more big Speeds at Houston BAYTOWN, Texas (April 12, 2004) - When someone mentions Houston Raceway Park, the first thought that enters the mind is, 'fast drag strip.' The track elevation at HRP is 10 feet above sea level,...
Capps Hopes for more big Speeds at Houston
BAYTOWN, Texas (April 12, 2004) - When someone mentions Houston Raceway Park, the first thought that enters the mind is, 'fast drag strip.' The track elevation at HRP is 10 feet above sea level, which is any crew chief's dream. The sea level conditions and cool spring weather at the Texas facility typically deliver some of the quickest and fastest performances of the 20 race tracks on the NHRA POWERade circuit.
At the last national event in Las Vegas, Ron Capps powered his Skoal Racing Chevy Monte Carlo to a career-best speed when he tripped the clocks at 324.75 mph during qualifying. The Las Vegas track is elevated at more than 2,100 feet above sea level. With that in mind, Capps has his sights tunneled towards another career-best speed when the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series makes its annual trek to Houston Raceway Park, April 15-18, for the 17th annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals. Capps, a 14-time NHRA winner, has never won at HRP.
When Capps debuted the new Chevy Monte Carlo Funny Car body in February, he immediately raved of the car's safety features and increased driver visibility. However, the on-track performance of the Monte Carlo body was still a question mark because the team had yet to gather sufficient data with the new piece. After unleashing his Chevy to a 4.779 second, 324.75 mph pass in Las Vegas, Capps and the rest of the GM flopper contingent are ready to make a run at the NHRA record books with the new aerodynamic piece.
"At mid-track, I could tell it was on a really good pass," Capps said. "That's where I really started to feel the car move. We ran 263 mph at half-track, which is phenomenal for a Funny Car. I felt the Monte Carlo throw me back. It even dropped two cylinders which makes that run more encouraging. The conditions were good at Vegas and it was a great call by our crew chiefs. I was relieved when I heard the performance because we've known that the car has wanted to run those numbers for some time."
Weather plays a critical role at each race and if the third weekend in April in Southern Texas experiences cool, dry conditions, look out because drivers will be focused on setting an NHRA record and earning 20 bonus points.
"The conditions at Houston have always been good enough to set a national record let alone a track record," Capps said. "It's a track that's been repaved recently and I hear great things about the new surface. If we get the conditions we think we're gonna have and it's not too hot and humid, then you'll see a lot of drivers set personal bests at Houston. I won't be surprised if we finally see a Funny Car crack the 330-mph barrier there."