Bristol: Capps ready

THE RACE: Inaugural Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals, April 27-29 at Bristol Dragway, Bristol, Tenn. BRISTOL DRAGWAY HISTORY: Capps was the No. 1 Funny Car qualifier and was runner-up to Top Fuel driver Cory McClenathan at last year's ...

THE RACE:

Inaugural Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals, April 27-29 at Bristol Dragway, Bristol, Tenn.

BRISTOL DRAGWAY HISTORY:

Capps was the No. 1 Funny Car qualifier and was runner-up to Top Fuel driver Cory McClenathan at last year's Winston Showdown, a special event that pitted Funny Car drivers against Top Fuel drivers.

STANDING:

Fifth, 292 points, after five of 24 NHRA Winston Series events.

LOOKING AHEAD TO THE THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS:

"I've received a lot of e-mails from fans telling me that now it's my turn to make it three wins in a row for Don Prudhomme Racing.

"The way I look at it, I know how Snake feels when he watches all of us race.

"I know the special feeling I had watching Tommy (Johnson, driver of Prudhomme's Skoal Racing Blue Camaro) win at Las Vegas (April 8) and Larry (Dixon, driver of Prudhomme's Top Fuel dragster) win at Gainesville (April 21).

"We were happy celebrating the team's wins in the last two races."

Capps advanced to the Gatornationals semifinals at Gainesville to jump into fifth place in points.

"I attributed our success last year to Ace (crew chief Ed "The Ace" McCulloch) being able to adjust to the changing conditions because they changed quite a bit throughout the weekend, and what he can do under pressure."

"We came into the Showdown as a non-qualified car and Ace and I joked and said, 'that's OK, we'll just go out and qualify No. 1', and that's what we did. We had a faulty part that kept us from winning the finals (and $200,000).

"It's going to be nice going to Bristol to run a normal race."

"It's also nice to be going to Bristol with a team that's so competitive this early in the season. Tommy's win in Las Vegas showed the depth of our team, even though I went out the first round.

"We know our performance is as good as anybody else's at this point."

ON THE COMPETITIVE FUNNY CAR FIELDS:

"We've had record-setting fields and our first all 300-mph field. I love the competitiveness of the field right now. There is no easy round. You go up in the first round and you're going to race someone capable of winning the race right off the bat. That really keeps you on your game and makes you concentrate on Sunday."

LOOKING BACK AT THE GATORNATIONALS:

"It was exciting to go rounds," said Capps following his semifinal finish at Gainesville, Fla. Saturday. "We knew we could move up in points, but I keep running into John Force."

Force beat Capps in their semifinal match with a 5.216 at 270.00 mph to Capps' tire smoking 7.495 at 108.78.

"It hurts worse to race him and have our car do what it did against Force and have him win with that 5.21. This was a good bounce-back race for us. Now we're looking forward to going to Bristol."

"It is nice to have the car running well. We were among the top two or three in elapsed time in the first two rounds and that's all I can ask for.

"I think our chances at Bristol are better now after running at Gainesville.

The conditions at Bristol will be warm and we know our new 2001 Skoal Racing Green Camaro body has better down force than our old body."

-Snake Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Cory McClenathan , Don Prudhomme