Capps Hopes Big Speeds Lead To Round Wins At Thunder Valley BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 26, 2004) - In a matter of days, veteran Funny Car driver Ron Capps checked two items off of his career to-do list, recording top speed at an NHRA event and...
Capps Hopes Big Speeds Lead To Round Wins At Thunder Valley
BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 26, 2004) - In a matter of days, veteran Funny Car driver Ron Capps checked two items off of his career to-do list, recording top speed at an NHRA event and surfing. It took the California native 38 years before he hit the waves, while it took only 10 years behind the wheel of a nitromethane-powered monster to record the fastest speed in his category at an NHRA race.
While he won't hang ten with the likes of Kelly Slater or Rob Machado anytime soon, Capps aims for more big speeds from his Skoal Racing Chevy Monte Carlo when the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series visits Thunder Valley, April 30-May 2, for the fourth annual O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.
Capps, who won the inaugural NHRA event at Bristol three years ago, powered his John Stewart-tuned flopper to a career-best speed (324.75 mph) at Las Vegas in early April and followed that up by clocking the fastest time of the 17 Funny Car entries at Houston (312.71 mph) two weeks ago.
"It is nice to run the big speeds because you know that the car is making horsepower," Capps said. "We're fortunate to have the Monte Carlo body. Speed is key because it means a lot when you're racing on a tricky track like Houston was. Knowing that you can make it down the track without spinning the tires at the top end is important. That will be crucial to winning races during the hot summer months."
Capps credits the time and effort that the engineers from General Motors and the crew chiefs at Snake Racing put into developing the Monte Carlo.
"The Monte Carlo body was bred in the GM wind tunnel," said Capps. "That's a luxury we didn't have with the Camaro. The Monte Carlo had been tested since before the mold was cast. It provides a happy medium of downforce and drag.
"The Monte Carlo is a big part of why we're running the big speeds. We spent a lot of time with GM to make the best body we could make. I'm not surprised at all by the bigger speeds Tommy (Johnson) and I have posted. The car has wanted to run that fast, but the old body was outdated. The Monte Carlo has help not only us, but the other GM Funny Car drivers."
Of the 20 tracks on the NHRA circuit, Ron Capps has found his way to the winner's circle at 12 of those facilities, including Bristol Dragway. The Bruton Smith-owned track is arguably the most scenic track on the circuit and a place Capps enjoys competing at.
"Bristol is a place that us drag racers on the NHRA circuit couldn't wait to be built," Capps said. "It's like Chicago and Vegas, a great track. Bruton (Smith) had a vision and he knocked down mountains to build the place. The fan reaction has been getting better and better each year. They're really starting to get into drag racing. I've had pretty good success at Bristol. We almost won the Showdown a few years back racing against the dragsters and then we won there three years ago with our Snake Racing Funny Car."