Fiery qualifying run earns NAPA's Capps No. 3 spot at Pomona

Capps guided the Dodge tuned by Rahn Tobler across the finish line in 4.014 seconds at slowing 3.04.67 mph

Ron Capps works hard to get sponsor NAPA AUTO PARTS as much exposure as possible in his Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Charger R/T.

On Friday evening of the Circle K NHRA Nationals at Pomona, Calif., Capps of Carlsbad, Calif., started his 20th anniversary season as a professional racer with a bang but it was not the pyrotechnics he preferred.

About 200 feet before his NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge reached the finish line in the day's last of two sessions, a broken part led to the detonation of his 10,000-horsepower engine that shredded the carbon fiber body in a fiery explosion.

Ron Capps
Ron Capps

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

Despite that, Capps guided the Dodge tuned by Rahn Tobler across the finish line in 4.014 seconds at slowing 3.04.67 mph to move up to the No. 3 qualifying position before falling to fifth heading to Saturday.

After several interviews at Auto Club Raceway on Saturday morning, including one with the Los Angeles Times, Capps and the NAPA team got down to business with a new Dodge Charger R/T body ready for the third qualifying session. Despite a pair of subpar runs on Saturday, the NAPA team accomplished what he wanted to be ready for Sunday's championship eliminations that begin at 11 a.m. (PST).

"I had no apprehension about getting back into the car," said Capps, 48, a winner of 41 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series titles since earning his first as a rookie in 1995.

"We have the best crew working on this NAPA Dodge, and I knew they'd get the new body on it this morning and have the car ready. I have all the confidence in our NAPA team."

Capps was surprised at the attention his explosive performance received.

"There are some things you dream of but you never imagine will happen, and being on Good Morning America and with all the local news we got especially from KABC news in Los Angeles was on my bucket list.

"Leading KABC news at 11 on Friday night was a huge, huge, huge deal for getting NAPA and NHRA safety so much exposure in Southern California. It's been overwhelming.

"The best part is John Force went out and set an NHRA national record for elapsed time on Friday and all you saw on the news was the NAPA car. I will never, ever, pass up the chance to upstage the Force team even if we have to set our car on fire to do it."

Don Schumacher Racing

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Don Schumacher
Article type Qualifying report
Tags circle k, don schumacher racing, pomona, ron capps