Five Vegas titles has Capps eager for return to a 'home track'

No one has won more Funny Car titles at Las Vegas than Ron Capps, but that shouldn't be a surprise.

The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is in the western division of the NHRA so it serves as one of four tracks that he considers home.

Ron, who was born in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and lives in Carlsbad near San Diego, is able to drive to those events with his family in tow. His parents, John and Betty, join him at Las Vegas along with the family of his younger Jon Capps, who lives in Las Vegas and competes part-time in a Funny Car.

Ron Capps
Ron Capps

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

"There are places where we have had the luxury to get to the winner's circle, and there's nothing cooler than to be able to do it with your immediate family and close friends," Ron said.

He's left Las Vegas five times with the coveted Wally trophy. In all, 15 of his 41 event titles - 37 percent - have come on the West Coast: Las Vegas 5; Sonoma, Calif., 4; Phoenix 3; and Pomona 3.

Ron also has had similar success at tracks owned by Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports Inc., which among its holdings include dragstrips in Las Vegas, Sonoma, Bristol, Tenn., and near Charlotte. He has won 13 times (31 percent) at those tracks: (Las Vegas 5, Sonoma 4, Bristol 3, Charlotte 1).

He has won once in the Las Vegas spring race and four times when the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returns in the fall for the year's penultimate event.

"For me, Vegas is a track that has turned into a home race. I get a large contingent of my family there and a lot of friends from NAPA. It's cool to win a race at a track where you really look forward to going to. It's a great facility, great people run it and there's no place better to celebrate than Vegas."

"I don't know why. It's one of those things you can't explain, but I'm not going to argue with it. I love going to all of Bruton's tracks. There are certain places where a driver does well even with different crew chiefs, and there are tracks where a crew chief will do well even with different drivers."

There couldn't be a better time for Ron and his NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T team led by crew chief Rahn Tobler and assistant Eric Lane to go to a track where they are confident of being able to go deeply into the weekend's championship eliminations.

Through three NHRA events, the NAPA team has lost in the first round and quarterfinals before advancing to the semifinals at the last race two weeks ago. The team has steadily been developing a new set-up for its Dodge that will carry him toward a first world championship.

"This is a long season and I know Tobler's plan is going to pay off for our NAPA team," Ron said. "We have run quick and are starting to go rounds, and going rounds is what matters most."


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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , Jon Capps
Article type Preview
Tags don schumacher racing, funny car, las vegas, ron capps