Gainesville: Capps ready for Gatornationals

<pre> Ron Capps Driver Of Don "The Snake" Prudhomme'S Skoal Racing Green Camaro Funny Car THE RACE: Completion of the Mac Tools Gatornationals, April 21, Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway. GAINESVILLE RACEWAY HISTORY: Capps qualified fifth...

<pre> Ron Capps Driver Of Don "The Snake" Prudhomme'S Skoal Racing Green Camaro Funny Car

THE RACE: Completion of the Mac Tools Gatornationals, April 21, Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway.

GAINESVILLE RACEWAY HISTORY: Capps qualified fifth (4.889 seconds at 311.41) and races Johnny Gray in the first round.

STANDING: Seventh, 218 points, after four of 24 NHRA Winston Series events.

LOOKING AHEAD TO THE GATORNATIONALS: </pre> "The Green crew has extra incentive going into Gainesville. We saw Tommy (Johnson, Capps' teammate, driver of the Skoal Racing Blue Camaro) win at Las Vegas (April 8) and now we'd like to get one," said Capps. "It's going to be quite a bit warmer than it was the last time we were there (March 16-17) and I know the conditions are going to be different.

"That makes me feel comfortable because I know Ace (crew chief Ed "The Ace" McCulloch), Todd (Okuhara, assistant crew chief, Green Camaro) and Tommy D. (Delago, assistant crew chief, Blue Camaro) are very good at adapting to the changing conditions.

"The two tune-and-test runs we get Friday are going to be an advantage for everybody. We weren't real comfortable with our performance there the last time so now we can get a couple runs under our belt before Saturday's eliminations."

Capps wasn't as consistent qualifying for the race last month, getting down the track once in four attempts.

Since than, McCulloch has made some changes to the Skoal Green Camaro.

"I'm looking forward to going back to Gainesville for another reason. It's the first of three races in a row (the Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals, April 27-29, at Bristol, Tenn., and the Southern Nationals, May 4-6, at Commerce, Ga., follow). I'm hungry to get back in the car and make laps, especially after watching Tommy win at Las Vegas."

LOOKING BACK AT THE SUMMITRACING.COM NATIONALS:

Capps' car suffered a mechanical problem in the first round of eliminations and he lost to Whit Bazemore. It was the first time in four races that Capps had been ousted in the opening round.

"It was very disappointing to lose in the first round, but it was very gratifying to see Tommy go on and win the race," Capps said. "We are one big team. If I can't win the race, I want to get the other Skoal Racing Camaro into the winner's circle.

"It was great to see both the Green and Blue crews working together in Las Vegas. There was no selfishness. The Green crew pitched in to help the Blue crew get Tommy the win. It was good for Snake too, because he pushed for a two-car team and there's no question it is paying dividends. He and Ace are the ones who have made it work.

"My car shook the tires hard against Bazemore and I gave the throttle a quick pedal. Then the drive shaft came out of the coupler and that was it for me.

"Even though we haven't had a lot of success with our Green Camaro yet, we are only five rounds (102 points) out of first place with 20 races left."

Capps' Green Camaro, the team's only 2001 body at the time, replaced Johnson's 2000 Blue Camaro body for the final two rounds because it was more aerodynamic than the older body.

Johnson, incidentally, beat Bazemore in the finals. <pre> Ron Capps Facts:

Birthdate: 6/20/65 Hometown: Carlsbad, Calif.

Career wins: 9 (eight Funny Car, one Top Fuel) Final rounds: 20 (18 Funny Car, 2 Top Fuel) Last win: 10/8/00 at Memphis Last final round: 10/8/00 at Memphis Best Funny Car elapsed time: 4.811 seconds ('00 Dallas) Best Funny Car speed: 315.45 mph ('97 Houston II)

-PSR-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , Johnny Gray