Capps Aims For First Career Title At Historic Gatornationals GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 2004) - At the beginning of each season, every driver makes a list of goals they hope to accomplish: low qualifier awards, contend for a ...
Capps Aims For First Career Title At Historic Gatornationals
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 2004) - At the beginning of each season, every driver makes a list of goals they hope to accomplish: low qualifier awards, contend for a championship and specific races they'd like to win. There are a handful of races on the 23-race NHRA schedule that stand above the rest, and the Mac Tools Gatornationals is one event victory any driver would cherish.
"It's one of the more prestigious races on the NHRA circuit," Capps said. "The fans are everywhere, the attendance at the Gatornationals is unbelievable. When you drive into the track, you pass all the fans camping and hanging out. It's kind of like Brainerd, Minn., people plan vacations around the Gatornationals.
"Plus it was one of those races that you would always read about. Living in California, you wanted to attend the Gators. When you think of all the drag racing legends that have won and staged their car on that track, it's pretty amazing."
Capps, a 14-time NHRA event winner, has never stepped foot in the Gainesville Raceway winner's circle. He hopes to change that when the NHRA POWERade Series makes its only Florida appearance, March 18-21, for the 35th running of the historic Mac Tools Gatornationals.
Capps, who led the Funny Car points standings heading into last season's event at Gainesville, enters the 2004 race hoping to kick his season into high gear.
"We stayed after Phoenix and did some testing and things went really well," Capps said. "We're still learning this new Monte Carlo body and what it likes and doesn't, but this Skoal Racing Funny Car has loads of potential. We have a fast car that can win races.
"I was at Frank Hawley's School at Gainesville Raceway earlier this year and they recently repaved the track. It's really smooth now. It was always a fast race track, now it should be even faster."
Capps' car owner, Don "the Snake" Prudhomme, powered his Funny Cars to victory at Gainesville five times during his illustrious 32-year driving career. Capps, who is in his eighth season at Snake Racing, would like nothing better than to follow in Prudhomme's footsteps and bring another Gatornationals trophy back to the West Coast.
"Gainesville is one of the big five races that have been around a long time," Capps said. "It's very prestigious, along with the Pomonas, Indy, Columbus and Englishtown. Reading about the Gators, it would mean a lot to have my name on a "Wally" trophy from Gainesville, Fla."