FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761 CAPPS: SLOW START HELPED PREPARE FOR SECOND-HALF SURGE IN FUNNY CAR MILLINGTON, Tenn. -- It would be hard to blame Ron Capps if he spent a few minutes daydreaming,...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761
CAPPS: SLOW START HELPED PREPARE FOR SECOND-HALF SURGE IN FUNNY CAR
MILLINGTON, Tenn. -- It would be hard to blame Ron Capps if he spent a few minutes daydreaming, wondering, "What if?" What if the Copenhagen Chevrolet Camaro owned by Don "The Snake" Prudhomme ran as smoothly during the first half of the season as it has in the last seven races, when Capps has won twice? What if Capps was firmly entrenched in the top three spots in the NHRA Winston point standings from the start of his rookie Funny Car season, putting constant pressure on defending champion John Force, instead of clawing to climb from 19th to seventh? "I wonder about it sometimes, but I'm glad we struggled the way we did," Capps said. "It worked out. It sure has made us appreciate what we've done. I think if we went on a tear at the beginning, we wouldn't have appreciated it as much." Capps, from San Diego, will be a contender for victory at the 10th annual, $1,476,850 Pennzoil Nationals presented by AutoZone, Oct. 2-5 at Memphis Motorsports Park. The race is the 19th event of the 22-event, $30-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series in 1997. Only two Funny Car drivers -- leader John Force and second-place Whit Bazemore -- have earned more points than Capps since June 15. Much of that success can be attributed to Capps' increasing comfort with driving a Funny Car and also to the consistent tuning of crew chief Roland Leong, who replaced Tom Anderson in mid-May. But this isn't minor-league baseball. There are no split seasons in NHRA Winston Drag Racing. Still, Capps thinks his second-half surge sends a clear message for 1998. "Hopefully we're going to be contenders in 1998," Capps said. "When they run the Copenhagen car, they're going to have a tough race."