Phoenix: Ron Capps preview

CAPPS EAGER TO GET BACK TO RACING CARLSBAD, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2008) - Once those competitive juices start flowing after the off-season is over, the world's best NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series drivers are eager to get back on the quarter-mile....

CAPPS EAGER TO GET BACK TO RACING

CARLSBAD, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2008) - Once those competitive juices start flowing after the off-season is over, the world's best NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series drivers are eager to get back on the quarter-mile. If they had it their way, they'd be racing 24/7.

So is the plight of Ron Capps, who spent the one weekend off between the season-opener in Pomona, Calif., and the second round of 2008 at Firebird Raceway coming up in a few days, whale-watching with his family at a nearby Carlsbad beach. The pilot of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car loves to spend the time with his family, don't get us wrong, but he's also salivating to get back in the driver's seat and contend for his first Funny Car championship.

"Phoenix is always the race with that break in between," said Capps, three times a runner-up finisher in the Funny Car championship. "Unless you win Pomona, you don't look forward to the weekend off. You want to get right back to racing. Obviously, we're excited to get the race season started."

Four consistent laps during qualifying in Pomona earned the NAPA AUTO PARTS team the Full Throttle NHRA Pit Crew Challenge award that weekend, an honor the team also garnered three times in 2007. Despite a first-round loss in a headliner match against Robert Hight, Capps expects to carry this momentum through the rest of the season.

"At Pomona we were not only favored going into Sunday morning by a lot of people because of our consistency in qualifying," said Capps, "but we felt good as a team. We had one of the best Funny Cars on the grounds, and we had a big match-up with Robert Hight. It really kind of kick-started us right into the 2008 season. It was a heck of a way to get the season started - to go down the track like we did in all four runs in qualifying and win the Full Throttle award."

Capps left Pomona 13th in the point standings yet remained upbeat. "I've always said you really can't start looking at the points until Gainesville (Fla., the third event of the year, March 13-16)," he said. "Every year, until you get three races in the books and let the points kind of settle themselves, you can't really look at the points, especially just from Pomona or just from Phoenix.

"But, once we leave Gainesville on Monday morning, we can kind of see after three races what the points are going to be. And all you really want to do is get to Gainesville with two good races under your belt.

"You always want to start off great in Pomona, but Phoenix is a race track which is very unpredictable," added Capps, who has one national-event win at Firebird, and three runner-ups, "in the sense that sometimes it will seem like a tricky race track, and the next thing you know there's a national record set in the same day. Some people will struggle and will wonder about the track and then you'll have a national-record speed set. It's crazy. Look at the years of how many records have been set - E.T. and mph - on a track that most people call marginal."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , Robert Hight