Phoenix: Ron Capps preview

Capps and Skoal Racing Green Crew Return To Firebird Raceway Looking To Defend Title CHANDLER, Ariz. (March 1, 2004) - Firebird International Raceway near Phoenix is one stop that Funny Car driver Ron Capps enjoys attending each season. The...

Capps and Skoal Racing Green Crew Return To Firebird Raceway Looking To Defend Title

CHANDLER, Ariz. (March 1, 2004) - Firebird International Raceway near Phoenix is one stop that Funny Car driver Ron Capps enjoys attending each season. The driver of the green Skoal Racing Chevy Monte Carlo Funny Car has posted two runner-up finishes (1998, 2000) at F.I.R. and enters the 2004 event as the defending race champion after using a hole shot advantage to defeat Gary Densham last February.

Another plus for the second stop on the 23-race NHRA circuit is the location to Capps' home in Southern California. The Chandler, Ariz. facility is just a short six-hour jaunt from Carlsbad, Calif. Capps, wife Shelly and children Taylor and Caden will make the drive in their motor home East on I-8, as spending time with your loved ones is a precious commodity once the 10-month NHRA season begins.

"We're going to do the family thing," Capps said. "Me, Shelly and the kids will load up in the motor home and make the drive to Phoenix. That's one of the nice things about racing close to home on the West Coast."

After posting a season-best performance (4.803 seconds) in a first round setback to Tim Wilkerson at the 2004 NHRA kick-off in Pomona, Calif., Capps aims to defend his title when the NHRA roars into the Valley of the Sun, March 5-7, for the 20th annual CSK Nationals.

"We're excited about going to Phoenix," Capps said. "We were still kind of in test mode at Pomona because it was the first time we got to run the Monte Carlo body. The 4.80 we ran at Pomona is our first run towards qualifying at Phoenix.

"The Monte Carlo has been a dream to drive and the first round at Pomona was the first run where I got to drive it all the way to the finish line. It handles really well and the down force is great. This car is a dream to drive."

Capps, a 14-time NHRA event winner, and the Skoal Racing green team spent four days testing their new engine and clutch combination at F.I.R. during preseason testing in early February. That experience should help Capps advance rounds on Sunday.

"I've always done well at Phoenix. Even when we had bad weekends, I seemed to end up in the semifinals. Tracks like that you feel a good karma at and winning last year was definitely a part of that."

If Capps and his John Stewart-tuned green Skoal Racing Chevy Monte Carlo can record some low 4.8-second elapsed times this weekend, Firebird Int'l Raceway will remain one of Capps' favorite stops on the series.

-www.snakeracing.com

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , Gary Densham , Tim Wilkerson