CAPPS WANTS TO END SEASON ON GOOD NOTE AT FINALS; ED McCULLOCH JOINS COPE RACING TEAM AS CREW CHIEF POMONA. Calif. - Asked to describe his last drag racing season of the century and millenium, Ron Capps thought for several moments. "You ...
CAPPS WANTS TO END SEASON ON GOOD NOTE AT FINALS; ED McCULLOCH JOINS COPE RACING TEAM AS CREW CHIEF
POMONA. Calif. - Asked to describe his last drag racing season of the century and millenium, Ron Capps thought for several moments. "You could try character building, roller coaster, topsy-turvy, frustrating, any one or all of them," answered the driver of Don Prudhomme's Copenhagen Racing Camaro Funny Car. "Basically, I'm glad it's just about over." Only one race remains on the 1999 NHRA schedule - the Auto Club Finals, Nov.11-14, at Pomona Raceway - and the "Murphy's Law" season that never quite fulfilled the hopes and goals of Capps, Prudhomme and the crew will end. Joining the team at this event will be Ed (Ace) McCulloch, chosen by Prudhomme to be the crew chief following Dale Armstrong's resignation last week. McCulloch, a former Funny Car and Top Fuel driver, had been the tuner for Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta, NHRA's 1998 rookie of the year. "Ironically Ed was one of the drivers I sought advice from when I first joined the professional ranks in 1995," said Capps, who debuted in Top Fuel. "I didn't have anyone on the team I was driving for who had raced in Top Fuel so I went to Ed to talk about what I should be feeling in the car, and he took the time to talk to me. He definitely helped me become a good driver." Capps, McCulloch and Prudhomme believe the team can finish the season on a high note. The car's performance, while inconsistent, has shown positive signs. Capps had runs of 4.873 and 4.908 seconds at 310.98 mph while marching to the semifinals at Dallas Oct. 24. And Capps was on what might've been a career-best run at Houston the following week when the engine's blower belt came off and he didn't make the 16-car field. "I've known Ed for a long time," said Prudhomme. "We used to race Funny Cars together, and he likes them as much as I do. I like his work ethic. He's a hands-on guy. Todd Okuhara remains as assistant crew chief and the rest of the team also stays in place." "I'm really pleased to be a part of this Cope Racing team and I can't wait to get started," said McCulloch, who won 18 races in Funny Car and four in Top Fuel, before retiring in 1994. Capps feels the same way. "We all want to do well. Pomona is our home track. You always want to run good at the last race (of the season) -30-
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