Seattle: Ron Capps preview

Seattle International Raceway history: Capps won his first professional race there in 1995, driving Roger Primm's Top Fuel dragster.  He won two years later in Prudhomme's Funny Car.   STANDING: Sixth with 812 points after 14 of 24 NHRA...

Seattle International Raceway history:
Capps won his first professional race there in 1995, driving Roger Primm's Top Fuel dragster.  He won two years later in Prudhomme's Funny Car.  

STANDING:
Sixth with 812 points after 14 of 24 NHRA Winston Series events.

LOOKING AHEAD TO THE NORTHWEST NATIONALS:
Capps comes to Seattle after a strong showing at Denver last weekend.  He set the Bandimere Speedway Funny Car record at 4.949 seconds and was the only driver to run back-to-back four-second runs during Sunday's eliminations in the mile-high altitude.

"The air (atmospheric conditions) in Seattle is 180 degrees different than Denver," Capps said.  "Seattle has some of the best air on the circuit. How well we run depends on how good the track will be.  It has been good in the past.  I'm sure Ace (crew chief Ed "The Ace" McCulloch) will make sure both Skoal Racing Camaros are ready for the good air.  Our cars are running real good right now.

"I've always had a great time in Seattle," Capps added.  "I'll never forget winning my first race there in my rookie year in Top Fuel."

Capps defeated Cory McClenathan in a rain-delayed race.  He beat John Force in the 1998 Funny Car finale.

Both Capps and Tommy Johnson Jr., his Skoal Racing teammate, won their first races in Seattle.  Johnson's victory came in 1993 and he also defeated McClenathan.

"The Seattle track has a lot of character and a lot of history.  I've heard Snake and Ace and a lot of the older Funny Car drivers talk about match racing in Seattle in the 1970s and 1980s.

"I don't know whether it's the people there or the track, I'm not sure, but it has been a great place for me to race.

"We are going to be concentrating on our immediate goal - winning each race we go to. We can't give up the title chase.  If we can't win the championship then we want to finish second.

"Going into Seattle we're now in a battle for second place."

Although he's sixth, the Carlsbad, Calif., driver is just 43 points out of second place While Force leads with 1262 points, Bruce Sarver is second with 855, followed by Del Worsham (845), Whit Bazemore (835), Tony Pedregon (818) and Capps.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out over the remaining 10 races.

LOOKING BACK AT THE MILE-HIGH NATIONALS:

Capps beat Frank Pedregon on the 4.949-second run and Bruce Sarver with a 4.995 time in the second round on a hot, tricky track.  In the semifinals, Capps' Skoal Green Camaro lost traction and lost to John Force.

"That was a little disappointing because we really had the car to win the race," Capps said.

Capps also ran two four-second times during qualifying, including his best, 4.970, coasting over the finish line.  The car's blower belt broke about 300 feet from the finish line.

"Ace and Todd (Okuhara, assistant crew chief) felt we would've run 4.94 or 4.95 on that run," Capps added, "so they came back with the same tune-up for the first round. It was hot and you usually don't expect to run that good.  It was an outstanding run in the heat of the day."  

-Skoal Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Sarver , Frank Pedregon , Tony Pedregon , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Cory McClenathan , Tommy Johnson Jr.