Competition Plus – On his first day on the track as a team owner/driver, Ron Capps showed them who’s the boss.
In one of the final pulls of Day Two testing at the PRO Nitro Spring Training event, Capps drove his way to the top of the Funny Car leader board with a 3.874-second, 325.14 mile per hour pass.
“It’s a good start,” Capps said. “We didn’t get to run yesterday. The first day there were a lot of cars that did run, and we were a little behind, just getting our stuff together. These guys right here, I talked about starting a team with NAPA and everything, but I talked about the first thing we did was people. It’s all about people.
“The guys behind me. Guido [Antonelli], [John] Medlen, and we went up the first full run on this car. Today was a .91 in the heat. And then we went back up and went that .87. It should have run .85. I felt like I was Wolfgang out there in a sprint car, though, man. It was moving around a lot. It probably should have run .85 if the driver could have kept it a little more straight at the top end, but we’ll take it.”
Capps knew the pressure to make a statement in his first official outing was there.
“We’re having fun right now, but this was the key,” Capps said. “This is why I was so adamant about making sure we had the equipment with all the DSM chassis that we ran last year, especially the people and all the parts that we get at DSR. I mean, there’s a reason we won a championship, and it’s people, but it’s also great parts.
“I knew whatever ended up happening; I wanted make sure we rolled in to defend the championship and hit the ground running. So NAPA guys, we got GearWrench back, all the guys, all these usual suspects. So we should run well. But you just never know it’s drag racing. And this is going to be one of the toughest seasons. I mean, you walk around, just the testing here, the amount of talent with funny cars and dragsters. The fans, they’re in for a treat this year.”
Capps wasn’t blowing smoke as Robert Hight stepped up as the sun set on the horizon with a 3.879, 331.26. John Force sat out at the end of the day runs, electing to stand on his 3.888, 321.88 from earlier in the day.
JR Todd was the quickest Toyota in the field with a 3.894, 219.16, just a few ticks ahead of Matt Hagan’s 3.904, 330.55.