NHRA Reading Pre-Race Report

Ron Capps

Driver of the NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra Funny Car

Countdown to the Championship Ranking: 1st

NHRA Reading Nationals Event Highlights:

  • 2017 event champion
  • Three-time runner-up (1999, 2000, 2016)
  • 2019 No. 1 qualifier

2022 NHRA Reading Nationals Event Recap:
Qualified second; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Phil Burkhart Jr. in E1; defeated by Tim Wilkerson in E2)

Last Event (Indianapolis):
Qualified fifth; Event champion (defeated Dale Creasy Jr. in E1, Matt Hagan in E2, Robert Hight in E3, J.R. Todd in E4)

2023 Statistics:
15 races; three wins, three runner-up finishes, two No. 1 qualifiers

Career Statistics:
623 races; 76 wins, 38 No. 1 qualifiers


  • Capps is seeking his third consecutive event win this weekend after having powered to victory in Indianapolis and Brainerd, Minn., the two most recent events on tour
  • Reading marks the start of the 2023 NHRA Countdown to the Championship and the beginning of the Ron Capps Motorsports ‘Capps Trick’ campaign where the three-time Funny Car world champion will begin his pursuit for a third consecutive Funny Car title
    • Capps begins the Countdown from the No. 1 seed after winning the regular-season championship during the U.S. Nationals
    • In 2022, Capps began the Countdown ranked second and closed out the season in first place; Capps’ 2022 Countdown campaign included two event wins in four final round appearances (16 round wins overall)
  • The second-year team owner is pursuing a fourth series title (2016, 2021, 2022) and the second for Ron Capps Motorsports
  • Capps owns both ends of the Maple Grove Raceway Funny Car track records:
    • E.T.: 3.837 seconds (2019)
    • Speed: 339.28 mph (2019); Capps’ speed is also an overall facility record (includes Top Fuel), and is the second-fastest run in NHRA history

“We feel really good coming off of that big, emotional win at the U.S. Nationals. I’ve talked before about how we set certain goals throughout the season, one being to win the regular-season championship and another to have a good outing in Indy, and it all came together like we had planned. So, we feel really good that all of our hard work paid off. But, we celebrated and now we’ve put it behind us and we’re focused on what’s coming up – the six-race playoffs against some of the best Funny Car teams in our sport’s history. The class is so tough right now. So many teams are running well and I don’t want to disrespect any team by not mentioning them because pretty much the whole class is capable of winning on any given Sunday. Whoever wins the championship this year definitely will have earned it.

“We’re back to our NAPA colors this weekend. Guido (crew chief Dean Antonelli) and the guys are very comfortable with the setup that we have going into the playoffs. Maple Grove can deliver a lot of really good E.T.s, some really big speeds and some exciting side-by-side racing, so, we’re excited about this weekend in Pennsylvania.”