NORWALK, Ohio (June 25, 2022) – Fresh off of an impressive win last weekend, two-time and defending NHRA Funny Car world champion Ron Capps carried the momentum of his Bristol, Tenn. triumph into the NHRA Norwalk Nationals by qualifying his NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota GR Supra in the No. 1 spot.
Capps earned the pole position – his fourth of the year, third at Summit Motorsports Park, and 33rd overall, on the strength of his Q2 run, which saw him power the NAPA Supra to a stout 3.901-second at 328.38-mph pass. By capturing the No. 1 seed, Capps became the first among the trio of TGRNA Funny Car drivers to qualify the newly-introduced Supra on the top of the Funny Car elimination ladder.
“I said last night that it was going to take a bit to figure this car out, get it trimmed out to where (crew chiefs) ‘Guido’ (Dean Antonelli) and John Medlen felt comfortable,” said Capps, who enters race day ranked third on the Funny Car leaderboard. “Bristol was about as demanding a race day that we’ve seen all year with the bumps in the track, and the heat and humidity. It would have been a very steep learning curve had we not had the help from Del Worsham’s team and the Yella Fellas on what they’ve learned all season long. We definitely would not have had the success we’ve had right away; the win in Bristol and the first pole for the GR Supra, which is awesome.”
Since forming Ron Capps Motorsports ahead of the 2022 NHRA Camping World Series season, Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS team have been a dominant force in the Funny Car category and continue to show why their NAPA Supra carries the No. 1 decal.
“That’s four No. 1 qualifiers this year,” said Capps of his team’s performance through the first 10 events. “That’s astounding for a new team like this, but I’m not surprised. I feel confident, and so happy for what this NAPA AutoCare Center team does in giving me these yellow hats that I want to get up on the biggest speaker I can get and yell about how good they are.”
Capps will start race day at the NHRA Norwalk Nationals with a round-one match-up versus Dale Creasy Jr. as he attempts to pick up his second consecutive victory in 2022 and his third as a new team owner but knows the competition will be fierce.
“The win last week in Bristol was great, but let’s not discount how good (crew chiefs) Jimmy Prock and Dickie Venables’ teams have been,” he said. “They have set the bar, but we are just as good. Going into the Vegas four-wides this year, (FOX reporter) Brian Lohnes wasn’t talking about our car as a top contender. Then we won and he was like ‘I wasn’t even talking about Ron Capps.’ We had fun with him later about that, but I get it. You have to earn the right to be talked about. Dickie and Jimmy Prock have earned that, but we are just as good. It doesn’t matter the conditions. Guido and Medlen have a good setup for good conditions as well as the tricky ones.
“Tomorrow, cloud cover is going to come in. It’s going to be a cooler racetrack, and it’s definitely going to be faster. I think our success so far this year has been due to the fact that Guido and Medlen are so good at being able to adapt. That’s why we got the big trophy at the end of the year last year. That’s what we are trying to do again this year. Teams can throw their big numbers out, but it’s going to be fun. It’s fun to battle those guys. If I can do my job half as well as our NAPA AutoCare guys do their jobs, we are going to win a lot more races this year.”
Q1: 4.605 E.T. at 181.13 MPH
Q2: 3.901 E.T. at 328.38 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q3: 5.701 E.T. at 124.86 MPH
Q4: 4.195 E.T. at 234.86 MPH
Total Qualifying Bonus Points: Three