Ron Capps Motorsports
MADISON, IL – Ron Capps’ success in NHRA Funny Car competition continued with another final-round appearance on Sunday during the NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway. The two-time and defending world champion took runner-up honors to points leader Robert Hight, holding on to the No. 2 spot in the standings with just three races left in the Countdown to the Championship.
Capps in his NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota GR Supra struggled in Friday’s lone qualifying session, but co-crew chiefs Dean ‘Guido’ Antonelli and John Medlen bounced back on Saturday. Capps powered to low E.T. of both sessions, collecting the maximum of six bonus points for the day. His 3.863 E.T. at 331.94-mph was good for the No. 3 spot, setting up a first-round race with Daniel Wilkerson.
Capps’ road to the final round started with a solid 3.938-second pass to knock out Wilkerson. Capps then squared off against fellow two-time world champion, Cruz Pedregon, using a 3.927 at 328.30-mph to beat Pedregon and his 3.938 E.T. in a side-by-side race in the second round. In the semifinals, Capps lined up against John Force, the only Funny Car pilot who has collected more wins than Capps, for the 120th time. Capps got the win, firing off a booming 3.884 -second at 332.02-mph pass that stood for low E.T. of race day.
Madison, IL – Capps, the winningest Funny Car driver at World Wide Technology Raceway, will look to add to his four St. Louis wins as he pursues a third Camping World Series title, and first championship for Ron Capps Motorsports in its rookie season. The NAPA AUTO PARTS team has visited the winner’s circle at two of the last three events (Indianapolis, Charlotte), and will be looking to carry that momentum into the Midwest Nationals.
Capps moved into second following his Carolina Nationals victory last weekend and is currently 27 points behind the No. 1 ranked driver.
Capps talks about the chase for the championship, “Obviously, we talked about coming out of Indy and how important it is to stay up there in the points and make sure you’re within striking distance before we get to Pomona. And, part of that is just what our NAPA team did last year, which is stay consistent and put the pressure on our opponents.
CONCORD,NC – Ron Capps raced to victory for the fourth time this season on Sunday afternoon during the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals, defeating Alexis DeJoria in the final round to move up to second place in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship standings.
Including his runner-up finish in Brainerd, Minn. and Indianapolis triumph, Capps has now taken his NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota GR Supra to the final round at three out of the last four events, placing him solidly in the championship hunt after the second of six playoff events, but the 28-year NHRA veteran is careful not to get ahead of himself.
“I try not to get that jacked up about it,” Capps said during his post-race interview. “I’ve been around the block, and I’ve driven for the ‘Snake’ (Don Prudhomme), and one of his favorite quotes is, ‘don’t drink your own bath water,’ meaning don’t start reading your own press and getting too high and mighty on yourself. I knew in Indy we had a great car, but we weren’t going to live off of that. I’ve been around long enough to know to keep my mouth shut because you look at what happened where we won the U.S. Nationals, and then went out second round last weekend in Reading (Pa.); we were humbled. That’s drag racing, you can’t get cocky, you can’t mouth off because that sort of thing will happen to you in a heartbeat.”
Concord, NC – Capps is 84 points out of first, and will be looking to narrow the deficit as he pursues his second consecutive Funny Car title, third overall, and first for Ron Capps Motorsports. The second-winningest Funny Car driver of all time has victories from Las Vegas, Bristol, and Indianapolis in 2022.
Ron reflects on Charlotte and the countdown, “I think everybody can take a deep breath now that we’ve got one race under our belts with the Countdown. Obviously, a lot of emotions go into racing all season long and having the points reset, and then it all comes down to battling it out for six races.
“We had an unbelievable NAPA AutoCare car in Maple Grove, qualified No. 2 and then ran low E.T. of the weekend in the first round. Of course, second round was disappointing but there’s good news along with the bad news. The good news is, we know why it smoked the tires, and the great news is, we’re going to a fantastic race track like zMAX. We love going there for the Four-Wides, we love racing there in the Countdown, and it just takes a lot of the guesswork out for these crew chiefs when you go up there and know it’s going to be a great race track surface. Same for the drivers; we can focus on trying to do the best we can with keeping the car in the groove. I’m excited, I’m glad we get to go right back at it with these three races in a row, and to be sandwiched here in between Reading and St. Louis, I couldn’t think of a better place to go, and we’ll see if we can’t climb ourselves back into the top spot in the points.”
READING, PA – Defending NHRA Funny Car world champion Ron Capps rolled into the NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway with a dominant NAPA AutoCare Toyota GR Supra after winning the U.S. Nationals from the No. 1 spot less than two weeks prior. Capps appeared on his way to another late-round finish on Sunday at the first race of the Countdown to the Championship, setting low E.T. of the event in the opening round of eliminations. His bid for a second consecutive win ended in the second round, though, when he lost traction after a starting line advantage.
Before starting eliminations, Capps and his Ron Capps Motorsports entry were quick and consistent through all three rounds of qualifying. He was third-quickest of the first session, earning one bonus point with a run that also set top speed of the meet. Capps made another solid run in the second session, but it was his 3.878 E.T. at 331.45-mph pass in the final session that netted Capps three valuable bonus points, as well as the No. 2 qualifying position.
On race day Sunday, Capps and co-crew chiefs Dean “Guido” Antonelli and John Medlen threw down the quickest pass of the day to get things started. Capps recorded a 3.858 at 331.53 to defeat Phil Burkart and earn lane choice for a second-round match with Tim Wilkerson. Capps left the starting line first in the race between the two most recent U.S. Nationals winners, but he had to lift to a 4.420 at 201.10, allowing Wilkerson to drive past with a winning 3.918.
Reading, PA – The defending series champion is pursuing his second consecutive Funny Car title, third overall, and first for Ron Capps Motorsports. Capps enters the Reading event after having raced to victory from the pole in Indianapolis, and a runner-up finish in Brainerd, Minn.
He will be seeking his third consecutive final round appearance during the Pa. event. Capps owns both ends of the Maple Grove Raceway
Ron’s thoughts on 2022 so far. “This season has flown by and I can hardly believe that we’re getting ready to head out to Reading, Pa. to start the Countdown. We have a lot of excitement and momentum coming off of our big weekend from the U.S. Nationals. Great performance by (Dean Antonelli) ‘Guido,’ (John) Medlen, and our NAPA AutoCare team. We’re all pretty excited to see what the Koretsky family has done since purchasing Maple Grove Raceway. Coming off of a big win like we did in Indy, it was nice to have a week off but we’re blessed that NAPA AUTO PARTS has given us a chance to run our NAPA AutoCare car, which we won in Indy, again this weekend in Reading. We’re thrilled to be able to represent the great AutoCare Center owners of this country, and we’re excited to have the opportunity to put the car in the winner’s circle once again.”
Capps Sweeps Indy; Wins Pole, All-Star Call Out Race, and U.S. Nats Trophy
INDIANAPOLIS – Defending NHRA Camping World Series Funny Car champion Ron Capps raced to victory on Monday afternoon at Indianapolis Raceway Park, finally capturing that first NHRA U.S. Nationals triumph that had been eluding him for more than two-and-a-half decades. Capps took his NAPA AutoCare Toyota GR Supra to the finish line in 3.913 seconds at 327.98-mph to defeat Robert Hight in the final round, scoring his third win as a team owner and 71st overall. The victory came one day after he won the Pep Boys All-Star Call Out specialty race, allowing Capps the opportunity to double-up at the ‘Super Bowl of drag racing.’
“It’s such a surreal feeling, I can’t even put it into words,” said an emotional Capps following the momentous win. “There are so many emotions that come from winning such a big event that exemplifies NHRA’s heritage and history. To not only win Indy on Monday, finally, but to win the big Call Out race, and get the pole position all in one weekend, it was like I was held back, and held back, and held back, and then, the flood gates opened. This year has been so crazy being a first-year team owner and having so much help around me. So many people wanted to be a part of what we were doing, and what we’re building, and it was so nice to have that support. Don ‘the Snake’ Prudhomme, my old boss, texted me right before I put my helmet on for the finals and he said, ‘one more, kid, go get ‘em,’ and I can’t wait to call him.”
INDIANAPOLIS – In addition to securing his first NHRA U.S. Nationals Funny Car pole, Ron Capps defeated Matt Hagan in the final round of the inaugural Pep Boys All-Star Call Out race on Sunday evening at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Aboard the NAPA AutoCare Toyota GR Supra, Capps clocked a 3.936-second at 330.47-mph pass to outpace Hagan and claim the $80,000 cash prize.
The unique ‘call out’ element of the All-Star race allowed Capps, the No. 2 seed, to select his first-round opponent, and Capps made no bones about why he chose to line up against Tim Wilkerson in round one.
“The choice was simple. I wanted revenge, and Guido (Dean Antonelli) and (John) Medlen, and our entire NAPA AutoCare team wanted revenge,” said Capps, referring to last year’s U.S. Nationals final round showdown when Wilkerson laid down a monster run to defeat Capps, denying the defending Camping World series champion of his first Big Go win. “Timmy is one of my favorite people out here. He’s one of those ‘throwback racers.’ Tunes his car, owns his own team, he’s a NAPA AutoCare Center owner, so we share that connection, and he was a big help to me over the off-season. That being said, I believe his final-round pass was the ‘run of the year’ last year. That throw-down run in the final round, snatching that U.S. Nationals win away from our team, it hurt; it still stings, so yeah, we were gunning for him.”
Indianapolis, IN – While Capps won an event at Indy in 2020, the 28-year Funny Car veteran and second-winningest driver in the class has never won the coveted Wally trophy at the ‘Big Go,’ and will be looking to achieve that bucket-list item this weekend. Capps has come close, most recently finishing as the event runner-up at last year’s race.
Capps, a two-time race winner in 2022, sits third in the Funny Car standings with 56 points (less than two round wins) separating the defending world champ from No. 2 ranked Matt Hagan. Capps will be looking to make a move and lock-in the No. 2 starting position as he begins his championship defense.
The U.S. Nationals will feature an All-Star shootout event during the race weekend. Capps and the NAPA AutoCare team have qualified for the Call-Out, earning the No. 2 seed, and will have the advantage of selecting their first-round opponent as they vie for the $80K purse
Capps take on the BIG GO, “Once again, it’s time for the U.S. Nationals. I can’t believe how fast the season has gone by so far. There have been so many firsts for myself, and our team this year, and it’s been such a fun ride. But, it’s time to start thinking about the world championship and our title defense, and that starts when we get to the U.S. Nationals. It’s the last race you can collect points to have an opportunity to move up to start the Countdown.
BRAINERD, MN – Two-time and defending NHRA Funny Car world champion Ron Capps advanced to the final round for the fourth time during the 2022 Camping World Series season on Sunday, powering to a runner-up finish at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
Starting from the No. 4 seed, Capps’ march to the final round began with a round-one matchup versus John Force who entered the race weekend ranked fourth in the Funny Car standings, trailing No. 3-ranked Capps. Aboard the NAPA AUTO PARTS GR Supra, Capps powered to a winning 3.931 E.T. to outpace Force’s 4.022-second effort, effectively halting Force’s chances at making any points gains on Capps. In his quarterfinal contest, Capps was awarded the automatic win on a solo run when Bobby Bode was unable to put his car in reverse following the burnout, setting up a semifinal match versus Alexis DeJoria. Against DeJoria, Capps drove the NAPA Supra to the finish line in 3.955 seconds while DeJoria fouled out when she stood on the throttle too early and red lit.
In his 10th Brainerd final round appearance, Capps used his quick reflexes to score the holeshot advantage over Bob Tasca, but his 4.007 E.T. wasn’t enough to keep pace with last week’s winner’s 3.945-second pass.