Funny Car world champ Ron Capps eager to keep rolling at Winternationals – NHRA.com
The last time Ron Capps was at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, he was wrapping up his second career Funny Car world championship in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Back at the same track for this weekend’s Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com to open the 2022 season, Capps has entered an entirely new world.
He’s been the reigning champ before in his NAPA Auto Parts Funny Car, but never as a team owner. The veteran star took that major step for the first time this offseason, adding plenty of additional responsibilities in the process. But the two-time world champ is basking in excitement as he prepares to kick off the 2022 campaign in style.
“To say this is the most excited I’ve ever felt heading into the Winternationals would be an understatement,” Capps said. “Obviously 1997, making my debut as a rookie, driving for Don ‘the Snake’ Prudhomme was pretty exciting and overwhelming, but coming into this season as a team owner and driver, defending our championship, and then you add in everything that’s been going on in this very short offseason, plus having the backing of NAPA Auto Parts and GearWrench, and it just gives me a lot of satisfaction.”
Leah Pruett (Top Fuel), Capps (Funny Car), and Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock) were winners of the 2021 event, which took place in the summer a year ago but is now back in its traditional February spot to open the year. The event, which is also the 900th Pro Stock race, will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), including eliminations action at 10 p.m. ET. Capps has enjoyed plenty of success in Pomona over the years, including winning the Winternationals last season, which was a victory that spurred his run to the world championship.
Capps was impressively consistent down the stretch, qualifying well and making deep runs into eliminations. With the bulk of the same team returning, including crew chiefs Dean Antonelli and John Medlen, the goal for Capps is to keep on rolling. The team had a solid preseason test session, but nothing will come easy in a loaded Funny Car class that includes 16-time world champ John Force, 2020 world champ Matt Hagan, J.R. Todd, Robert Hight, Alexis DeJoria, Bob Tasca III, Tim Wilkerson, and Cruz Pedregon.
“Preseason testing went great. We had tremendous success with what we wanted to try,” Capps said. “Guido [Dean Antonelli], [John] Medlen, and our entire NAPA AutoCare team had a plan. We went to Phoenix, made the runs we wanted to make, and now we’re set for Ron Capps Motorsports to make its first official NHRA appearance and begin our Camping World Series championship defense. It’s going to be a lot of fun this year. I’m very excited to get the season started in Pomona, where we won the 2021 championship just a few months ago.”
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature one round at 4 p.m. PT on Friday, Feb. 18, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Feb. 19 at 12 and 4 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 20. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 10 p.m. ET on Friday, 7 a.m. ET on Sunday, and then eliminations action at 10 p.m. ET on Sunday.
To purchase tickets, call 800-884-NHRA (6472) or click here. Children 12 and under are admitted free in general-admissions areas with a paid adult.