Autoweek NHRA insider Ron Capps’ blog: Ending the 2019 Funny Car season with a bang

Breadcrumb

Home

NHRA

November 20, 2019 05:10 PM

Autoweek NHRA insider Ron Capps’ blog: Ending the 2019 Funny Car season with a bang

With the season in the rearview mirror, it’s full speed ahead to a new level of busy.

Ron Capps

Share

Tweet

Pin It

Email

More

Print

Auto Imagery

Driver Ron Capps’ NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car explodes during the second round of eliminations during the season-ending event at Pomona, California.

Editor’s note: This is the 24th and final in a series of exclusive Autoweek blogs by 2016 NHRA Funny Car champion Ron Capps. Last time out, Capps qualified eighth at Pomona before falling in the second round of eliminations to teammate Matt Hagan. Capps finished the season sixth in the Funny Car points standings to give him 15 consecutive top-10 season finishes.

Obviously, you don’t want to get in the middle of a championship between the guys and girls who are battling it out when you don’t have a chance to win it yourself.
On Sunday morning, we were mathematically out of it after Saturday’s qualifying at our season-ending race Pomona. One thing I know about us is that we’re still going to go up there and race, and like I’ve said before, there’s probably championships that our team owner Don Schumacher doesn’t have on his mantle because the drivers on his team have been good about racing heads up in situations like this.
Saturday’s qualifying set up some interesting scenarios that last day—points leader Robert Hight going up against his boss John Force, and after we won in the first round, we had a matchup with our DSR teammate Matt Hagan. And Matt was still alive in the championship.
Unfortunately against Hagan, we had a miscue and it ended up being a pretty big explosion. We were neck and neck when it happened. I was hoping that we’d have a shot of beating him.

Related Article

NHRA Mello Yello Series finals: Robert Hight holds off hard-charging Jack Beckman for Funny Car crown

I don’t remember us damaging a body that badly this year. It is sort of the reputation we have with my crew chief Rahn Tobler. He doesn’t get real crazy or out of bounds with something that’s going to end up doing that. We have had explosions in recent years, but nothing like we had on Sunday.
The fact that the body on our NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car has a new burst panel saved us during the explosion. They’re little flaps on the hood, and they flip open and let a lot of combustion out. Had they not had that on the new car on Sunday, that body would have been blown off and into the air like a lot of cars we’ve seen the last few years. No doubt that kept the body on it.
It didn’t feel that bad to me until I saw the pictures that people put up on the internet. Then I thought, ‘Whoa!’
Not a good way to end our season, but big picture, our guys have a couple months to fix that body.

Related Article

NHRA Mello Yellow Series finals: Erica Enders’ third Pro Stock title was just divine

As far as keeping my chops up now that the season is over, I’ll go race go-karts if I can, and I’ll have a lot of appearances. We have the fan cruise, Cruisin’ with Capps, coming up. This year is the 14th annual, believe it or not. It’s an eight-day cruise leaving out of Miami right after Thanksgiving. We always mix it up, leaving out of different ports. L.A. last year, I think Texas next year.
And I’ll spend a lot of time now with iRacing, the online racing game. I have a little simulator at home, nothing fancy. It doesn’t move around, but I’ve had it forever.
I was one of the original beta testers for iRacing. I’ll still log on and race with some other race car drivers—F1 drivers, NASCAR drivers, dirt cars, midgets. It’s about the best thing I can do to keep my driving chops up.

Related Article

NHRA Mello Yello Series finals: Steve Torrence wins second Top Fuel championship by 3 points

You can’t hide your identity on iRacing. That’s good and bad. When we first started out, Martin Truex Jr. would get on there, Dale Jr. We had quite a few guys on there when iRacing first started. We were in a little group that you had to be invited into. Now we just jump in and do whatever race we want to do. There are some celebrities who will pop in. You’ll see their name. That’s always fun.
I’ll go in and host a race—I’ll pick a track, pick a car, pick the number of laps and all that. It’s cool when people first jump into a race with me and they’ll say, ‘Man, you’re a drag racer. You’re a pretty good driver for a guy who drives straight for a living.’ That’s always the joke. But it’s fun. I enjoy doing it.
Now that the season is over, people say, ‘Ah, it’s the offseason, you’ll have all this free time.’ But for me, the offseason seems busier than the season sometimes. We’ll have photoshoots. I’ll go to the PRI Show in Indianapolis in December – I haven’t been there in 10 years. The appearances, the cruise. I also love my time at home, so I’ll make sure to have some downtime.
You mix in the holidays, and before you know it, we’re back ready to test at the end of January.

Auto Imagery

Ron Capps plans to be back for the 2020 NHRA season-opening race weekend at Pomona, Feb. 6-9.

Ron Capps, 54, drives the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing. He has 64 career NHRA victories, including 63 in the Funny Car class. The second-winningest driver in NHRA Funny Car history added three wins to his total in 2019.

[data-block-plugin-id=”block_content:506900a1-5fa6-4183-be8c-b72d2291c751″] .crain-block-embeds-code {
border: none;
}

Recommended for You

Source:https://autoweek.com/article/nhra/autoweek-nhra-insider-ron-capps-blog-ending-2019-funny-car-season-bang

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *