NHRA Champion Ron Capps Starts His Own Team For 2022
Only last month reigning two-time Funny Car champion Ron Capps announced he would not be staying with Don Schumacher Racing after being with the team for years. At the Performance Racing Industry trade show last week he announced he’ll be starting his own team, and he’ll be driving for it. The Ron Capps Motorsports team will begin for the 2022 NHRA season.
“It’s hard to keep something secret”
“It’s probably been the worst-kept secret out there,” he said. And he’s right. Speculation has suggested he would be starting his own team for a while. “It’s hard to keep something secret that you’re so excited about, you just want to shout it from the rooftop. But, I’m thrilled that it’s finally out there.”
What is different about this new venture is that he’ll be surrounding himself with almost all of the crew he had at Schumacher’s. NAPA Auto Parts, which has sponsored Capps’ Funny Car for 14 years, will be going with him as his main sponsor. Since 2007 Capps has won 43 races and those two championship seasons with NAPA on the side of his Funny Car.
Will Ron Capps Motorsports have a new crew?
Also, the entire crew from 2021 will follow him to the new operation. That means crew chiefs Dean Antonelli and John Medlen will continue with Capps. “Obviously, 2021 was one of the toughest Funny Car battles in NHRA history and it came right down to the wire. But for me, what stands out most about this past season was working with longtime friend Dean ‘Guido’ Antonelli, John Medlen, and this great NAPA Auto Care team,” says Capps.
Other than his one victory in a Top Fuel dragster, his 67 NHRA national event wins have all come as a Funny Car driver. His 68 wins place him second only to John Force as the most-winning Funny Car driver in NHRA history.
“We fought through a lot of ups and downs throughout the year, and nobody ever gave up on anybody else,” he said. “That’s what made this championship season so great. Race cars are race cars, but it’s all about the people that make that happen, and that’s something NAPA has instilled in me as well.”
Capps says Funny Cars are “unnerving and unpredictable”
In spite of Top Fuel dragsters being the elite category in NHRA drag racing, Capps prefers Funny Cars. He says it is because they’re “ unnerving and unpredictable.” What he likes is that it is more exciting to drive since a Funny Car is known for evil handling. Capps also says that for his three-plus seconds worth of a run, he does not enjoy it. He once said, “You fight for your life to keep the car straight and do everything right in a split second.”
Capps will open the 2022 season at the Pomona Fairplex in Pomona, California, in February. He plans on competing in all 22 NHRA races to try and make it a back-to-back championship year.