Drag racer goes from Super Bowl sidelines to Winternationals

SAN DIEGO – The National Hot Rod Association drops the green flag on the drag-racing season at Winternationals in Pomona this weekend and Carlsbad resident Ron Capps is gearing up to take the checked flag.

Ron Capps interview pix 2 12 13Capps owns the record for the fastest speed in a Top Fuel funny car at 319.29 mph.

“The funny car I drive is 10,000 horse power,” Capps said. “It’s zero-to-330 mph in less than four seconds. While it seems like it is not very long, there’s a lot that goes on in your brain for that three seconds and it’s complete mayhem.”

“It shakes the ground. It makes your internal organs in your body move around in a good way. It’s crazy. It makes my hair on my neck stand on edge just thinking about it.”

Capps has accomplished almost everything possible in his Top Fuel funny car, except win a points championship. Last season, he came up just two points shy, the closest finish in NHRA history, and had to settle for his fourth runner-up finish.

“Losing by two points was heart-breaking,” Capps said. “It’s right there and you can taste it.”

The 48-year-old has lived in Carlsbad for the past two decades, but he grew up in San Luis Obispo, where he became a big San Francisco 49ers fan. He had a chance to watch his team up close at Super Bowl XLVII by holding the sideline microphone for the 49ers radio network.Ron Capps at Super Bowl

“As a Niner’s fan, to be able to go to the Super Bowl would have been enough,” Capps said.” But to be on the sidelines…”

The last play of the game, where they could have won the game, you can see me holding [the mic] and I was right next to the sideline, so that shot I’m in. I’m trying to keep a straight face.”

Generally speaking, Capps has a tough time keeping a straight face, because as a drag racer, he feels like he has the best job.

He ranks third all-time in top fuel funny car wins with 37 and has gained just enough celebrity status.

“It’s a perfect mix right now that I can get some free stuff or maybe a better table at a restaurant because of it,” Capps said. “But not end up on TMZ because I’m down in the Gaslamp having a good time.”

As for winning the elusive Winternationals championship, could this be his year?

“I think every year is going to be my year,” Capps said. “If it doesn’t happen, I’m okay with it. I’d still like to have a championship ring, of course.”


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