Ron Capps makes it back-to-back Thunder Valley Nationals wins
Team Speed Society Racing’s own Ron Capps fought his way through a tough field and ...
Team Speed Society Racing’s own Ron Capps fought his way through a tough field and the sweltering Tennessee spring to earn his first win of the 2018 season at the Fitzgerald USA Thunder Valley Nationals. On a weekend that saw just one funny car in the 3-second zone, Capps relied on consistency from tuner Rahn Tobler to combat the conditions and mow down the competition.
Capps, who also won this race a year ago, faced a quartet of opponents who all can win on any given weekend. Even Capps himself admitted that his matchup with John Force in the opening round was “a final round matchup. It’s a matchup for the Championship,” and considering he and Force are the two most successful drivers in Funny Car history, he certainly makes a valid point.
Capps strapped a holeshot on the sixteen time world champion and never looked back, taking the win with a 4.24 elapsed time to Force’s slowing 5.82. Capps’ run would earn him lane choice over his second round opponent, Robert Hight.
In what was one of the closest races of the weekend, Capps and Hight both raced to low 4.2 second elapsed times in round 2 with Capps taking the narrow victory with a 4.20 ET to a 4.23 for Hight. This set the stage for a semifinal pairing with JR Todd, whose 4.203 just beat out Capps’ 4.208 for lane choice, which is a bit of a factor a Bristol due to the small bumps over the tunnels that run beneath the track.
However, losing lane choice would prove to be of little consequence as Capps reeled off another 4.2 pass to take the win over Todd, who put up a solid fight with his 4.37 elapsed time.
Final round opponent Bob Tasca III, who’s found some consistency lately that’s had him winning rounds at the last couple of events, would also have lane choice but once again, it would prove no matter as Capps once again blasted to a low 4.2 second pass – a 4.234 at 296 MPH to be exact – to take the win over Tasca’s 4.300 at 286 MPH.
The victory was Capps’ 58th and marked the 300th win as an organization for Don Schumacher Racing. Capps also became Bristol’s winningest Funny Car driver by taking home his 5th Wally from the gorgeous eastern Tennessee facility, breaking his tie with Force for the most wins here. Capps solidified himself in the points chase as well, moving up to 5th place with the victory.