Ron Capps No. 1 at Sonoma; Earns Third Pole in Nine Races


Ron Capps will begin his campaign for a fifth Sonoma Raceway Wally trophy by starting from the No. 1 seed on Sunday morning at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals. He earned his third pole of the season on the strength of his impressive 3.897-second at 328.78-mph Q1 pass, which allowed him to bank three bonus points for clocking the quickest run of the session. He went on to collect another three bonus points during Q2 on Saturday afternoon when he took his NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat on a stout 3.981-second ride.

“These yellow Camping World Series hats are awesome and we’re racking them up this year with great qualifying positions,” said Capps of his 2021 class-best qualifying average which has seen him earn a starting position of fifth or better through the first nine races of the season. “That’s all race car. That’s Guido (Dean Antonelli), and (John) Medlen and our whole NAPA AutoCare team.”

While they haven’t hoisted a trophy yet this year, Capps and the NAPA team have advanced to the semifinals or better at three out of the last four races, and feel confident that they can go the distance on Sunday in Sonoma and finish their weekend in the winner’s circle.

“Race day is when you have to put it all together and we’ve come close a few times, it’s just a matter of winning those close races we’ve come out on the wrong side of,” added Capps, a California native who would love nothing more than to pick up a win in front of family and friends at a venue he considers to be a home track. “I’ve been doing this long enough to know when I’ve got something great, and I know I’ve got a great team. We’re all doing our jobs and it hasn’t fallen our way yet, but listen, I’d rather have a better second half of the year heading into the Countdown, and there’s no better time to start that than right now. I have all the confidence that we’ll be showing up at Pomona (Calif.) in November with a great chance to run for the championship if we haven’t already clinched it by then. That’s how strongly I feel about this team.”

Capps, a 28-time No. 1 qualifier, will have the advantage of lane choice when he takes on Tony Jurado in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday morning.

Qualified: No. 1 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 16 Tony Jurado

Bonus Points: Six

The Results:
Q1: 3.897 E.T. at 328.78 MPH (Three bonus points for third-quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.981 E.T. at 321.04 MPH (Three bonus points for third-quickest run of the session)
Q3: 4.097 E.T. at 252.38 MPH