This morning 2021 Funny Car World Champion Ron Capps finally announced at PRI what he’s been teasing us with for weeks, the launch of Ron Capps Motorsports. The new NHRA team will see Ron pulling double duty as owner/driver as he tries to go for back to back and a third series championship in 2022.
“It’s probably been the worst kept secret out there,” Ron joked about the rumors that have been swirling around this announcement for weeks. “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 so thrilled that it’s finally out there.
“Team ownership as been a lifelong dream. I’ve been in the sport of NHRA Drag Racing for almost 30 years as a driver and being able to race for legends like Don ‘The Snake” Prudhomme, and then Don Schumacher, it’s obviously been an incredible experience. I’ve been very fortunate to compete at a high level all these years and be successful, and it feels like the right time to take this next step.”
Ron was the 1997 NHRA Road to the Future ‘Rookie of the Year’ winner and since his debut in a Top Fuel dragster in 1995, he’s checked nearly every box in the sport.
While Ron is set to embark on this brand new journey, it might look like business as usual from the outside as this operation will look very similar to the one race fans have grown accustomed to over the last several years.
NAPA Auto Parts is set to return as the primary sponsor on Ron’s 11,000 horsepower Funny Car. Since joining forces in 2007, Ron and and NAPA have shared 43 winners circle celebrations and two world championships, (2016, 2021).
Vice President of Marketing at NAPA, Marti Walsh, had this to say about the continued partnership, “We have built a winning partnership over the years, so it is natural for NAPA Auto Parts to continue working with Ron through Ron Capps Motorsports. Ron is part of the NAPA family, and the sport of NHRA Drag Racing is in our DNA. We are excited to partner with Ron as he takes on the dual role of owner/driver.”
In addition to the returning sponsor, Ron’s entire championship winning team will remain in tact on this new adventure. Crew chiefs Dean ‘Guido’ Antonelli and John Medlen, who put together 2 wins, 5 final around appearances and 4 No. 1 qualifiers in their first season together will continue to call the shots. The team will also continue to operate out of the Don Schumacher Racing headquarters in Brownsburg, Indiana.
“Obviously, 2021 was one of the toughest Funny Car battles in NHRA history and it came down to wire, but for me, what stands out the most about this season was working with longtime friend Dean ‘Guido’ Antonelli, John Medlen and this great NAPA AutoCare team,” said the second winningest Funny Car driver in NHRA history. “We were put together last minute in January, and it just reminds you that when you’re surrounded by great people that all share a common goal, great things can happen. We fought through a lot of ups and downs throughout the year, and nobody ever gave up on anybody else, and that’s what made this championship season so great. Race cars are race cars, but it’s all about the people that make it happen, that’s something that NAPA has instilled in me as well.
“I’ve always kept my eye and ears open and paid attention to these great team owners that I’ve worked for, and always hoped that one day I ‘d have the chance to own my own team,” continued Capps. “So, a huge thank you to NAPA Auto Parts for giving me this chance. I’m so excited to go into 2022 and beyond with this incredible team and NAPA’s support.”
Ron Capps Motorsports will make it’s competition debut at the 2022 NHRA season opener at Ron’s home track in Pomona, California and is slated to compete in the full 22 race schedule.
Additionally Ron will be chronicling his journey as a new team owner throughout 2022 via a blog series on Autoweek.com where he will share regular check-ins and updates with the Autoweek readers. The manufacturing partner and additional associate partnerships will be announced at a later date.