Funny Car Driver Ron Capps to be Inducted into Sonoma Raceway Wall of Fame
NHRA Funny Car driver Ron Capps has developed an impressive resume in more than two decades of competition at Sonoma Raceway. The popular NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series driver will add another item to that list when he is inducted into the Sonoma Raceway Wall of Fame during the NHRA Sonoma Nationals later this month.
Capps, a native of San Luis Obispo on California's central coast, has posted four Funny Car victories in Sonoma (1997, 2010, 2011 and 2013), as well as two runner-up finishes. Capps grew up racing on drag strips throughout California, including Baylands Raceway and Lions Drag Strip, before making his first start at then-Sears Point Raceway in 1994.
In his Sonoma debut, Capps recalls that he piloted John Mitchell's "Montana Express" Top Alcohol Dragster, and went on to beat his hero Jay Payne on a holeshot.
But the on-track statistics tell only a portion of the story, as Capps has become an active supporter of the Sonoma chapter of Speedway Children's Charities (SCC). Capps was among the first drivers to attend and participate in SCC's annual NHRA Tour de Charity karting event, as well as the Eric Medlen Nitro Night fundraising dinner, and he's missed only one event since their inceptions. These events have combined to raise more than $250,000 since 2002.
Capps will be inducted prior to pre-event ceremonies on Sunday, Aug. 2. He will become the 19th members of the raceway's Wall of Fame, joining fellow NHRA racers Warren Johnson (2005), John Force (2006), Gary Scelzi (2007), Doug Kalitta (2008) and Don Prudhomme (2011).
"I am so honored to even be mentioned with the people on the Sonoma Raceway Wall of Fame," said Capps, driver of the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger. "I have so many great memories in Sonoma, and it's always truly felt like my home track. I love the facility, the fans and supporting the charity there, and it is incredibly special to be inducted."
Nationally, Capps is one of the most recognizable faces on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. He's finished second in the Funny Car point standings four times (1998, 2000, 2005 and 2012) and earned 45 career event victories in 90 final-round appearances. He is currently ranked second in Funny Car point standings with two victories so far this season.
"Ron Capps is one of the greats of our sport and his record at Sonoma Raceway has been phenomenal. But beyond his success on the track, Ron understands the role pro athletes can play beyond the competitive arena, and his generous spirit is part of what has made him a crowd favorite," said Steve Page, president and general manager of Sonoma Raceway. "We are proud to add Ron Capps' name to the Sonoma Raceway Wall of Fame."