INDIANAPOLIS, IN – November 18, 2022 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Ron Capps’ season ended with a Funny Car world championship on the outskirts of Los Angeles in Pomona, but not even a Hollywood writer could have scripted such a magical season for the veteran and first-year team owner in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series.
Capps became the first Funny Car driver in 20 years to record back-to-back world titles, claiming his third career championship in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra on the final day of the season at the NHRA Finals. It closed out a special season that included five victories and nine final-round appearances but doing it while taking the massive step to become a team owner just before the start of 2022 made it that much more special.
He relied on the expertise of his team, led by crew chiefs Dean Antonelli and the retiring John Medlen, countless phone calls to legends in the motorsports game, and a series of clutch performances down the stretch to slip past Robert Hight by a mere three points, with Sunday marking the only time all season where he led in points.
“We’ve had so many good people around us and I’ve leaned on some great people. All these people we race against have checked on me and helped me, and I just didn’t think it was going to happen,” Capps said. “Having to beat (Hight), all of it hasn’t even sunk in. It’s still crazy to me and it all blows my mind.
“The year has been phenomenal. I kept leaning on ‘Guido’ (Antonelli) and to win five races, it’s just crazy as a new team owner. I told ‘Guido ‘before the final round, ‘It’s crazy. We both grew up crew guys and we won a world championship in our first year together. I have the utmost confidence in my team and that’s what has made it work all season long.”
Capps switched to the new Toyota GR Supra early in the season, grabbing the first win for the innovative new body in Bristol. He never dipped lower than third in points, but came alive down the stretch, including a highlight-filled weekend in Indy. Capps won the Pep Boys NHRA Funny Car All-Star Callout and then added his first – and long-awaited – career victory at the prestigious U.S. Nationals, heading into the Countdown to the Championship second in points.
He advanced to the final round at four of the six playoff races, winning in Charlotte and Dallas, which proved to be just enough…