Drag Racing Online: The Magazine

Volume VIII, Issue 6, Page

You mentioned earlier how you and Snake are still really close and everything.  Can you clear up for us now that there's a little time behind it. Did you quit or were you forced out or what?  Is there anything you can say about that to clear it up?

capps:   Um…it was mutual.  At times, when these cars run good or when they don't run good determines people's lives, not just their moves.  They run your life. If your car is not running good and you aren't having a good weekend out here, it's your livelihood and it determines how your life is going and can take a good day and make it a bad day. In some ways it like playing golf.  You can wake up in the best mood, go play a bad round and be flustered.  If you let it get to you, you will be in a rotten mood the rest of the day. 

When the team was struggling, Don and I never argued with each other; we were always talking about ways to make the team better and when things were down and for some reason things weren't going right, tempers flare here and there.  He's been a guy that's been around forever and so I just didn’t think it was my place to tell him any kind of advice on how to do things. He was my boss and a mentor and I didn't want it to get personal and lose my friendship with him.  I went to him and had a great talk and determined it would be best for our relationship to just try something else.

  So, was it a matter of the team chemistry just going away or what?

capps:    Well, there was just a difference of opinions.  I had something happen the year we brought Roland back, the year before I left the Skoal team. I guess it was '04.  I’ve never talked about this before, Our family does this camping thing during the break between St. Louis and Denver.  We always go up to these lakes and take a week with the families and friends.  We Sea-doo and boat and just have a good time and then we pack up and go to Denver.  We got up there camping,

I was up there with my mom and dad and my kids fell asleep.  We look down and our jet skis had come unlatched and were floating just a few feet out, but they were going to float out into the middle of the lake, so I figured I'd jump in the water and swim out there and grab one, get on it and then go over and grab the other one and bring it back.  Well, the tide had taken it out a little farther, so I started swimming and swimming, I didn't have a life jacket on, but it wasn't very far when I started swimming.  The next thing I knew, it had taken me out a little bit.  Had taken them out a little bit more. As I was swimming they  just kept getting farther away.  So I was treading water and I looked back and I was pretty far away from the shore and the jet-skis  were pretty far away from me and I kind of panicked.  I started swimming back to the shore, the current was pretty strong against me and I was running out of energy fast. I started struggling and running out of energy and I remember…there's not a day that goes by that I don’t remember it.  The shore was pretty far away still and I stopped…it got to the point that my wife and my mom had my kids out on the dock.  They were watching me and yelling at me 'cause I'd actually stopped a couple times and went under and somehow I fought, and I don't know how I made it to the shore, but I remember thinking, this is it, I'm going to die, I’m going to drown here and my kids are going to watch, they aren't going to be able to help me.  They were screaming for somebody with a boat to come and help and I remember stopping and saying to myself, I’m not going to make it.

I didn't know what else to do.  I'd stopped a couple times and bobbed under.  I said, I've got to fight, I've got to fight for my life, and I fought and it got to the point where I actually gave up one time and I actually went under. My wife said I went under for quite awhile and she said she thought that was it, but somehow I popped up and made it.  I remember getting to shore, they called for a helicopter to come in, but a lady showed up on a boat and she was a paramedic from LA.  I got an email from her later, she didn’t know anything about racing.  She got online and typed my name in later on, but she was the first to get to me.  When the ranger got there, my pulse was pretty low.  They didn’t think I was going to make it.  I remember lying there in the mud on the shore with my body still in the water and so out of energy I was done fighting.  I don't know how I made it to be honest with you.  I don't remember the last part of making it.  It was a weird situation, but she stayed there…anyhow…long story short, Snake and I had been on the phone before that happened and the frustration was coming out in both of us about both the teams.  It was that weekend that I just made the decision to help our relationship, not let it get any worse and just part ways with the team so we could stay friends.   So, yeah, it was that weekend that I made a decision.  Life was too short.

 I've never talked about that before.  It was a strange couple of days after that 'cause I was…I don’t know how I didn't drown.