Drag Racing Online: The Magazine

Volume VIII, Issue 6, Page


Let's turn to current issues here a little bit. Is the rev limiter still causing driver/engine problems now?

capps:   No. MSD, since Gainesville, has done a good job listening to us.  And it's not MSD's fault, it's NHRA's fault if anything.  There were problems with anybody having engine failure, which a lot of teams weren't, some of them were, but most of them weren't.  So to blame it on the limiter would be tough, but MSD made some changes where they made it a little…where it hit a little bit less after the Gainesville race where some of us had concerns about what it was doing.  It's still a tough deal. It's just something we'll have to get used to, but it's a tough deal when it hits the limiter. As a driver it makes that sound like it's a hole or a cylinder is going out or the engine is getting damaged.  It's a strange sound; it's hard to explain to someone that hasn't driven one, but it's like a truck, when you hear that jake brake come on for a trucker to slow down. It changes the pitch, flattens the motor sound down and usually you're taught that whenever the engine, especially these nitro engines, make that sound that you better get off the throttle or it's about to hurt you.  It's a weird off-pitch sound and it will throw your head in the dash and it's just strange.  After Gainesville they made a change where it took less of the timing out of it and it's been wonderful since then.

A lot smoother?

capps:    Yeah, MSD did a great, great job.

  Does it affect you…I mean, you mentioned earlier that you wouldn't mind if they slowed the cars down considerably as long as the show was good, but the way they are now, the speeds they're running, does it bother you that with the rev limiters on, we're not likely to see too many more record runs, at least the way the cars are now?

capps:  No, it doesn't bother me.  We're still racing tracks that have the same shut-down length as they had in the '60s and '70s.  We're going 330 mph, these tracks…it's not

the runs.  You hear drivers talk, we don’t mind slowing down or we do or don't, and most of the drivers say that slowing us down isn't a bad thing whether or not the fans like it or don't like it.  It's the shut down, not the runs. It's still a quarter mile and I still end up going fast. Going 330-340?  I'd love to, that adrenaline from the G-force, that would be awesome.  It's shutting these cars down and stopping them. Somebody's going to get hurt. You have a little bit of engine damage, and the chutes come out late on a track with a short shut down.  We're going to have people hurt in the shut-down area and that's not good.

And some tracks are quite short, aren't they?

capps:  Yeah, and they can't grow.  Pomona, you have a golf course down there, there's no way that's getting any longer so it's not the running, it's not the on-track speed, it's the shut down area that concerns me and probably most of the drivers.

In part two of the Ron Capps interview Capps talks about the IHRA, Tires, Rock and Roll, the Pro and other subjects.

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