Drag Racing Online: The Magazine

Volume VIII, Issue 7, Page

Why do you love driving the Funny Car?

CAPPS: I love sitting in the waterbox getting ready to run and looking out at the big engine in front of me. I love having it in front of me; you can watch everything. When you are in a dragster, you sit there. I can see the other driver’s tires. The crew guys are behind you starting the motor and doing all their adjustments. You don’t get to see anything and all you're waiting for is a little hand to come up and tell you to go ahead and roll up for your burnout. I love sitting there in my Funny Car before the run with my guys, sitting on the tire,

they are all looking forward to see what's going on in front of us. They may turn around and look at me or we'll talk on the radio. That feeling for me is almost as good as the run. It's a feeling like you are getting ready to go to battle and all your guys are right there. As for as the run, you just don’t know what it's going to do from the stomp of the throttle.  You don’t know what it's going to do. It's not the speed that attracts me, it’s everything else: driving it, steering it, the verge of it being out of control.

What really attracted me is a kid was watching Willy Borsch and the fuel altereds. That was my favorite class. You knew something exciting was going to happen when two fuel altereds staged. You knew it was going to be something crazy. There was never going to be a completely two-car run straight down the track and so that's what a funny car is.  What's cool for me is when you get back and you blow your nose and out comes clutch dust and you take a shower and clutch dust, dirt and grime runs out of every crack in your body and you wonder where did all this dirt come from -- because you’re a Funny Car driver. You're immersed in it.  You're behind the engine and clutch. We get out, our suits are all dirty. The dragster guy gets out, he's squeaky clean, he's got this thin suit and he takes and hangs it up for the whole weekend and it stays the same. You might dry clean it because it gets a little sweaty, but a funny car suit, you just touch it and there’s clutch dust all over it.

Have you thought about what you will do when you retire from driving? Do you see an ownership role in your future? 

CAPPS: I hope so, yeah, eventually. My kid, Caden, he's four now and we watch the old movies like “Funny Car Summer.” I've got great old movies on VHS that I burn them on a DVD and it’s great footage. He loves watching it. He'll sit there and watch that with me for hours. I think about retiring and being a car owner at times, but my focus is more getting paid to drive and right now it's great that I don't have the extra worries. I respect guys like Tony Pedregon for going and doing his own deal. That gave me a lot of respect for him to go out there and take that challenge of owning your own team. His success tells me that there's a chance I could do it down the road. It's just a big 800-lb  gorilla that I see coming down the road that I'm going to have to face head on. To me, it's very out of reach right now.

If this season works out well for you and you end up winning the POWERade championship, what's going to be next?

CAPPS: I don’t know. I was talking to Ace the other day. I said, the season is going great and if by chance we could win it I was thinking, down the road I'd love to win one in Top Fuel -- but that was before Cory's wreck -- but I said, I'd love to win one in Top Fuel; I would love nothing more than to do it together. If we were to win a championship together in Funny Car, I'd love to go do it a Top Fueler I love the Funny Car so much, it'd be tough for me to switch, unless there was a really good challenge. I'll take it as it comes. 

  Well, I think we're almost done here. I just want you to complete this sentence:  If I weren't driving a Funny Car, I would be…

CAPPS: (long, long pause) I'd be lost. I don’t know.

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