SAN DIEGO — John Howard sat down with defending NHRA Funny Car champion Ron Capps.
As he enters this weekend's final event of the year, he is in 2nd place in the season standings, very much alive to defend his championship and win the world title for a 3rd time. As he says, it will all come down to the final day on Sunday.
John: You're in second place going into the final event. How optimistic are you that you can catch Robert Hight and defend your season championship?
Ron: Well, it's like the championship we won last year. I talked to you and we basically had the same lead. I did not feel comfortable last year with that small lead. Now the roles are reversed, I'm the chaser and not the chasee like last year and and I plan on being on the other side of history; that is come from behind and win a world championship and go back to back.
John: Looking back on the year, you had some interesting highlights. There was video of you in the winner's circle with a briefcase full of cash. How much money was in that briefcase?
Ron: Well, we cleaned house at the US Nationals. There was $180,000 that we took that weekend. And you know, it was a dream weekend. Again, first-year team owner, I've never won that race before and to sweep the whole weekend and take all that cash was pretty spectacular.
John: Yeah, you didn't spend all that money in one place did you?
Ron: No, one good thing is our team is based in Indianapolis and the crew guys live there. They've all got young families, and we really like to take care of the guys. So a lot of that (money) went back to the team members.
John: Nice! Class act. Okay. Another memorable moment in Texas was seeing you on that big steer. What was that like sitting on top of that thing.
Ron: Not comfortable. Not comfortable. All my team members were pounding on the body of the car. And every time I could feel that thing clench up, which in turn made me clench up if you know what I mean. So I was not not very comfortable. I don't know how guys get on those things and ride them, let alone just sitting on one. Pretty incredible.
John: You've never done any bull riding in your day?
Ron: No, no. (laughs)
John: All right, another question. I noticed throughout the year, there was more than one occasion during the post race interview you got choked up. Was there a common reason why it was such an emotional ride for you this season?
Ron: Yeah, you just never know if you're gonna win again. And the fact that our family is really invested this year. It's first time being a team owner and having to learn a lot of things away from the racetrack. Having my wife, Shelly involved with so much of the team, we've really poured everything our hearts and souls and our family into it. So when you do get a win, which in this sport, you just don't know if it's ever going to come again.
John: Alright, Ron, I appreciate your time. As always, best of luck to you.
Ron: Thanks, John. Appreciate it man.
WATCH RELATED: Carlsbad's Ron Capps talks NHRA and John Force with News 8 Sports (August 2019)