Ron Capps will spend Saturday driving an IMCA Modified around the 1/3-mile clay oval of Santa Maria Speedway.
The Southern California native, who loves to drive anything with wheels, will motor up the coast from his San Diego County home to the Speedway, some 20 miles from where he grew up in San Luis Obispo, to hone his skills in racing wheel-to-wheel in further preparation for his participation in the annual Prelude to a Dream all-star event hosted by Tony Stewart.
According to Capps, it is the combination of racing and getting to see NAPA fans in places his NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series does not venture, which drives him.
"I love to race," he said. "And I even find racing in these other kinds of cars and nostalgia dragsters helps me in my driving the NAPA Dodge.
"This kind of competition keeps me prepared for the unexpected, to be able to drive any type of car, even one I have not been fitted for – and this was a big plus last week when I drove (Don Schumacher Racing teammate) Matt Hagan’s back-up car in the Houston race. I was ready for a car not made for me."
Last month Capps ventured to Hanford, Calif., for a dirt-track romp in a Super Late Model around a 3/8-mile oval. He expects this weekend’s race to be just as much fun.
"I’m really excited about this coming Saturday because it provides me with the opportunity to get near some NAPA race fans that don't get a chance to see one of our drag races," he said. "It will also give me some very valuable seat time on dirt in preparation for the June 8 'Prelude to a Dream.' That race might be for charity, but I really want to do well as I run against some great drivers from NASCAR and other racing series."
In addition to these oval contests, his recent races away from NHRA national events were running a nostalgia Funny Car at the renowned March Meet in Bakersfield, Calif., and winning, for the sixth time in nine years, the annual NHRA Tour de Charity karting event at Infineon Raceway.
The Santa Maria Speedway gates open Saturday at 4, qualifying at 5 and the green flag drops on a night of racing at 6 p.m. Further information, including directions, can be found at www.racesantamariaspeedway.com.
The next stop on the NHRA circuit for Capps is the May 13-15 NHRA Southern Nationals in Commerce, Ga., at Atlanta Dragway.