Updated: Jun 10, 2022
Two-time defending NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Funny Car world champion driver and team owner Ron Capps stood out as the quintessential hometown hero after he won the first Wally trophy as owner of the new Ron Capps Motorsports team at The Strip of Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the 2022 Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals on April 3.
The fact that he’s never lived in Las Vegas is a non-issue.
“(The NHRA Camping World Four-Wide Nationals),is obviously a destination event, right?” Capps said. “You can give anybody a reason to come to Las Vegas. Then, they made it four-wide for this race that we have at the first part of the year.”
Capps is from San Luis Obispo and lives along the Pacific Ocean in Carlsbad. Californians, though, seemingly outpopulate Nevada natives in the valley and are in large part responsible for Las Vegas’ rapid growth.
The “hometown hero” idea generally alludes to a homegrown star whose success honors a geographic location and social systems within it for fostering its elite talent. Yet to the local crowd that filled the grandstands and campgrounds, Capps seemed to fit the concept.
“Las Vegas has turned into sort-of a home race for me” said the SLO-CAL supersonic.
His earnest and unassuming declaration of “home race” seems questionable to anyone who missed the 2022 Four Wide Nationals in early April. He’s found success at all drag strips on the NHRA schedule during his 28-year career and holds the record as second-winningest NHRA Funny Car pilot, including a victory at the NHRA’s only other four-wide drag strip located in Charlotte, NC.
With three races under his belt as a new team owner this year, he was amongst the likes of heavy hitters John Force, J.R. Todd, Robert Hight and Matt Hagan as Funny Car favorites looking into the Vegas Four-Wide weekend.
At Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, where the NHRA kicks off its year, Capps kicked off his year with a runner-up finish, semifinal finish, and clinched a No. 1 qualifier award before boiling rubber down The Strip to his second Camping World yellow qualifier hat.
When he competes at LVMS, his mother and father make the road trip down from San Luis Obispo for the weekend-long event. He has a myriad of cousins that live across the United States who migrate to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, camp out, take over the grandstands and suites at a capacity that he half-joked wouldn’t please the fire marshal.
NHRA Nitro Driver Jon Capps, younger brother to Ron, is a 27-year resident in the Summerlin area of Las Vegas. Jon returned to Las Vegas from being on-set in New York to support Ron in the desert oasis.
“My brother still races part time and does stunt work for different movies and TV shows both here, L.A. and in New York.”
“We always come out and make this an event and it’s become more of a home race than Pomona which is an hour away from me, and if you look up there at the last two suites, it’s a company called Palmer Electric.”
Palmer Electric is a Las Vegas based family-owned/operated business that Capps has had a relationship with since his rookie year of 1995 as a driver for “The Snake” Don Prudhomme.