Friday, Aug. 19, 2022 |
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MANA — Jon Nakamura and his pit crew were tweaking and tuning to get the best of their Pro ET car Sunday during the drag races hosted by the Garden Isle Racing Association at the Kauai Raceway Park in Mana.
“It should be running in the 9 seconds,” Nakamura said. “Today, we’re just getting 10.40s.”
Ron Capps, a National Hot Rod Association funny car driver, popped his head into the tented pit area.
“You want me to get in?” Capps asked. “I can get you the 9’s.”
Capps’ visit to the Kauai Raceway Park was coordinated by Pacific Service and Development, NAPA Auto Parts and KQNG Radio Group. He spent time signing autographs from fans as well as taking time to visit with drivers, their pit crews and other automotive racing enthusiasts.
Shelley Capps, Ron’s wife, said he has a big race coming up this weekend in Texas.
“We’re not out of it yet,” Shelley said. “Right now, he’s fifth in the standings. His last race, he was having problems with his steering. He kept crossing the center line, and even while getting back to the pit area, he was having problems steering the car. The crews changed his steering box, and that was huge heading into this weekend’s race.”
Shelley said there are three more races remaining for this year’s finals points standings — Texas, Las Vegas and California.
“This is not just about Ron’s problems and getting them corrected,” Shelley said. “Things need to happen to the other drivers as well. We’re not out of it yet.”
Last year, Capps made an appearance at the PS&D Napa store in Lihue, where he was greeted by an appreciative crowd of automotive enthusiasts.
This year, his appearance moved to the drag races where in addition to the autograph and picture seekers, Capps stopped off to visit the different pit camps.
“I got his last winning jersey,” said Alma Koetje, currently sitting in fourth place in the Muscle V8 class points standings. “He autographed it, and I’ve brought it to the races ever since. It’s been good luck for me.”
Capps added a 2015 version to the autographed jersey which was sold last year as a benefit for the Junior Dragster program. He also thrilled Koetje by autographing the manifold cover of her Corvette.
“She wouldn’t stop bidding,” said Tony Ricci, president of the Garden Isle Racing Association. “The bidding slowed after it reached $100, but she kept going, topping off at $500.”
Capps also stopped by Mary Kealoha, currently sitting fourth in points of the Pro ET class, to autograph her race car, adding his Sharpie mark to her driver’s seat cushion before she left on an elimination round.
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