Ron Capps happy to 'pick John Force's pocket' during NHRA Funny Car qualifying at Norwalk

Ron Capps nailed down his first No. 1 qualifying effort of the season this weekend at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

Don Schumacher Racing’s Ron Capps wasn’t sure what he liked more, the green hat he was presented for being the No. 1 Funny Car qualifier for the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals at Norwalk, Ohio, or stealing three bonus points from long-time rival John Force.

On second thought, anytime you can steal a little something from a GOAT, you go for it.

“I don’t have a whole lot of No. 1s in my career,” said, Capps, driver of the NAPA Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car. “I’ve had a long, great career, but I’m not very high on the list of No. 1s.

You just look back at some of the crew chiefs I’ve had – Roland Leong, Ed McCulloch, (Rahn) Tobler. We were never ones that ran big speed nor did we go out there and have a lot of No. 1 qualifiers, but we won a lot of races. I’ve learned to race with these guys. I’ve never worried about it. So, when we do get a green hat, it’s a big deal to me.”

And, so is knocking the sport’s winningest driver down a peg or two. The No. 1 qualifier for Capps was his first of the season and 23rd of his career. Force had set the quickest time of the final qualifying session before Capps took the spot on the final run of the day.

It was also the first No. 1 qualifying time of the season for Don Schumacher Racing.

“We picked John Force’s pocket, which is always fun, especially for Don,” said Capps, who turned 54 on Thursday. “John (Force) has taken a lot of crap the last couple of years. I jumped on his side, even though he’s a competitor. People thought he forgot how to drive.

“He’s got a race car this year. He’s going to be tough. He already is, and obviously he can drive. He’s shown that. We had a little fun down there, and we joked around like it was the old days, but he’s going to be tough all year long. That makes it even cooler, when we can go up right behind him and by a few thousandths steal the quickest run of that round.

“So, when you think each run doesn’t matter, let me tell you the excitement of the crew guys and the dejection of Force’s guys knowing that they lost it by a few thousandths, it’s a big deal. It’s a big deal to us when we lose it. It’s going to be a lot of fun these next few races.”

WATCH: Ron Capps claims No. 1 Funny Car qualifying spot on opening day in Norwalk | NHRA

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