Experience. Passion. Results.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Family and sports go hand in hand. Whether it’s playing football in the backyard or basketball in the driveway or loading up the family to watch their favorite team play, sports can be a way to bring a family together.

Sports can also be something that gets passed down between generations, whether it’s just for the love of the game or even on a professional level. For the Capone family and Ricky Capone, sports is very much the latter.

Ricky’s foray into racing and race cars, in general, began with his father in the 1950s. A transplant to Florida like so many during that time, Ricky’s father got into British sports cars at a young age. When Ricky’s father was old enough to drive, he got into the local racing scene before progressing to the regional and eventually the national level.

From there, thanks to a friend who introduced him to single-seater cars, Ricky’s father entered the world of single-seater racing, racing Formula Atlantic which is a stepping stone to IndyCar, which was his ultimate goal.

His father’s love of cars wasn’t just exclusive to racing them, he also enjoyed working on them. In fact, while racing he also ran a service repair shop (Foreign Auto Services) working mostly on foreign cars including BMWs, Mercedes, and Porsches. He also started a racing prep shop.

While at the time, he started these businesses up to pay the entree fees for him to race, it would ultimately be the business that he passed down to his sons, Ricky and his brother Brice.

“My brother (Brice) has taken over the service repair side of the family business (Foreign Auto Services) and I’ve kind of taken the racing route,” Ricky explained. “It is cool because both my brother and I share a building. My father works for my brother on the service side, so we get to all see each other every day.”

Ricky’s father worked his way up the ranks, participating in sprint races and endurance races. Then in 1991, he made the decision that so many athletes and competitors have had to make. He stopped racing to focus on his family and his successful businesses.

Naturally, growing up in that environment, Ricky and his brother immediately latched on to racing.

“At a young age, we were into motorcycles, motocross, go-karts you name it,” Capone said. “We’re gearheads.”

In high school, Ricky got into a pretty bad accident on a motocross track. After the accident his father suggested he focus more on car racing and even presented him with a pretty enticing offer.

“My dad was running the shop in Riviera Beach and he had a customer at the time who was terminally ill and one of his life goals was to own his own racing team,” Ricky explained. “So that customer approached my dad and said he wanted to start a race team and asked if my dad would drive for him. My dad was in his late 50s at this point and had no serious interest in driving, but he said he would like to see his kids drive.”

After a couple of meetings, they formed a race team and ran from 2005-2009 with Ricky and his brother as the drivers. In his rookie season, Ricky won the 2005 SAARC regional run-offs held in Savanah, Georgia. In 2009 and after many successful seasons, the gentleman who helped fund the team passed away and the Capones couldn’t afford to keep running the team on their own.

As they say though, “when one door closes another door opens” and that is exactly what happened with Ricky.

“Around 2011, Extreme Speed Motor Sports started their race team sponsored by Tequilla Patron. They were new to the area and using the shop I was working at the time as a temporary base.” Ricky said. “I was able to make a lot of connections and they eventually offered me a job. I ended up taking it and it was probably one of the better decisions I made in my career.”

Ricky worked with Extreme Speed Motor Sports from 2011 to 2018. When the team shut down in 2018, Ricky had a decision to make. It was either to leave South Florida and take a job offer somewhere else or stay here and figure out his next move.

After working for a short while at a local Porsche shop, Ricky decided that he wanted to try and run his own business, so he went out and opened Capone Motorsports LLC and started doing contract work for race teams.

“I got an Indy 500 call so I went and did an Indy 500 race in 2019 as a race mechanic,” Ricky said. “I worked on Pippa Mann’s team who was the only female on the grid at the time. It was a great experience and I think we ended up finishing 16th, which was a big accomplishment”.

Since that was just a one-race deal, Ricky was looking for the next opportunity. That opportunity came with Meyer Shank Racing in IMSA. The team would go on to win the IMSA Weathertech GTD Championship in both 2019 and 2020. Towards the end of 2020, Ricky was presented with an offer to expand his role within Meyer Shank Racing, but once again it would require him to pack up and leave Florida. Toward the end of 2020, he tested positive for COVID which threw an unexpected wrench into his plans.

Yet again, everything happens for a reason. Due to COVID and not being able to continue with Meyer Shank Racing, Ricky got set up with Peter Baron of Starworks for the final race of the IMSA Weathertech season in ‘20.

After working with Peter on a race, Peter and Ricky worked out a deal to run the team out of Ricky’s shop (Capone Motorsports). In 2021, they ran the team together but in 2022 Ricky took over running the team in its entirety. The Capone run team recently won the 2022 IMSA Weathertech Championship in the LMP2 class and secured an invite to the most prestige’s endurance race in the world, the 24 hours of Le Mans.

While racing is and always has been Ricky’s first love, it’s just one component of his business today. Much like his dad, Ricky also restores old sports cars out of his shop for private clients and is looking to expand that side of his business.

“I restore historic sports cars for clients who want to take those cars and do historic racing events at many US tracks such as Daytona, Sebring, Elkhart Lake, etc,” Ricky said. “My next event is a historic 12-hour event in Sebring in December and then the IMSA Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.”

Originally posted on BVMSports.com.