Stu Evans Bradenton Review

Stu Evans/Ford Credit Racing Team Takes a Rollercoaster Ride in Bradenton Bradenton, Fla. -- (March 28, 1999) It was the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat this weekend for the Stu Evans/Ford Credit Pro Stock Team at the Amalie/IHRA ...

Stu Evans/Ford Credit Racing Team Takes a Rollercoaster Ride in Bradenton

Bradenton, Fla. -- (March 28, 1999) It was the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat this weekend for the Stu Evans/Ford Credit Pro Stock Team at the Amalie/IHRA Nationals in Bradenton, Fla.

The Thrill: Both of the team's drivers, Chris Holbrook and Stewart Evans, made the 16-car Pro Stock field. Chris qualified in the No. 1 spot with a track record 6.662 at 208.47 mph. Stewart qualified in the No. 10 spot with a 6.765 at 204.35 mph.

The Agony: Both Chris and Stewart's weekend ended during the second round of eliminations. Stewart red-lighted against a very quick competitor, current IHRA Pro Stock speed record holder Jon Yoak. Knowing he had to cut a great light, Stewart pushed the envelope - just a bit too far - resulting in a .388 redlight.

"I was gunning for Yoak," said Evans. "I knew I had to cut a light on him. I just saw yellow and went..."

Teammate Chris Holbrook lost in his second round battle against Gene Wilson in the closest Pro Stock race of the day. Holbrook's 6.812 , with a .456 reaction time lost to Wilson's 6.798, with a reaction time of .461. The margin of defeat = .009 seconds, approximately 2 1/2 feet.

"I also knew I had to hit the tree," said Holbrook. "Wilson's usually pretty good at the tree. What hurt us was our two-step switch malfunctioned. We were actually supposed to leave the starting line at 5200 rpm, but we left the starting line at 5600 rpm and I blew the tires off. That's where all the ET went."

"With two number one qualifiers [Darlington and Bradenton] so far this season, and bonus points at Darlington for resetting the ET record, we're doing OK," said Holbrook.

"We're light years ahead of where we were last year," said Evans. "Last year at this race, I didn't even qualify and Chris went out in the first round. So, we're still very confident of our abilities and of attaining our goal, the 1999 IHRA Snap-on Drag Racing Pro Stock championship."

"We learned some things this weekend for the future," said crew chief Butch Peterson. "Unfortunately, we had the electrical malfunction on Chris' car in the second round, and Stewart gave it a gallant effort to cut a great light against Yoak and he came up a little short.

"I'm already thinking about the next race so we'll head home and make some changes, and we'll be ready to give them all they can stand at Rockingham."

The team will be testing later this week in preparation for the next event; the Holley Spring Nationals presented by Castrol GTX at Rockingham Dragway, April 9 -11.

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