CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES FRAM NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES ATLANTA DRAGWAY SATURDAY, APRIL 17, 1998 PRO STOCK TRUCK LARRY KOPP, ACCURATE BINDING/G-FORCE TRANSMISSIONS CHEVY S-10, defeated JOHN LINGENFELTER, SUMMIT RACING CHEVY...
CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES FRAM NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES ATLANTA DRAGWAY SATURDAY, APRIL 17, 1998
PRO STOCK TRUCK
LARRY KOPP, ACCURATE BINDING/G-FORCE TRANSMISSIONS CHEVY S-10, defeated JOHN LINGENFELTER, SUMMIT RACING CHEVY S-10, in the final of the second round of the 12-event '98 Pro Stock Truck Series. Kopp: 7.712/174.79, Lingenfelter: 7.751/173.37.
KOPP: "It's just awesome. When I first got into this category this was the first thing I wanted to do was win." DOES THIS MAKE UP FOR HOUSTON? "Sure does. I told them when I went into the semi-finals, 'I'm going to make up for the Houston race, I'm tired of hearing why, why.' It's over, now I know I can do it. It's unbelievable. I have Chevy behind me, Bill Jenkins, it's unbelievable how we put this together and came out and dominated the first two races." WHEN YOU DECIDED TO GO PRO STOCK TRUCK RACING, WAS THERE ANY DOUBT THAT JENKINS WOULD BE DOING YOUR ENGINES? "No. Last year at the Keystones when I decided that I was going to do it, he was there and I asked him if he would build my engines and he said yes. He knew I was serious. We're out here to win races. I'm going to win everything they have in Pro Stock Truck, driver's championship, mechanic of the year. We're going to do it." HOW HAS THE CROWD REACTION BEEN? "When we came down the return road they went nuts. We had fans in our pits after every round, we were taking things apart, talking to them, and getting what I could done. It hasn't sunk in yet, but it has." WHAT WILL YOU DO BETWEEN NOW AND ENGLISHTOWN? "We'll take the motor out, freshen it up, go through it. We want to be on top of it, we don't want any mechanical failures at all. We're replacing anything that looks even worn, we're not taking chances in breaking anything. The worst way to lose is with a mechanical failure."
Kopp now leads the Pro Stock Truck points, with 216. He's followed by fellow Chevy S-10 driver Randy Daniels with 169.
Kopp, holder of the national Pro Stock Truck e.t. and top speed records (174.99 mph-Atlanta, 7.63 e.t.-Houston) , and the track speed and e.t. records here at Atlanta Dragway (7.680/174.99), defeated Sondra Sikes, Scott Tidwell and Randy Daniels on his way to the final. Lingenfelter beat Roy Hill, Brad Jeter and Jerry Haas.
Lingenfelter and Haas faced off in the semi-finals, but Haas pushed back after his burnout when he realized his Chevy S-10 was spewing oil.
HAAS: "It's better that it happened here (at the starting line) than on the track. I don't want to wipe the S-10 out, I want to continue racing. I thought we had a good shot of running down John, but you have to get up there and leave and finish. We didn't get that far. It's very disheartening, but we will do it again in Englishtown. The Chevy S-10 ran real good, we were second to Kopp each time; those are the breaks." WHAT HAPPENED? "I don't know for sure, but we think an oil line came loose. I made a burnout and stopped, it was spitting oil. When I was backing up I saw a string of oil and said 'is that my oil?' That's when your heart drops into your stomach."
DAVE McCONNELL, DAVE McCONNELL RACING CHEVY S-10, defeated Houston winner David Nickens in the first round on a holeshot advantage (7.906/169.74 to 7.773/173.67 -- .445 R/T for McConnell, .589 for Nickens). McConnell was then eliminated by Randy Daniels' Chevy S-10 in the second round.
McCONNELL: "I just got my Pro Stock Truck license on Friday. I ran a Super Stock for the last four years. I still hold the national record with it. I had no testing in the Chevy S-10. The weather has been so bad up north I hadn't sat in the truck until last Friday. We rented the track at Edgewater Park in Cincinnati (to earn the license). Those people treat us so nicely, it was on Good Friday. We made some passes down there, loaded it up and came here. I was a little nervous in my first pass on Thursday. It works fine. Todd Bevis built the chassis and he did a heck of a job. Other than that run (in second round) the truck goes straight and true. That wasn't the truck, it was the track. It's nice to drive, easy to drive." ON THE PRO STOCK TRUCK SERIES: "I love it. It's more fun than Super Stock because you don't have to worry about hitting the brakes at the other end. You go faster, you leave a lot harder and it's even more fun to beat up the big guys (McConnell beat David Nickens in the first round). We've got a lot to learn. We're a tenth (of a second) off where we should be, but we're sneaking up on it. I think this series will be a success. I really hope they keep it at 12 races instead of 23. I'm so doggone busy, I don't have time. If there are 12 races then we're in it for the year. Of course, we're committed this year." Note: engine builder is Larry Pritchett Engines of Clark Range, Tenn.
GRANT LEWIS, TABASCO CHEVY S-10, was eliminated in the first round by his entrant, Jerry Haas. This was Lewis' first Pro Stock Truck race. There are no plans as of this time for Lewis to compete in any more Pro Stock Truck events.
LEWIS: DID YOU HAVE FUN?: "Very much so. It's more fun than a barrel of monkeys. It was good. We made a change on the Chevy S-10 last night. Considering what everybody else ran, everybody picked up, we picked up an additional five hundredths (of a second). And we got a computer reading on the clutch that run, so we know where we're at." ON RUNNING AGAINST HAAS IN FIRST ROUND: "He sure had a pretty truck, but he didn't have one as pretty as mine." DID YOU THINK YOU HAD A CHANCE? "My only chance of beating Jerry was if Jerry beat himself. I left on him by three hundredths. I had a .440 light. And Jerry had a good light. Jerry is driving real good this weekend. We left about even and I guess he had already caught me between 330 feet and the eighth of a mile. From there on all I saw was 'S-10'." ON THE PRO STOCK TRUCK SERIES: "I like this a whole lot better than Pro Stock car. If given the opportunity it would sure fit in with my schedule. The 12-race deal is really cool, but they really need to move this eliminator deal to Sunday. People are showing up on Sunday looking to watch the trucks and they're disappointed. I probably talked to at least 15 to 20 people at Houston on Sunday. There are a lot of people who are following this series now. That's a good marketing deal."
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