Atlanta: Epler's advances to quarter-final

Etchells Racing Excerpts Final results from the 21st annual Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals Epler's driving helps the Sunoco/Matco Camaro advance to the Atlanta quarter-finals Date: Sunday, May 6, 2001 Location: Atlanta Dragway,...

Etchells Racing Excerpts
Final results from the 21st annual Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals

Epler's driving helps the Sunoco/Matco Camaro advance to the Atlanta quarter-finals

Date: Sunday, May 6, 2001
Location: Atlanta Dragway, Commerce, GA

A quick look at the results from Sunday's final eliminations of the Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals shows Jim Epler was definitely on his game, working well with his Sunoco/Matco Camaro. In the first round, Epler used a .511 reaction time to gain the advantage by nearly five hundredths of a second at the starting line, which in combination with a solid a 4.951-second, 311.49 mph pass, was enough to overcome Tim Wilkerson's quicker 4.937-second, earning the the holeshot win.

However, the Etchells crew had little time to celebrate, as they next had to face Ron Capps, the No. 3 qualifier who had been one of the most consistent cars throughout the weekend, and would do so without the luxury of lane choice. Once again, Epler knew he could use any advantage, and left the starting line nearly two hundredths of a second ahead of his rival. Unfortunately, his chances for an upset win quickly dissipated, as smoke billowing from his rear tires indicated a loss of traction, allowing his opponent to power on for the win.

"Chuck (team owner Etchells) actually helped me with my reaction times by telling me about something he did to improve his driving, which definitely worked for me. It felt good to help the Sunoco/Matco team out today. That's how we do things at Etchells Racing. We win and lose as a team, with everyone doing their part.

"For the second round against Capps we changed short blocks and stepped it up. Unfortunately, we didn't have lane choice, and we ended up overpowering the track. It's disappointing, because we probably could have won with a '.90 flat. However, we're still leaving here encouraged, because we learned something on that run that will have us running really well in the first session in Englishtown."

-EE-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Epler , Ron Capps , Tim Wilkerson