CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES THE COLONEL'S NHRA NATIONALS BRAINERD INTL RACEWAY, BRAINERD, MINN. NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SUNDAY, AUG. 22, 1999 TOP FUEL Team Chevrolet member LARRY DIXON, MILLER LITE TOP FUEL DRAGSTER, posted his seventh...
CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES THE COLONEL'S NHRA NATIONALS BRAINERD INTL RACEWAY, BRAINERD, MINN. NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SUNDAY, AUG. 22, 1999
Team Chevrolet member LARRY DIXON, MILLER LITE TOP FUEL DRAGSTER, posted his seventh career win today, his first of 1999, when he eliminated Eddie Hill in the final round. Dixon's pass of 4.594 seconds at 294.45 mph bettered Hill's effort of 4.698 seconds at 249.63 mph to give him his first win since the 1998 NHRA Winternationals. Don Prudhomme Racing owns both Dixon's Dragster and Ron Capps' Copenhagen Camaro Funny Car. Dixon moved into sixth place in points, and owns the national elapsed time record as the first driver to break the 4.5 second barrier with a 4.486 second lap in Houston this year.
DIXON: "Obviously, Ron in our camp is the focal point with the Camaro body, but we use Chevy support vehicles up and down the highways. As a kid growing up I have always owned Chevys, and to be able to have the Chevy bowtie on a car that I run means more to me than just having a support vehicle." ON WINNING: "To say I am ecstatic would be an understatement. It was really nice to move up in the points this week. We have struggled during the summer and after smoking the tires last week in Sonoma, Dale Armstrong took a hard look at our clutch setup. We then put together seven perfect runs in the 4.60s and .50s and that's what we needed in order to win. We weren't surprised to be able to run this well at this track because of the cloud cover. The win is just really sweet. Especallly for Dale who is making his last go-round with the Miller Lite car before moving over to Snake's Cope Camaro Funny Car. It looks like he wants to make a statement before he leaves."
FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28 -- ELIMINATIONS
WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, advanced to the final round for the fourth consecutive time since he took delivery of the '99 Camaro body at Denver, but was defeated by John Force today in a Chevy vs. Ford final. Bazemore launched first from the starting lights with a .473 reaction time to Force's .490, but it was Force first at the finish line with a 4.929-second pass at 313.80 mph to Whit's 5.000/305.77. Whit is now just 87 points behind second place Tony Pedregon.
BAZEMORE: "All in all, it was a great weekend, because we struggled all weekend and even though we were third qualifier it was a troubled run and the car just didn't perform up to what we intended to perform all weekend. Tim and Kim (Richards, co-crew chiefs), the whole team, had to chase a problem we had all weekend. We ran a 4.98 (in qualifying) on seven cylinders and it ran the .99 in the third round on seven cyllinders and I think we finally got the problem fixed for the final, but we just didn't have it tuned enough, apparently. It's really hard for Tim to tune the car when you're chasing a problem. It's impossible. I think the team did an outstanding job. We're really fortunate to get to the final. We certainly didn't expect it to have this kind of result today the way the Camaro was running. We had problems. When you have a good result when you're having problems you've had a good weekend. I'm ecstatic. Four finals in a row. You live for this. We're paying our dues right now a little bit. Runner-ups are certainly not wins, but the wins will come. The team is outstanding. I love it. I love driving for Chuck and Tim and Kim. It's just a great team that's really coming togther and we're looking forward to next year." ON RUNNING THE SECOND CAREER FINAL AGAINST FORCE: "The first time we were real aggressive in our thinking and that paid off. We almost beat him in Atlanta on a holeshot. Tonight we were a little more relaxed. You kow you want to beat the guy awfully badly because they're the best team. He's won 70-something races and I was going for my seventh win. I felt like we were the underdog because we had problems. As a driver you try not to give it to him and not make any mistakes, and we didn't. We were close. It's a credit to the team that they came back from chasing these problems to give him that kind of run." ON THE POINTS CHASE: "We feel very fortunate to get to the final. We're chasing Tony (Pedregon). Tony says he's not that worried about us. We're very worried about him. We're going to make stuff happen. Chevrolet has been really good to us and they developed the body and we didn't want Mustangs to be 1-2 (in points). We're not saying we're going to catch him because he's still a way off, but we're doing well. We changed everything twice today and changed everything again for the final. I think they found the problem. As a driver it's beyond your control. My job is to make the most of whatever car they give me. We work as a team. My job is to not make mistakes, their job is to give me the most competitive car they can. That's why we're having the results we're having. They're giving me a good car every time, I'm trying to minimize the mistakes I make."