CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES THE COLONEL'S NHRA NATIONALS BRAINERD INTL RACEWAY, BRAINERD, MINN. NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES FRIDAY, AUG. 20, 1999 FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28 After two rounds of qualifying, WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/CAMARO...
CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES THE COLONEL'S NHRA NATIONALS BRAINERD INTL RACEWAY, BRAINERD, MINN. NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES FRIDAY, AUG. 20, 1999
FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28
After two rounds of qualifying, WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/CAMARO Z28, is No 2 qualifier, 4.984/299.66, posted in the second session as rain drops began to fall.
BAZEMORE: "We lost a cylinder early in the run, which pulled it out of the groove and I just couldn't pull it back in. But it's OK. The Camaro was on a good lap, and improved considerably, so we'll take it. I think this team is a little frustrated with what could have been. But we're not going to blame it on the rain. It was just a faint drizzle when we did our burnout, which was OK, but right as we were rolling up to stage there were some big drops on the windshield. I was hoping Frank (Pedregon, paired with Bazemore) would hurry up, because I knew Rick Stewart (official NHRA starter) would shut us off, and I wanted to get the run in rain or no rain. We did and it paid off."
RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, is No. 7, 5.084/293.79. Ron was on a good run, but experienced a small fire after crossing the finish line, which he personally doused after he snatched the fire extinguisher from a track worker.
CAPPS: "We're trying to sneak up on the 5-disc clutch. With only a 16-car field we thought we'd test it again. We haven't used the 5-disc since Englishtown. We had superb numbers all the way up to half track, and we wanted to just improve on those numbers. The Camaro left great, it went down the middle of the track fine and right when I lifted off the throttle there was a tiny pop and it seemed like all heck broke loose. It kicked a couple of rods out of the engine. I thought it threw the clutch out, so I lifted my feet up because it had a tremendous vibration. It turned out to be connecting rods coming out of the bottom of the engine. There was a little bit of fire. I guess I improved on my firefighting skills a little bit. It was a little oil fire. As this '99 Camaro is the only body we have I had to get the fire out so we didn't hurt it."
PRO STOCK -- CAMARO Z28
KURT JOHNSON, ACDELCO CAMARO Z28, is No. 2 quaifier, 6.963/197.45.
TOM HAMMONDS, WINNEBAGO/MATCO TOOLS/KENDALL OIL CAMARO Z28, is No. 11, 7.040/194.69. Hammonds re-signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves NBA basketball team on Tuesday, then flew back to Denver to drive the race transporter here. Tom has not yet qualified for an event since he returned to Pro Stock competition in Columbus, so he's pleased with No. 11, but is cautiously optimistic about making the field following Saturday's final qualifying session.
HAMMONDS: "It's not over yet, but it's better than we have been doing. Now that we're running half-way decent it's almost time to start playing ball again. That's the way things have been going. We found some stuff wrong with the Camaro that we corrected since Sonoma, but our 60-ft. times are still not where they should be. If we get in the top half or maybe the upper half in 60-ft. times we should run fast. I think we were off on our chassis setup, we did some 4-link (suspension) changes. And it seemed to have really helped us. Plus the guys (Mike Matthews and L.E. Norwood) are getting more experience and that's great." ON HIS AND WIFE CAROLYN'S BABY BOY DUE SEPTEMBER 25: "(Basketball) training camp starts October 1. I don't know if I'll be at the Reading race because of the baby, but I'll definitely be at the U.S. Nationals. If I can't qualify all year and I can qualify at the U.S. Nationals I can say I had a good year. We will do some extensive testing before that race, at Indy this Tuesday and Wednesday and back at my home track on Saturday."
Note: Tom is part owner of the Emerald Coast Dragway (1/8-mile) in Holt, Fla., on the state's West Coast.
MIKE EDWARDS, DEWCO SALES CAMARO Z28, is No. 16 qualifier, 7.053/195.51.