EDINBURG, TX - Ruben Celedon, driver of the Sikeston Dragstrip sponsored Chevrolet S-10 Pro Stock Truck, is looking forward to the start of the 2001 NHRA Drag Racing season. Celedon will enter the new racing season with a completely revamped racing program, which he hopes will give him a competitive edge over the rest of the Pro Stock Truck field.
"I'm ready for the season to start right now," said Celedon. "We have a whole new racing program for next season, and I'm anxious to get back to racing.
"We are dedicated to racing probably more so than anyone would think. We may be a low profile team, but we will do what we need to do and spend what we need to spend to go faster. Our goal for the 2001 season is to be real contenders for the Pro Stock Truck title. So since before the last season ended, we have been taking the steps that we need to make that goal a reality.
The most notable changes to Celedon's racing program are the increased involvement of engine builder Steve Schmidt with the team. Schmidt will be overseeing the motor program from his shop in Indianapolis. Celedon is has also made the commitment to race the full Pro Stock Truck schedule in 2001.
"For next season we have Steve Schmidt doing all our motors. He will be building all our motors and advising us on our raceday tune-up. He has two of our motors on the dyno now, and has found some more horsepower in them. Steve makes lots of horsepower and has many, many years of racing experience. He will have more time this coming year to spend with us. I think his input will make a big difference in this team next season.
"We have also made the decision to race the entire schedule next season. In the last two years we have not been able to make all the races. But with the added sponsorship support that we are receiving from the Sikeston Dragstrip, Gabby's Pallets, and Steve and Trudy Kent we will be able to race the full schedule in 2001.
"This team is hungry, and we want to win races. I raced Comp Eliminator for many years and was pretty successful. The reason I chose to move from comp. to truck was to try to spend more time with my family. The truck schedule is shorter, so I thought I would have more time at home. It has not really turned out like we planned. This truck class is so competitive that we have to do much more testing than we did in comp. just to stay competitive. Lupe (crew chief Lupe Carranza) and I decided that if we could not spend more time at home, then we wanted to win races.
"I think we have a very competitive year ahead of us. Our goal for 2001 is to qualify at all the races and be part of the points chase. I really think that these goals are possible. We have all the pieces in place. We have a good truck and good equipment. We have Schmidt horsepower. I have great sponsors: Sikeston Dragstrip, Gabby's Pallets, and Kent Services, who continue to support and believe in me. With all these pieces in place I am looking forward to a great season."