Chicago Pro Stock Truck Preview

DANIELS READY TO END PRO STOCK TRUCK ROLLER COASTER RIDE JOLIET, Ill. -- Randy Daniels has been on one heck of a white-knuckle ride lately. Daniels, driver of the Daniels Racing Chevrolet S-10, has experienced both extremes of...

DANIELS READY TO END PRO STOCK TRUCK ROLLER COASTER RIDE JOLIET, Ill. -- Randy Daniels has been on one heck of a white-knuckle ride lately. Daniels, driver of the Daniels Racing Chevrolet S-10, has experienced both extremes of drag racing in Pro Stock Truck competition in 1999. He's stood tall in the spotlight following victories at Pomona, Calif. and Atlanta, then found himself scratching his head and looking for answers following disastrous first round losses at Gainesville, Fla. and most recently at Englishtown, N.J. "In this deal you can go from a hero to a zero in a week's time," said Daniels, 30, from Grantsboro, N.C. "This category has got so tough you can never rest. There are no easy rounds. Any driver out here can win. Just because you've won a couple of races you can't start to think you've got 'em whipped. Winning a race just makes you a bigger target for the competition." He'll be one of the biggest targets in the category at the second annual FRAM Route 66 Nationals, June 3-6, at Route 66 Raceway, near Chicago. The $1.8 million race is the seventh of 14 events for Pro Stock Trucks in the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Daniels, a former NHRA sportsman competitor, finished eighth in the NHRA Winston standings in 1998 and was one of several early season championship contenders. Since those prognostications were cast, however, there's been several other drivers emerge as title hopefuls. Namely former Pro Stock threat Mark Osborne. Daniels is considering taking the Pro Stock spot left vacant by Osborne. He says it just might be a little less stressful. "With the competition in Pro Stock Truck like it is, it makes you think you need to go Pro Stock racing," Daniels said with a laugh. "I don't think the 500 cubic inch (Pro Stock Trucks use 358 cubic inch V8 engines) deal would be any harder. I believe this class is going to be tougher (than Pro Stock) because it's easier to make a decent run with these trucks because of the less power. Everybody's got good power now so no single truck is dominating." * Down on Power: Defending Winston Pro Stock Truck champion Larry Kopp, the defending winner at the FRAM Route 66 Nationals, says his Chevrolet S-10 needs a little pep in the engine department. He hopes a power increase will help him successfully defending his title in Chicago. "I think our engine is down on power," said Kopp, from Baltimore. "We've been running the first half of the track fine, but we're down about two mph at one-eighth of a mile. We will take the engine back to (Bill 'Grumpy') Jenkins and let him look at it and see if we have a problem. I will be shocked if we don't find something wrong. We will just regroup and be ready for Joliet." * Big Fish, Small Pond: Mark Osborne, who finished No. 5 in the Winston point standings in Pro Stock last season, leads the Pro Stock Truck title chase this year in his RCL Components Chevrolet S-10. However, the Abingdon, Va. driver doesn't feel like a big fish in a small pond. While many expected him to do well in the category, Osborne says the competition is just as tough as Pro Stock. "The only thing that is different is the names on the doors and different faces," Osborne said. "I'm sure (the Winston championship) is probably going to come down to the last race for two or three guys out here."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Randy Daniels