CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES MOPAR PARTS MILE-HIGH NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES BANDIMERE SPEEDWAY, DENVER, COLO. SUNDAY, JULY 18, 1999 FUNNY CAR -- ELIMINATIONS WHIT BAZEMORE TAKES ALL-NEW CAMARO FUNNY CAR TO FINAL ROUND WHIT ...
CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES MOPAR PARTS MILE-HIGH NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES BANDIMERE SPEEDWAY, DENVER, COLO. SUNDAY, JULY 18, 1999
FUNNY CAR -- ELIMINATIONS
WHIT BAZEMORE TAKES ALL-NEW CAMARO FUNNY CAR TO FINAL ROUND
WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, cruised into the final round in his new Camaro Hot Rod today, defeating Dale Creasy, Jr., Jerry Toliver and Scotty Cannon to face Tony Pedregon in the final round. Whit lowered his elapsed time in every round, from a 5.182-second pass in the first to a 5.139 in the semifinal. In the final, however, he smoked the tires instantly on take off and lost to Pedregon with a 13.182-second pass at 70.68 mph to Pedregon's 5.209/279.96.
BAZEMORE: "I don't know why we smoked the tires. It's hard to lose against that team (Pedregon is John Force's teammate). It's hard to lose period. This Kendall Camaro team did a great job all day, where we were very consistent and the Camaro was repeating. The car was acting the same every run, so to have that happen is really frustrating. Whether we tuned it up a little or whether I got into the throttle a little bit, I don't know. I know I smoked the tires and got beat by that team." YOU WERE QUICKER EVERY RUN: "The second and third rounds were basically the same, one one thousandth (of a second) apart (5.140 and 5.139), they were pretty much identical. That's what we're looking for, that's a tribute to Tim and Kim (Richards, co-crew chiefs). That's what wins races. If we could have run a .23 or .24 in the final we would have won." ON THE NEW BODY: "The Camaro is really good, it's very well balanced, it's an improvement. It felt good, because it was very consistent and very repeatable. It's a loose race track up here and the Camaro felt very under control every run. And we have run here before where it's felt really loose, like you are driving on ice and like it's skating around." ON THE WEEKEND AND THE CHAMPIONSHIP: "It was a great weekend. Because as far as the NHRA Funny Car chmpionship is concerned we put some distance between ourselves and the guys behind us in points, such as Tim Wilkerson and Dean Skuza. The goal is to win races at this point in the year and to get Tony for second place. It's going to be more difficult to do, because John (Force) can make it easier for Tony to win when they race each other. We're up against it either way. But we will work hard, do our best like we always do. I think the new Camaro will help us in the long run."
CHUCK ETCHELLS, team owner: "If you go to the semis you've had a successful weekend. If you go to the finals you have a good weekend, if you win it's a great weekend. I couldn't believe it smoked the tires at the hit. I expected to see it maybe do that a few hundred feet out, but not there. I talked to Tim before the final tuneup. I said what do you think. He says I've got to believe they're going to repeat, we're going to have to pick up some and so that's what he said he was going to try to do, is pick up some. Obviously it was just too much. I'm still not sure I'm liking these 5-disc clutches." ON THE CAMARO BODY: "The Camaro body showed today that next to Force's cars it stayed hooked up there better than anything else. No question about it. Looking at that we know that this is the first generation body and we know there are a lot of improvements we can make going forward, that are well within the rules. So the Camaro body is only going to get better and better. The thing that probably excites me more than the body does, is the commitment that GM and Chevrolet have to win. As a team owner that is exciting and it's fun to be around that attitude and see that commitment."
PRO STOCK -- CAMARO Z28
KURT JOHNSON, ACDELCO CAMARO Z28, advanced to the semifinals after defeating Richie Stevens and Jim Yates. He faced Jeg Coughlin in the semifinals, and was defeated by Jeg's 7.285-second pass at 188.49 mph to Kurt's 7.374/186.54.
KURT: "It shut off at the end of low gear, it stuttered and stumbled going into second. We should have run a .33, .34, but it was definitely not going to be a .28. The Camaro is doing better, I had .447 and .438 lights today. I was having a good day." ARE THE GREMLINS GONE? "I hope so. The car was consistent all weekend." ON GOING TO SEATTLE: "I won my first race there, it's a good race track. We were runnerup last year and runnerup in '96."
MIKE EDWARDS, DEWCO SALES CAMARO Z28, was defeated by Jeg Coughlin in the first round, 7.330/187.29 for Jeg, 7.402/185.41 for Mike.