Denver Chevy Qualifying Notes

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES MOPAR PARTS MILE-HIGH NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES BANDIMERE SPEEDWAY, DENVER, COLO. SATURDAY, JULY 17, 1999 FUNNY CAR -- FINAL QUALIFYING WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, is No. 4 ...

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES MOPAR PARTS MILE-HIGH NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES BANDIMERE SPEEDWAY, DENVER, COLO. SATURDAY, JULY 17, 1999

FUNNY CAR -- FINAL QUALIFYING

WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, is No. 4 qualifier, 5.116/286.80, with the all-new '99 Camaro Z28 body on his Funny Car, set in today's second of three qualifying rounds. The third run was added today for those Funny Cars which did not complete the only qualifying round run on Friday night because of rain. Whit smoked the tires in the final round to a 11.175-second pass at 71.09 mph.

BAZEMORE: "This new Camaro has more front downforce and we thought that maybe it had too much, but I think it worked out well because we broke two cylinders near the finish line in the 5.11-second run and the Camaro steered really nicely and that's a big thing. So, I think the body helped us some. The rules are so constrained in regards to Funny Car bodies that there isn't a whole lot you can do to improve them. We're limited to the 54-inch wide wing, the height rule, the deck rule, and all kinds of other rules. You can only build the car within those parameters. You are only going to be able to improve it so much as far as rear downforce is concerned. So then you start doing things to make it easier to drive. I think it probably helped us on that run, which is important because when you are out here racing like this you need every tiny advantage you can get." ON THE FINAL RUN: "We were going for it and it just smoked the tires at about 1.3 or 1.4 seconds into the run. It's just one of those things. We were in the show solidly and we were going after low qualifier probably -- I'm sure that's what Tim (Richards, co-crew chief) was doing. It was a pretty aggressive tuneup, I'm certain. There's no sense to go up there and repeat."

RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, is No. 7 qualifier, 5.159/295.01, established in today's first qualifying session. He performed a clean run in the final round, but it was slower, 5.190/295.01.

CAPPS: "It's not what we wanted, but we really thought we could run close to a 5.0, but it got out there and spun the tires pretty good when it locked the clutch up. At the same time we were trying something a little different for tomorrow. We learned a little from it. We knew we were solidly in the show, which is nice. It's going to be an exciting day tomorrow, we feel comfortable. We will take what we learned here last year and in the last few runs and use it for tomorrow." WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WHIT'S '99 CAMARO BODY? "I like it. I think it looks great. I know ours will look fantastic when we get it painted. The car we're running now is turning around. It would have been embarrassing to bring out the '99 body with the performance we had in the first half of the year. The car is running good now, it's in the top of the field, and the new body is something to look forward to."

PRO STOCK -- FINAL QUALIFYING

KURT JOHNSON, ACDELCO CAMARO Z28, is No. 3 qualifier, 7.355/187.18.

MIKE EDWARDS, DEWCO SALES CAMARO Z28, is No. 15 qualifier, 7.420/185.21, making the field in the final qualifying session.

EDWARDS: "It was a little exciting, yes. It was pretty ugly until that point. We didn't beat anybody, but we still got in. Thank God we got in. We literally changed everything, we went for broke, we had nothing to lose. It still felt a little lazy, but it was good enough to get in. Right now that's a plus. We will make some more changes and go out there and see what happens." ON THE NEW CAR IN THE TRAILER: "We picked it up on Wednesday at Jerry Bickle's, and haven't done anything with it as far as running it. We will make some runs with it in Woodburn, Oregon, next week before Seattle and see what we can come up with." WILL YOU USE WHAT YOU LEARNED WITH THIS RICK JONES CHASSIS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NEW CAR? "It's not even close, they're two totally different chassis, it's like starting over for us. We have a new car, we have to run it, it possibly could be better, and we're really excited about it. We deserve a good car for a change. It seems like we struggled with the last few cars we had right off the start."

V. GAINES, WESTERN MOTORSPORTS CAMARO Z28, a local Lakewood, Colo., businessman, is No. 9 qualifier, 7.388/185.82.

TOM HAMMONDS, WINNEBAGO/MAC TOOLS/KENDALL OIL CAMARO Z28, failed to qualify, maintaining his Bandimere record of never qualifying at this event. His 7.506-second lap at 184.42 mph set earlier today placed him last in the field of 27 cars. He shut it off in the final run, completing the pass in 8.615 seconds at 99.04 mph.

HAMMONDS: "I'm just glad that this race is over with (for me). It's just been a nightmare for the Winnebago Chevy Camaro, from start to finish. We just never could get enough clutch in the car. We were just chasing our tail all weekend. In that run we were still light on the clutch; that was probably the best launch at 60 feet I had all weekend. I shifted into fourth gear, and it either wouldn't shift or...I don't know what happened. The car just lost all momentum. Instead of trying to go forward and risk further damage I just clicked it off. That run felt good. I think that was a qualifying run, I'm just disappointed that I had the problem that I had. I'm looking forward to racing at sea level again, under conditions I'm more familiar with." DO YOU THINK THIS PLACE HAS IT IN FOR YOU? "I don't know, I don't think so, I just haven't figured it out. I'm young at this game, I have an awful lot to learn, not only at this place, but around the circuit. We're determined. I just thank the people at Chevrolet, Winnebago, Mac Tools and Kendall for sticking with me. This is a learning process and we're in it for the long haul."

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