CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES MOPAR PARTS MILE-HIGH NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES BANDIMERE SPEEDWAY FRIDAY, JULY 17, 1998 WHIT BAZEMORE, TEAM WINSTON CAMARO Z28, is No. 1 qualifier, 5.167/289.85, set in this evening's second round of...
CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES MOPAR PARTS MILE-HIGH NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES BANDIMERE SPEEDWAY FRIDAY, JULY 17, 1998
WHIT BAZEMORE, TEAM WINSTON CAMARO Z28, is No. 1 qualifier, 5.167/289.85, set in this evening's second round of qualifying. This is Whit's second event since he switched to a Camaro body. Whit also set low e.t. in the first session (5.315/265.33) after having to do a "do-over" as he had to shut down at the start of his first run due to a power outage. He was able to make his first qualifying pass later in the day under cooler conditions. Chuck Etchells, in the Kendall/Ma Ma Rosa's Pizza/Superwinch Camaro was in the other lane when the power went out. Etchells opted to restart and run that round once the power returned (5.993/169.68).
BAZEMORE: "We ran well here last year and the car is obviously totally different now that it's a Camaro Z28. The engine combination is different, everything is different. But we have it figured out. This is probably the most difficult track that we race on and especially this year because the track conditions seem to be worse than they have been in the past. Unfortunately, it tests the whole team and the driver. Like in the first round the Camaro was sashaying around. You kind of have to hold your breath. I was telling the guys, we need to adust the chassis to fix it somehow. But the chassis is adjusted right so we really don't know what to do. My guys said, well, it would be too boring if it was straight. It's a little too exciting for me. You have to be very aggressive if you're to do well here."
"We feel very confident unless there's a thunder shower tomorrow afternoon and it pushes the schedule back. The way the conditions were today, and the weather they're predicting tomorrow, in the high '90s, it very well could be the time that counts. We look at it that way, we approach it that way."
WAS IT AN ADVANTAGE TO MAKE YOUR FIRST QUALIFYING PASS LATER IN THE DAY? "Absolutely, that's why we did it. I was surprised that Etchells' team ran when they did. We kind of serviced the Camaro and the NHRA gave us the option of running whenever we were ready. When our lane (the right one) fell into the shadow we came down and made the run. There's no question it was better. It was a bad problem that turned out to work for us."
ON ADAPTING TO THE NEW CAMARO BODY: "This is our second race with the Camaro Z28 body. It's a pretty big change to make mid-year, because we changed chassis and bodies, and the Camaro is a lot different than the Mustang. We ran well with the Mustang, obviously, even up here, but the Camaro has some advantages for us and we went ahead and changed as soon as we could. We put the deal together over the winter and had to build two new Winston cars. We made a change and it really paidd off. We changed chassis manufacturers as well. It's a gamble that we took and so far it's paying off. It could have gone the other way."
CHUCK ETCHELLS is No. 3 qualifier, 5.301/269.38.
ETCHELLS: "Tim Richards (crew chief) made the call to run in that first session. We had the option to push back and try later, but he said he did not plan to make any changes, so we decided to make a pass. It lost traction downtrack, but we were still able to get some idea on the track conditions, which we could use for the nighttime session."
RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, is No. 9 qualifier, 6.231/157.09.