GAIINESVILLE, Fla., April 21, 2001 - Final eliminations for the 32nd annual Mac Tools Gatornationals were completed today at Gainesville Raceway. FUNNY CAR Ron Capps (Skoal Racing Chevrolet Camaro) - "We were excited about having the new...
GAIINESVILLE, Fla., April 21, 2001 - Final eliminations for the 32nd annual Mac Tools Gatornationals were completed today at Gainesville Raceway.
Ron Capps (Skoal Racing Chevrolet Camaro) - "We were excited about having the new Camaro body in Las Vegas where it really meant a lot - it gave us the extra downforce we needed. We brought the second new Camaro out for Tommy (Johnson) and having it here was important because of the way the conditions changed on us from the last time we were here. Everybody saw yesterday that it just wasn't the same. After Las Vegas and going out in the first round this was a nice bounce back for the team. Ace and Snake rallied the guys, we made a good showing and moved up in the points. It's early in the year but it's nice to have a car that's either one or two in every round. That's all you can ask for. After racing here I really like our chances in Bristol. The conditions will be warm, and maybe a little humid but with this new 2001 Camaro body it will give us the downforce necessary to get down these tricky racetracks. Getting the new cars couldn't have come at a better time. It handles so well in the middle of the track. It started to get out of the groove on that run and I was able to bring it right back to the middle with no problem. We have the complete package and everything we need to win the championship this year."
PRO STOCK TRUCK
Greg Stanfield (DBP Enterprises Chevy S-10) - "I think the luck finally went our way today. Starting off this year we struggled a little bit, and we were pretty discouraged but we've come full circle and put this S-10 in the winner's circle. We made some good calls to get down the bad lane and made a good run, so we stuck with it for the final round and it paid off. We're pretty happy. The truck was consistent all weekend long. It's just a matter of getting everything working together at the right time and playing off your opponents' mistakes. My philosophy on the points race is if you keep winning these trophies, the championship will take care of itself. Randy (Daniels), Bobby (Panella), they're both very, very tough. It's going to get interesting. We're going to keep working hard and try to keep up with them."
Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier) - "We struggled a little bit here in the semifinals but we're going to get this Jeg's Mail Order Cavalier tuned up for the finals. Dick's (Maskin) waving his wand over the engine department, my dad, Gary Pearman and Craig have been working real hard on the transmission, letting us take full advantage of our opportunities. Things are beginning to work out for us. We started out the year a little bit slow, but that's the way it goes. We're sticking to our gameplan, we're focussed and we're going to get this thing figured out."
Post race: "We won 10 races last year, and we certainly should've been able to come out strong this year, we just stumbled a little. We had some offseason things that didn't pan out for us, but the Cavaliers have given us a shot in the arm and a breath of new life. We've regrouped, have a lot of great harmony on the team and that's very important. Dick Maskin's making great power and the new Cavalier has been just phenomenal. We've tweaked it, and tweaked it, and got a little assistance from Jerry Bickel. After we won Vegas we stopped at his shop, did some refinements there and came here. We're certainly proud to win the Mac Tools Gatornationals. This is a big win for us and we're extremely proud to be able to add this trophy to our shelves. We've done a good job of communicating these last few weeks. It came together a little bit more in Houston, a little bit more in Vegas and it's still coming together here. We're still not entirely where we want to be. We'll take the wins on holeshots, but at the same time we want to outrun you as well. We got great horsepower, this Cavalier's running great and we just need to keep moving in the right direction."
Kurt Johnson (ACDelco Chevrolet Cavalier) - "I was ahead by two hundredths at the 60-foot mark. I put it in second gear and couldn't get hold of the racetrack. We changed the gear around for that run because it was spinning the run before. As the heat got on the racetrack it just got out of control out there. It's just one of those things. We'll go test and see if we can't beat on this thing. The tracks are getting worse, the suns getting on them and we just need to find a combination for this ACDelco Cavalier. Low gear's nice, it's just a matter of getting things together in second gear. We turned everything around last season at Bristol and hopefully we can do that again this year."
Larry Dixon (Miller Lite/Chevrolet Dragster) - "This was such a different racetrack than what we had here last month. Then it seemed like you could fire off 4.50s at will, but this time it was like going to one of our summer races. With the sun on the racetrack the rubber wasn't as tight. After Darrell Russell ran the 4.60s yesterday, and was the only one who made it down the track, we realized those were the kind of numbers it would take to win today. LaHaie changed the tuneup around and got the job done. This was a whole team effort, but I've been on both ends where I've been on and the car wasn't, and where the car's been on and I haven't. You can't win that way. You've got to have everybody on and everybody did their job today - it was a great day. When you get to the final round you never want to lose. I've been on the losing end a few times including a few weeks ago at Houston. It stings! And it still stings. But to be able to come here and win really means a lot. It's nice to give Snake his second win in a row. He does this because he loves the sport and he fields an awesome team for all three of us. It means a lot to be able do the job."