GAINESVILLE, Fla. March 16, 2001 - Qualifying for the 32nd annual Mac Tools Gatornationals got underway today at Gainesville Raceway. In Pro Stock Truck, defending Gatornationals champion Randy Daniels took the top qualifying spot taking his...
GAINESVILLE, Fla. March 16, 2001 - Qualifying for the 32nd annual Mac Tools Gatornationals got underway today at Gainesville Raceway. In Pro Stock Truck, defending Gatornationals champion Randy Daniels took the top qualifying spot taking his Chevy S-10 to a track-record elapsed time of 7.488 seconds at 179.09 mph. Don Smith is qualified second in an S-10, Jeff Gracia is third in a GMC Sonoma, Larry Seay is fourth in an S-10 and Victor Cagnazzi is qualified fifth in an S-10. Last year's series' champion Bob Panella is qualified ninth, Mike Corvo Jr. is 14th in a Sonoma and John Lingenfelter is 18th in a Sonoma.
In Pro Stock the No. 1 qualifier is Darrell Alderman who took the provisional pole with a run of 6.874 seconds at 200.29 mph. Kurt Johnson is qualified second in a Chevy Cavalier with an elapsed time of 6.889 seconds and the top speed of the day at 200.56 mph. Mark Pawuk is third in a Grand Am, Warren Johnson is fourth in a Grand Am, Ron Krisher is fifth in a Cavalier, Bruce Allen is sixth in a Grand Am and Mike Edwards is seventh in a Grand Am. Jeg Coughlin is the No. 10 qualifier in a Cavalier
In Funny Car, John Force is the No. 1 qualifier with an elapsed time of 4.815 seconds at 317.19 mph. Frank Pedregon is qualified second in a Firebird and CSK teammate Del Worsham is third in a Firebird. Ron Capps is in the fourth spot in the Skoal Racing Chevrolet Camaro with a run of 4.889 seconds at 311.41 mph. Teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. has his Camaro parked in the five spot with a lap of 4.909 seconds at 309.42 mph. Bob Gilbertson is 11th in a Camaro, Scotty Cannon is 16th, Chuck Etchells is 17th and Jim Epler is 20th.
In Top Fuel,
The 32nd annual Mac Tools is the third race on the 24-event NHRA Winston championship tour. Qualifying highlights of the Gatornationals can be seen on ESPN on Saturday, March 17, beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern. Same-day coverage of final eliminations can be seen on ESPN2 on Sunday, March 18, starting at 5 p.m. Eastern.
PRO STOCK TRUCK
Randy Daniels (Bailey Trucking Chevy S-10) - "We cheated a little bit and came out last week before they closed the track down for national-event competition, did a little testing and I think it's paying off. The track's a little different though now than it was just a week ago, but still to get the feel of the track and the conditions down here may have worked to our advantage. The conditions this morning threw us a curve but we were able to adapt okay. Just to give you an idea how different it was this morning from last week, we ran a 7.39 with our old Chevy S-10 in testing and then put up a 7.41 with the new truck. So things have changed somewhat. It's amazing how fast the weather changed just from this morning to the afternoon. We read it correctly, lucked out and hit a combination that worked for us. The starting line is great here, but down track gets tricky. Last week it was dynamite from the starting line to the finish line but today something's changed. Since Pomona we've beat on just about every engine on the dyno and then we came out and spent two days here testing and then went back to get ready to come back down here. It's been a very busy team." No. 1 qualifier - 7.488ET(track record)/179.09MPH
Bob Panella (Panella Trucking Chevy S-10) - "The first run showed us a little promise and then for the second session the track got really good really fast. We just didn't adjust enough for it. We were a little bit too soft when we left the line and usually when that happens, the truck wants to go left and that's what happened. I got this S-10 up close against the guardrail and just didn't make a good run. Tomorrow the conditions will be at least the same if not better and we'll be ready. Fortunately, Jeff's (Gracia) GMC Sonoma ran very well so we know what we need to do to get it done. Sometimes we're slow in making aggressive moves and that may have hurt us that time. The people that were dialed in ran really well and the trucks that were on the soft side you could tell." No. 9 qualifier - 7.532ET/180.00MPH
Kurt Johnson (ACDelco Chevy Cavalier Z24) - "The track kept improving, but the air got worse by about 400 feet. We picked up six-hundredths, but it wasn't really that much considering we made a bad run in the first session. It was just loose out there this morning and this afternoon we finally got some rubber on the track. We made some changes to the ACDelco Cavalier, went out and tested Tuesday and Wednesday, and kind of struggled there for a little while. We finally made a couple of good runs, but didn't quite know what to expect coming in here because there's two or three areas on the car that are completely different with the way were running it. Plus trying to figure out the new car itself, so we're kind of shooting from the hip here. We made the right call to run that 6.88, and I think there's definitely a couple of hundredths left in it. If we can keep this pace up we should be in pretty good shape on Sunday. Obviously we're going to try and win the pole tomorrow if we can pick it up a couple of hundredths. We went to Atlanta to test, made 11 runs there, but only two of them were any good. We put the car back to where it was when we made those two good runs, made the 6.94 this morning, and came back to run that 6.88, so yeah, that's gives us some confidence knowing that we made the right call." No. 2 qualifier - 6.889ET/200.56PH
Ron Krisher (Eagle One Chevy Cavalier) - "We were in trouble a little during that second session. We're still trying to get this car to 60-foot. We lost two hundredths on the 60-foot second session, but the motor started to come around. It was fresh and picked up quite a bit - it'll pick up some more on the back half tomorrow. We moved some weight and tried some different things on the car and it wouldn't do anything. The Eagle One Cavalier probably would've run faster in the second session with the kind of lap we put down this morning. We'll be all right - we'll be in the field but I'm not exactly sure where. New cars are a struggle. We'll get it but it's going to take a little time." No. 5 qualifier - 6.916ET/199.82MPH Mike Edwards (Young Life Chevy Cavalier) - "We were real pleased with the first two runs we made when Ron's (Krisher) Cavalier ran a 6.91 and I went a 6.92. That time we made some adjustments and my car didn't like it at all. I had to shut off. We learning a little bit. We're way behind as far as runs - everybody has more runs on these new Cavaliers than what we do. It's a learning curve and right now we're trying to get more information, get more data and learn what not to do. We've made probably 15 runs on both cars so we're going to have to race them and see what happens because if we don't, we're not going to learn anything. We have two races back-to-back so we have to get after it." No. 7 qualifier - 6.925ET/199.17MPH
Ron Capps (Skoal Racing Chevrolet Camaro) - "We were very happy with the 4.88 we ran in the first round. It was very soft. The Skoal Racing Camaro made a little move in the middle of the track and kind of planted itself. It was like driving down the Pacific Coast Highway, it was so easy at the other end. I told "Ace" that it sure felt like it had a lot more in it. We then wanted to get Tommy's (Johnson) Camaro in. He ran 4.90 flat, which was great, so we decided that we'd try and get after it a little bit. It was on a good run, but then it felt like it was a little too aggressive in the middle. I'm so glad to be back racing - it seemed like another long off season. It was weird to get back in the car because I had to get acclimated to it again. It's nice to get in the show with the crazy weather we might get. Now I can sleep tonight. We need to keep at it and keep pecking away. Tomorrow the track is going to get better and better and it will continue to get that way until the final round on Sunday." No. 4 qualifier - 4.889ET/311.41MPH
Tommy Johnson Jr. (Skoal Racing Chevrolet Camaro) - "It was a good lap but at the same time, it was pretty conservative. The key thing was to get this Skoal Racing Camaro qualified, get it in the show and not smoke the tires. That first round today was the first time all year that we'd smoked the tires. We came back, detuned it a little bit, knew that the right lane would probably be better than the left, so we backed it down and basically put the same tune up in the car that Ron (Capps) had in the first round. The supercharger doesn't seem to be what we thought it was and that's why we were a couple of hundredths slower. Other than that, it was exactly the same as what Ron ran - he ran a 4.88 and we ran a 4.90. As tight as this Funny Car field is now, the main thing is to get qualified because you can't win the race if you're not racing on Sunday. That's our main objective. We got that accomplished and now we can try to go out and set low e.t." No. 5 qualifier - 4.909ET/309.42MPH