~CHEVROLET NEWS Osborne Wins His First Pro Stock Truck Title in Chevy S-10 Pickup GAINESVILLE, Fla.; March 21, 1999: Mark Osborne, in the RCL Components Chevy S-10 owned by Kessinger Motorsports, claimed his first Pro Stock Truck...
Osborne Wins His First Pro Stock Truck Title in Chevy S-10 Pickup
GAINESVILLE, Fla.; March 21, 1999: Mark Osborne, in the RCL Components Chevy S-10 owned by Kessinger Motorsports, claimed his first Pro Stock Truck title in two races of the 1999 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series season today at the Mac Tools Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. This is Mark's first win since announcing he was entering the class at the end of 1998 following seven years and two title wins in Pro Stock competition. This was also the Chevy S-10's second straight national event victory. With the win, qualifying number one, and setting the national elapsed time record, Mark moves into the championship points lead with 194 points. Brad Jeter, in the Jeter Motorsports Chevy S-10, lost to Osborne in the semifinals and holds on to second in points, with 169. Osborne defeated Todd Patterson's Dodge in the final, with an elapsed time of 7.535 seconds at a speed of 177.60 mph, to Patterson's 7.594/175.50. It was close, with both trucks recording nearly identical reaction times (.452 for Osborne, .457 for Patterson). But, once again, it was Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins Chevy V8 power in Osborne's 358 cu. in. engine crossing the finish line first by a margin of .064 of a second. "It ran really good in the middle of the track, so I started looking over (at the other truck)," said Osborne, of Abingdon, Va. "I shouldn't have done that; I got a little loose down there. I regained control and luckily I was first across the line." Osborne tidily disposed of Brian Self (S-10), Mike Coughlin (S-10), and No. 5 qualifier Jeter with consistent passes of 7.633, 7.629 and 7.529 to reach the final. As the air cooled and a breeze picked up, the semifinal round of Osborne vs. Jeter proved a record-breaker. Both drivers smashed Lingenfelter's top speed record of 178.32 mph in that match-up, with Jeter edging out Osborne (178.54 mph) for the national record with his 179.09 mph run. Osborne lowered the elapsed time national record in that pass to 7.529 seconds, the fourth time among three drivers the record had been broken this weekend. "We knew the speed would be up today because of the tailwind," said Jeter, of Greenville, S.C., winner at the '98 Winston Finals. "I figured it would be around 178.5, but we will take it anyway we can get it." The Kessinger Motorsports team, headed by Jim Kessinger and based in Lawrenceburg, Ky., is on a charge this season, with two pole positions, one title win and the national e.t. record so far. Tim Freeman, who joined Kessinger in 1998 and won the first event he entered, was No. 1 qualifier in the season opener in Pomona in the team Bluegrass Transportation Chevy S-10. Chevy S-10 drivers continue to dominate the point standings. Following Osborne and Jeter on the roster are defending Pro StockTruck champion Larry Kopp, who lost to Patterson in the semis, in third (154); Randy Daniels, winner of the first event in Pomona and first round loser to Patterson here, in fourth (145). Next up for the compact pickup racers is the Pennzoil Nationals in Houston April 8-11.