CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES -- MAC TOOLS GATORNATIONALS GAINESVILLE RACEWAY -- NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES -- FRIDAY, MARCH 19, 1999 PRO STOCK TRUCK -- CHEVY S-10 MARK OSBORNE, RCL COMPONENTS CHEVY S-10, is No. 1 qualifier for the...
CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES -- MAC TOOLS GATORNATIONALS GAINESVILLE RACEWAY -- NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES -- FRIDAY, MARCH 19, 1999
PRO STOCK TRUCK -- CHEVY S-10
MARK OSBORNE, RCL COMPONENTS CHEVY S-10, is No. 1 qualifier for the first time since he entered the Pro Stock Truck series this season (7.569/177.74). Osborne established a national elapsed time record with that run, and, of course, a track record, as the series is competing in Gainesville for the first time in the two years of its existence. The Kessinger Motorsports team, with Tim Freeman, also qualified No. 1 at the season opener in Pomona, Calif., making it a two for two for Kessinger Motorsports in 1999. This is the second race of the 1999 season. Osborne's best result in Gainesville in his seven years of pro racing here was making it into the semifinals in '96 in Pro Stock.
OSBORNE: "It feels awesome, it feels great." WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE IT TO?
"Well, a lot of hard work, going testing last week in West Palm Beach, my crew chief Kevin Horst and the Bill 'Grumpy' Jenkins Chevy V8 motor." DO YOU HAVE SOME ADVANTAGE AT THIS TRACK? "No. I have never had any luck in Gainesville, never did any good here other than in qualifying. We qualified fifth in Pro Stock last year and went sideways in the first round and lost. Hopefully it won't happen this year. The only thing that would make it better is if my teammate's (Tim Freeman) Chevy S-10 could have run a little better (Freeman is No. 7). I'm really happy with what we have done. I can't thank the Kessinger Family and RCL Components enough for helping me with this truck." ON TOMORROW'S ROUNDS: "I would like nothing better than to go out there in the morning and win the first round and get Saturday out of the way and start with the third round on Sunday. I'd like to win the race, but I'm sure there are 16 other guys out here with the same thing in mind, including Brian Self, who is 16th. He's the one I'll run in the first round."
Defending Pro Stock Truck champion LARRY KOPP, SPEEDCO TRUCK LUBE CHEVY S-10, is No. 2 qualifier, 7.579/177.07. Kopp was the first to break the record this weekend, but Osborne beat him out by one hundredth of a second.
Kopp had broken his '98 national record at Pomona this year. KOPP: ARE YOU DISAPPOINTED THAT YOU'RE NOT NO. 1? "Very. We are disappointed not being No. 1 after running a .57. We figured a .57 would make it a really good run. At least we're not 17th. We've got plenty of power (also with a Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins Chevy V8), we just have to get everything together on every run to make all good runs down the track. Not that that wasn't a good run, but it could have been a little better on the front half. We were 100, maybe 200 hundredths (of a second) down on the first half." WERE YOU GOING FOR NO. 1? "We were just trying to get a baseline setup for the eliminations. The track will be like this (temperature) when we run on Saturday. We just tried something to see what we can do to get the Chevy S-10 down the track reasonably fast, and it didn't work very well. It was wrong, so we know what way not to go in the heat."
BOB PANELLA JR., PANELLA MOTORSPORTS CHEVY S-10, is No. 4 qualifier, 7.608/177.56. Panella M'Sports builds their own motors. PANELLA: "We're happy. We tried a different engine that run because we figured it was going to be the worst session of all. It looks like it shows pretty good promise. We will leave it in for tomorrow. It's a motor we never ran before and that's the reason why we tried it and it looks like it did a good job. We were the quickest in that session, it was faster than I thought it would be, so I think it's an improvement on the round before, in comparison."
BRAD JETER, JETER MOTORSPORTS CHEVY S-10, is No. 5 qualifier (also with a Jenkins Chevy V8 motor). JETER: "I usually like to qualify fourth or fifth. Being No. 1 would be great, but you have more pressure on yourself because you are suppposed to win from No. 1. I'll take fifth. We have four rounds of racing, that's the big picture we're looking at. We're just sneaking up on it. We did a lot of testing prior to this race in Darlington. We did 17 runs before this race. We learned a lot. Now it's time to find a hot combination for hot weather on a slick race track." ON LANE CHOICE: "I think the left lane is a couple of hundredths faster, we were in the right. The heat in the right lane slows you down more than it dose in the left lane."