CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES SEARS CRAFTSMAN NATIONALS GATEWAY INTL RACEWAY NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SATURDAY, JUNE 27, 1998 NEW CAMAROS WHIT BAZEMORE, TEAM WINSTON CAMARO Z28, debuted his new Camaro Funny Car here at the Sears Craftsman...
CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES SEARS CRAFTSMAN NATIONALS GATEWAY INTL RACEWAY NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SATURDAY, JUNE 27, 1998
WHIT BAZEMORE, TEAM WINSTON CAMARO Z28, debuted his new Camaro Funny Car here at the Sears Craftsman Nationals. Whit is No. 13 qualifier after two sessions, 5.777/215.25.
BAZEMORE: "The first run (yesterday) we had some mechanical problems we shouldn't have had and that kept us from making a full pass. Then, last night we smoked the tires at the hit of the throttle. We're learning this new Camaro, it's a little bit of a learning curve. By the same token we're in the same situation as last race (when he raced a Ford-bodied Funny Car). In Columbus we didn't qualify until the last run. I would say the whole team is strggling a little bit."
ON THE CAMARO BODY: "I like the Camaro, I like the way it handles and we like the characteristics that it's showing us so far. We're pretty happy. The Camaro body is definitely not our problem." WHAT CHARACTERISTICS? "Number one, I like the way it looks, that's important. You have to like the car that you are driving. And our Winston team likes it. All the fans seem really excited for us that we changed to Chevy. A lot of fans are saying welcome to Chevy. That's prtty neat. And I like the way the car steers, just the way it handles. It's very responsive. It does what I want it to do. Some cars are really hard to drive. This one seems easy to drive so far. And then we like the way it reacts on the starting line, the way the McKinney chassis works. Unfortunately, we haven't really been fast enough. We are so off in other areas that we really can't notice a difference in the body styles yet. We will, I know that we will."
KURT JOHNSON, AC DELCO CAMARO Z28, is also competing in a new Camaro Z28 this weekend, built by RJ Race Cars, a nearly identical Camaro to the one RJ built for Tom Hammonds, who debuted his in Columbus. Kurt had a successful second run in his new Camaro, qualifying No. 2 behind his dad Warren, 7.037/196.63.
KURT: "It's close. After that first run we were kind of disappointed. We tested out here last week and except for the electrical problems I ran pretty fast. Yesterday we had a totally different race car again because the track was so hot, the traction was so poor. We spun the tires real bad. And even last night, we probably left 300 hundredths (of a second) on the table. We should have run a 7 flat. We have to pick up about three hundredths of a second to get it to run as it should run. It's definitely off the way it is now. We have to figure out what it likes. They all have new personalities. We're happy to be in the field right now because it's going to be hot again this afaternoon." ON THE NEW CAR: "It's pretty much identical to Tom Hammonds, they were built side by side." WERE YOU ENCOURAGED BY TOM'S PERFORMANCE IN COLUMBUS? "We were pretty pumped up to see Tom come out with a brand new Camaro and put it in the show, especially since he hadn't raced since Maple Grove last year. I was pretty impressed. It showed potential."