Houston Chevrolet Friday Qualifying Notes

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES MATCO TOOLS SUPERNATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES HOUSTON RACEWAY PARK FRIDAY, OCT. 30, 1998 FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28 WHIT BAZEMORE, TEAM WINSTON CAMARO Z28, is No. 5 qualifier, 4.908/313.04, which was good...

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES MATCO TOOLS SUPERNATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES HOUSTON RACEWAY PARK FRIDAY, OCT. 30, 1998

FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28

WHIT BAZEMORE, TEAM WINSTON CAMARO Z28, is No. 5 qualifier, 4.908/313.04, which was good for No. 1 in today's first session. Bazemore went head to head with Vicky Fanning in that run. Vicky didn't stage in time, and Whit was visibly displeased with that action, after he smoked the tires.

BAZEMORE: "She wouldn't stage. We had the clutch out and sat for six seconds. The whole time it's seating the clutch, it gets the clutch hot and makes you smoke the tires. I pushed it back in another four seconds, and she still didn't stage. She didn't stage for 10 whole seconds. Finally, the starter red-lighted her. She didn't realize what she did wrong. This isn't a game. This is business, big business. I don't think a car that runs all the races and is in contention should run against cars that aren't serious contenders. Al Hofmann didn't qualify at the U.S. Nationals this year because the other driver, not a full-time racer, left before the tree came on and knocked all the cones out. That cost Hofmann a chance to race in the biggest race of the year." WHAT DID YOU SAY TO THE STARTER? "I thanked him for putting the switch on finally. I thought the starter was more than fair with her. The starting line is forward, you let the clutch out and you roll. Why do this in qualifying? The NHRA needs to address this issue."

RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, is No. 6 qualifier, 4.944/299.90, also set in today's first session. In tonight's session, Ron's Camaro shook its tires and Ron shut it down.

CAPPS: "In the first run, with the 4.94, we were just trying to get in the show. It was soft on the .94. Tonight it went out there about a second and a half and shook the tires, I had to lift. We know that we have some points to make up on (John) Force, every little point counts. We went up there to run a low 4.80. This quickest this Camaro has gone is a 4.86. We figured it could run a 4.81 or 4.82. But that's part of the deal. You have to hang it out there. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't." WHICH CAMARO BODY ARE YOU RUNNING? "We're running the Camaro body that went into the wind tunnel. It's beaten, it's battered, it's got another burst panel on it, the same one that was on fire in Topeka. We're comfortable with it. We're pulling out all the stops. It's beaten and battered, but we're still going to use it. It's been through two explosions in the last two races." YOUR CAMARO BODY'S USED UP, HOW DO YOU FEEL? "I'm fine, nothing a good e.t. won't cure. We're not giving up. It's not over by any means. We are definitely not going to let him (John Force) clinch it here in Houston. We are going to take it (the championship) down to the wire in Pomona."

CHUCK ETCHELLS, KENDALL/MA MA ROSA'S PIZZA/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, is No. 15 qualifier, 5.690/173.04, also set in today's first session.

PRO STOCK -- CAMARO Z28

KURT JOHNSON, AC DELCO CAMARO Z28, is No. 1 qualifier, 6.920/199.46, set in tonight's session. He was No. 1 also after today's first session (6.940).

KURT: "The humidity was way up. You can't push water with the body. I figured it would be faster, but not a whole lot faster. We watched the Pro Stock Bikes, some slowed down, some picked up a little. On the average they were either equal or a little bit slower. At night the track got 20 degrees cooler." WILL TOMORROW'S FIRST SESSION BE BETTER? "Tomorrow morning will be the session, it will be a lot better. The left lane is a little rough at 250-300 feet. We should be able to run 6.90 tomorrow morning." HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO FINISH SECOND BEHIND YOUR DAD (IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP): "We would like to finish first, but it's out of reach, but second is like finishing first right now, that's what we're trying to do. The people in Detroit are trying to put the AC Delco Camaro ahead of everybody else and right behind the Professor and that's as good as we can do right now. It's fun when you have three cars fighting it out and there are only two races left. It doesn't get any better than this. We made a couple of good runs here, and there are only 14 runs left for the rest of the season. You just have to make every one the best you can, and we've got a pretty good start." ON FINISHING 1-2 IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP BEHIND YOUR DAD: "You can't ask for any more than that. I could, I could ask for a reversal. Dad took my car out to Dallas and he made a decent run. There was stuff we wanted to try and didn't have a chance to. He had some ideas and we made improvements. I think we have a good hot rod right now."

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Al Hofmann , John Force