Houston Chevrolet Saturday Notes

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES MATCO TOOLS SUPERNATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES HOUSTON RACEWAY PARK SATURDAY, OCT. 30, 1999 HOUSTON ASTROS' CAMINITI TO DRIVE PRO STOCK TRUCK KEN CAMINITI, third baseman for the Houston Astros and a...

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES MATCO TOOLS SUPERNATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES HOUSTON RACEWAY PARK SATURDAY, OCT. 30, 1999

HOUSTON ASTROS' CAMINITI TO DRIVE PRO STOCK TRUCK

KEN CAMINITI, third baseman for the Houston Astros and a friend of RON CAPPS', driver of the COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28 FUNNY CAR, has become co-owner of a Chevy S-10 Pro Stock Truck with local Competition Eliminator racer Raymond Martin of Mont Belvieu. Martin, who has 19 national records in various classes and five divisional championships in three categories since he began drag racing in 1970, plans to drive the Chevy S-10 in the Pro Stock Truck class in 2000, with Caminiti scheduled to take over after 2001.

The Chevy S-10 chassis is built by Todd Bevis, out of Tyler, Texas.

CAMINITI: "The S-10 is in the finishing stages, we're looking for paint. It's going to hit 14 events next year. We will definitely race here in Houston next year, but we're looking for funding for the other 13 national events. I have messed around with drag racing a lot, but not on that level. It's in my blood, I know that. I wish it wasn't, but it is. I'm always trying to go fast, I might as well do it on the race track and leave the streets alone."

Caminiti has a collection of street rods, which he races when he has time. "It's just for fun," he says. "I usually rent a track when I can, the one in Sealy, just West of Houston, or Houston Raceway Park and run it myself. I have a couple of friends with their own cars and I invite them and we have some fun. My car ('55 Chevrolet Post 150 Bel Air) is in the shop because it blew a rod when I was last testing here. All my cars are Chevrolets. I have a '63 Impala (blown 800 hp), and a '73 Chevy Stepside with around 800 hp. It's fast for a street truck."

MARTIN: "I was in Competition Eliminator since it started. I'm retired and wanted to step up to a pro class. I like the fact that I can compete for a championship in only 14 races."

FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28 -- FINAL QUALIFYING

RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, is on the DNQ (did not qualify) list for the third time this year and has an 0 for 2 record at Houston Raceway Park this season. St. Louis was the other event at which Ron did not make the field in '99.

CAPPS: "The incremental numbers were quicker than John Force's 4.81 (half-track: 3.30 for Capps, 3.35 for Force. At the 330 ft. mark: 2.26 for Ron, 2.31 for John). The Camaro passed the point on the track where it gets in trouble and the motor just quit, the (supercharger drive) belt came off and the motor quit. There's nothing you an do about it except peel the dash off your face shield from your head flying forward. It's one of those deals. It was good that Dale Armstrong started working on the Camaro the latter part of this year. That just means it's that much more that he will get to know about the car for next year."

WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, is No. 2, 4.934/311.63, behind his rival John Force. His chief antagonist for second place in the Winston Championship, Tony Pedregon, is No. 8.

BAZEMORE: "There's still a mathematical chance to catch Tony for Second, but mathematical chances and realistic chances are two different things. Not to say we have given up because we haven't. We're looking forward towards next year, because second, third, fifth -- none of it is first. It's more important for this team to win races and not really concern ourselves with where Tony is or second place. We're trying to keep up with our Matco Tools (as new associate sponsor) announcement and Chevy's continuing strong relationship and of course Kendall Oil and Turtle Wax and CD2 all coming back. Chuck Etchells Racing has a good financial package for the team for next season. I'm excited about that because it takes resources to try to catch the guy at the top. It takes a team that's capable of doing that and we are going to work hard and this team has always worked hard this season. This team makes an unbelievable effort and I'm confident that next year hopefully our main competition won't get such a solid headstart in the points lead and we can stay closer. No one has been able to beat the guy in the last eight years, but I think if we can stay within reach early then it's anyone's race, we just have to see how it plays out. Tim (Richards, co-crew chief) has the opportunity this year over the off season to move forward with his ideas instead of trying to catch up like it's been done in the past. Hopefully that will make us a stronger team." ON THE TRACK CONDITIONS: "The conditions improved a lot and the track came around. It was a difficult track the first round, especially the first run. In the second run it started to come around and then today in the daytime it was difficult again. We had low e.t. at 4.96 but we were more than a 10th quicker than the other car (Force), so everyone really struggled with the race track surface. Obviously the Safety Safari went out there and did their magic, as they usually do, and the track came around and had some teeth."

300 MPH DRAG RACER HAS DIVERSE TASTE IN MUSIC

If you ever wondered what type of music a 300-mph drag racer listens to to perhaps get into a racing mood or just to relax on the off days, we can tell you that Whit Bazemore is a man of diverse tastes. When he's driving his rental car on a race weekend or his Chevy Suburban when he's home in Indianapolis he listens to the rock 'n' roll of Trent Reznor or the hard metal band God Smack. Under the stressful atmosphere of an NHRA national event, Whit claims this music relaxes him. "I turn it up very loud and it's almost as loud as being in the Camaro Funny Car." But on a Sunday morning at home he sits back, reads the New York Times, watches a Formula 1 race and turns up the classical music on his stereo. "Then I'll go on a hellacious mountain bike ride," he adds.

PRO STOCK -- CAMARO Z28 -- FINAL QUALIFYING

The final Pro Stock qualifying session was cancelled with five pairs of cars missing the opportunity to better their standings. All the Camaro Z28s, however, are qualified.

MIKE EDWARDS, DEWCO PERFORMANCE CAMARO Z28, was lucky enough to make it into the field tonight before the plug was pulled, with his 6.889-second pass at 198.79 mph.

KURT JOHNSON, ACDELCO CAMARO Z28, wasn't given the opportunity to move up on the roster tonight, and lands in No. 5 spot with his 6.890/200.71 pass in today's earlier session under the threat of rain.

V. GAINES, WESTERN MOTORSPORTS CAMARO Z28, competing with a Tom Martino-built engine this weekend, ends up No. 8, 6.906/200.05. V. became the 15th member of the Speed-Pro 200-mph Pro Stock Club with that pass.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Whit Bazemore , John Force , Chuck Etchells