FUNNY CAR -- TOLIVER MOVES INTO FINAL; CAPPS CROSSES CENTERLINE, EARNS DSQ; BAZEMORE LOSES CLOSE ONE TO TONY PEDREGON RON CAPPS, U.S. TOBACCO CO. CAMARO Z28, advanced to the semifinals by defeating Del Worsham and Dean Skuza. In the semifinal...
FUNNY CAR -- TOLIVER MOVES INTO FINAL; CAPPS CROSSES CENTERLINE, EARNS DSQ; BAZEMORE LOSES CLOSE ONE TO TONY PEDREGON
RON CAPPS, U.S. TOBACCO CO. CAMARO Z28, advanced to the semifinals by defeating Del Worsham and Dean Skuza. In the semifinal round he faced Bob Gilbertson. Both cars smoked their tires, and as Capps fought to keep up momentum he crossed the centerline and, although he beat Gilbertson to the finish stripe, was disqualified. JERRY TOLIVER, WWF RACING CAMARO Z28, reached the final round by eliminating Cristen Powell, Scotty Cannon and Tony Pedregon. He will face Gilbertson in the final. WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/MATCO TOOLS CAMARO Z28, lost to Tony Pedregon in the second round by a margin of .047 of a second (.506 R/T for Pedregon, .547 for Whit).
CAPPS: "We ran good. Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) told me this morning that he was pretty sure we found the problem that we had all weekend. It's tough when you don't get down the track in qualifying and you have to go in the first round and mentally you have to buckle down and trust the car. That's what happened. It ran really well the first round. Ace was 3-4 runs behind everybody; he did a good job of getting the car going today. In the second round we ran 4.95. We didn't want to get greedy, we wanted to sneak up on it little by little. In the semifinal the Camaro left good, then the tires shook. When I went to pedal it it started to smoke the tires. When I hit the throttle it went up in smoke. You pedal it to get it going the best you can. Normally I'm pretty decent about getting it to the other end. It's tough because you don't know where the other guy is. Apparently he had problems I didn't know about. I had to pedal it three times but every time I jumped on the throttle it turned to the left. I could see from the side window that it would be very close to the centerline. But I ran it to the finish line and I was thinking I hope I didn't go over, I've been close before. I didn't know I had crossed it until Ray Alley told me. But, we passed John Force in the point standings (to third). Considering what we did in qualifying we had a good day today. The guys worked awfully hard to go rounds like we did. That's all we can ask for."
BAZEMORE: "Today ws a case of good new, bad news. The good news is that this Kendall/Matco Camaro team has their hot rod back, but the bad news is that I was pathetically late in the second round, and lost a race we would have and should have won. It was my job to win, and I didn't get it done. It's very frustrating, and fortunately doesn't happen very often. Even so, this Etchells Racing Team had a pretty good race. Our Camaro performed well throughout the weekend, and we made two solid runs today. It's now up to us to take the positive momentum from here and build on it in Richmond."
ELIMINATIONS -- PRO STOCK TRUCK -- VINNY BARONE CRASHES S-10; JERRY HAAS-BUILT PICKUP TRUCK HOLDS UP
VINNY BARONE, driving Jose Maldonado's Chevy S-10, crashed in the first round of eliminations, as his S-10 got out of the groove in the left lane, went sideways, veered to the other lane and flipped over, hitting the guardwall in the right lane. Barone was taken to the local hospital with a bruise over his right eye. He is said to be fine and is expected to return to the track today after he receives the results of X-rays. The Chevy S-10 is owned by fellow Pro Stock Truck racer Jose Maldonado. Jose put Barone in the seat this weekend as he awaits the arrival of a new Chevy S-10 from Jerry Haas Race Cars.
Jerry Haas, owner of Jerry Haas Race Cars in Fenton, Mo., constructed 13 of the 16 pickup trucks in today's Pro Stock Truck field. Jerry is a renowned chassis builder of drag-racing vehicles, cars and trucks alike.
HAAS: "The S-10 held up excellent, as hard as he had hit. It hit hard on the roof. Trucks can be fixed, people can't. There wasn't a weld broken on it. One of the first things I look at is the driver's compartment to see if everything is intact there. I look at the rest of the truck and nothing had moved."
HOW DO YOU BUILD THESE TRUCKS TO MAKE THEM SAFE? "Safety is our No. 1 priority when we build any vehicle. All the people in my shop are certified welders that weld on the chassis and we pride ourselves pretty high in having the best welds out there. The last thing you wnat to have is welds breaking on my chassis. If you do then you don't know what else is starting to move."
ON REPAIRING THIS TRUCK: "We can fix it. It will be fixed in the future, but I will not have it for the next race. This truck is going straight to our shop. We have a new truck for Jose in the shop."