Houston Chuck Etchells Preview

ETCHELLS GOES BIG-GAME HUNTING IN HOUSTON Putnam, Conn., October 27, 1998 - This weekend in Houston, Chuck Etchells and the Kendall Oil/MaMa Rosa's Pizza/Superwinch Racing team are going on a safari. Once they arrive at Houston Raceway Park,...

ETCHELLS GOES BIG-GAME HUNTING IN HOUSTON

Putnam, Conn., October 27, 1998 - This weekend in Houston, Chuck Etchells and the Kendall Oil/MaMa Rosa's Pizza/Superwinch Racing team are going on a safari. Once they arrive at Houston Raceway Park, they will set up camp and prepare for the hunt. Their weapon of choice will be their 6,000-horsepower Nitro-burning Camaro Z28 Funny Car. Veteran co-crew chiefs Tim and Kim Richards will be the guides, evaluating the territory and selecting the best method of attack. Their targets will be the fierce competitors that run through the "fuel coupe" field with names like Force, Pedregon, Bazemore, Skuza and Capps. Each encounter promises to be quick and decisive, so the crew must be prepared for anything. But in order to grab this event's ultimate prize, the NHRA Matco Tools Supernationals winner's trophy, Etchells and company must first rid themselves of an unwelcome beast that has pestered the team for the last three months.

"A monkey jumped on our back in Denver, and we haven't been able to shake him," stated Etchells. "Since then, he's grown into an obnoxious 4,000-pound gorilla. Well, we've had just about enough of his slowing us down. This weekend we're coming to Houston fully loaded - that ape is history, and we're going for the win!"

Should the primate in question check the records, he might be well advised to update his medical insurance. First, the Houston quarter-mile where this weekend's events are being run is the same speedplant where Etchells recorded the fastest pass of his illustrious career, a 315.56 miles-per-hour blast that until earlier this season stood as the standard by which all others were measured. Second, the Etchells crew views their return to Baytown as a chance to take care of unfinished business, as a mechanical failure a year ago prevented them from backing up their run and officially claiming the record. Finally, over the last few races, the Etchells team has shown signs of a return to their pre-Colorado form, which saw them move deep into eliminations, challenging for the event win and the points lead on a weekly basis. Coming off a career best elapsed time of 4.848 seconds in Dallas just four days ago, the Chuck Etchells team is ready to set the stage not only for the event win and a strong finish to this season, but for an even more successful campaign in 1999.

"We will approach this weekend's event with two primary goals," explained Etchells. "Naturally, as with any race, we are first and foremost here to win. We feel good about our chances this weekend because of our recent performances, and how well we've run at Houston Raceway Park in the past. On top of that, we're looking to establish a pattern of success for these last two races that will carry over into next year. The bottom line is we're looking to eject that gorilla and replace him with a Matco Tools Supernationals winner's trophy!"

ETCHELLS EXCERPTS: Etchells looks to improve upon his event speed record of 315.56 miles-per-hour, set in the inaugural race last year.....Etchells looks to move up from his third place in the Winston points standings.....Etchells has already exceeded his elimination round victory total from last year (27), and looks to surpass his personal best of 31, set in 1993.

Fast Facts

WHAT: - 92nd Annual Matco Tools Supernationals, the twenty-first of 22 events on the 1998 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series schedule.

WHEN: - October 29 - November 1, 1998

WHERE: - Houston Raceway Park, Baytown, Texas

SCHEDULE: - Pro qualifying sessions start with two sessions on Friday, October 30 at 2:00 and 6:00 p.m., and conclude on Saturday, October 31 with two rounds at 11 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, November 1.

TV: - TNN will provide one half hour of live first round coverage during the "NHRA Today" show from 11:00 -11:30 a.m. (ET) and ninety minutes of final round coverage from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, November 1. As always, please check your local listings.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Chuck Etchells