Indianapolis Pontiac Saturday Notes

PONTIAC RACING NOTES & QUOTES 44TH ANNUAL U.S. NATIONALS SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 1998 INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA Warren Johnson (GM Goodwrench Pontiac Firebird) We learned today that we have to calm down the car at the starting line and not go for...

PONTIAC RACING NOTES & QUOTES 44TH ANNUAL U.S. NATIONALS SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 1998 INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA

Warren Johnson (GM Goodwrench Pontiac Firebird) We learned today that we have to calm down the car at the starting line and not go for the throat -- because you couldn't find the jugular vein out there today! The sun has been shining on the starting line all day and it's extremely hot. These are conditions we've seen before in Indy, and we're just trying to find a combination we can use with confidence on Monday.

There might be some minor shuffling at the bottom of the qualifying order tomorrow. It's possible that someone could run quicker than a 6.97 tomorrow morning, but it's not probable. No. 1 qualifier -- 6.977ET (track record)/197.62MPH (track record)

FUNNY CAR

Cruz Pedregon (Interstate Batteries Pontiac Firebird) That run this morning was a confidence builder. The Interstate Batteries Pontiac Firebird was actually setup soft because Wes (Cerny) saw a lot of tire smoke in front of us. We're real happy with what we were able to do but felt that a run like that was only a matter of time. You give Wes enough rounds, and he's going to give me a pretty competitive race car. Now the goal is to get it setup for the Big Bud Shootout. Tonight's run should be even better for us, and I'm sure that Wes is happy with the way this program is going so far this weekend. Joe Gibbs was down on the starting line with us and got to see the run. This is a big race for us so we're pulling out all of the stops.

Tim Wilkerson (JCIT Pontiac Firebird) I can't tell you that we planned to run 4.96, but I can tell you that we didn't plan to go backwards either. The JCIT Pontiac Firebird would have run even faster than that but it put a hole out at the top end. Terry (Manzer) will fix this thing, I'm not doubting that for one minute. I think you'll see a low 5.00 out of our car this afternoon, but we're not going out to try and rotate the Earth. We had a little discussion on whether to be conservative or go after it, and Terry made a great decision. Our history has shown that this car likes the hot sticky race track and this kind of weather is exactly that. The rest of these guys will figure out this place before the weekend is over. I like the five runs here because I enjoy driving the race car. As long as John (Costanza) doesn't mind spending the money to run this race car then we're going to run it.

TOP FUEL

Cory McClenathan (McDonald's/Pontiac) We seem to have come up with a pretty good first tune up. Like Mike (Green) says, we just need to come out here and be consistent. We didn't plan to go out last night and run 4.61 but we knew we had the potential to if we had a good track. We had that oil down in front of us and thought that would hurt us. But once again, NHRA Safety Safari did their job and that helped out the McDonald's Pontiac. I think it may have made it better for us. This morning, we wanted to go out and run mid-4.60s and we run 4.67. the closest guy to us was a 4.76. I think we're just going to go out this afternoon, try and repeat our morning performance, and get ready for Monday. We believe that 4.60s will win this race. You may need a 4.60 flat in the final but the guys trying to run any faster than that are going to be smoking the tires.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson , Cruz Pedregon , Cory McClenathan , Tim Wilkerson