Joliet: GM Racing Friday notes

JOLIET, Ill., June 1, 2001 -Qualifying for the 4th annual Lucas Oil Products Nationals got underway today at Route 66 Raceway. In Pro Stock Truck, Don Smith drove to the No. 1 qualifying spot in an S-10 with a track-record elapsed time of 7.446...

JOLIET, Ill., June 1, 2001 -Qualifying for the 4th annual Lucas Oil Products Nationals got underway today at Route 66 Raceway. In Pro Stock Truck, Don Smith drove to the No. 1 qualifying spot in an S-10 with a track-record elapsed time of 7.446 seconds at 180.91 mph. Scott Perin is second in an S-10, Randy Daniels drove the Bailey Trucking Chevy S-10 to the third spot, Victor Cagnazzi is fourth in an S-10 and Taylor Lastor is fifth in an S-10. Bob Panella qualified the Panella Trucking Chevrolet S-10 seventh.

In Pro Stock, Young Life Chevy Cavalier driver Mike Edwards is the No. 1 qualifier with an elapsed time of 6.876 seconds at 199.40 mph. Ron Krisher is second in a Cavalier, Bruce Allen is third in a Grand Am, Jim Yates is fourth in a Grand Am, and Kurt Johnson drove the ACDelco Chevy Cavalier to the fifth position. Troy Coughlin and Jeg Coughlin in the Jeg's Mail Order Chevy Cavalier's are 11th and 12th respectively.

Ron Capps drove the Skoal Racing Chevy Camaro to the No. 4 qualifying spot in Funny Car with an elapsed time of 4.861 seconds at 309.20 mph. Del Worsham leads the Funny Car field in a Firebird with an elapsed time of 4.831 seconds at 315.19 mph. Tim Wilkerson is second in a Firebird, Bob Gilbertson is third in a Camaro and Bruce Sarver is fifth in a Firebird. Tommy Johnson Jr. qualified No. 12 in the Skoal Racing Chevrolet, Chuck Etchells is 17th and Jim Epler is 20th.

Team Chevrolet driver Larry Dixon qualified the Miller Lite Top Fuel dragster in the No. 2 position with an elapsed time of 4.560 seconds at 320.43 mph. It was Mike Dunn who stole the show running a national-record speed of 330.55 mph with an elapsed time of 4.559 seconds to take the top spot. Gary Scelzi is third, Kenny Bernstein is fourth and Darrell Russell is fifth.

The Lucas Oil Products Nationals is the tenth race on the 24-event NHRA Winston championship tour. Qualifying highlights of the can be seen on ESPN2 on Saturday, June 2, beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern. Same-day coverage of final elimination's can be seen on ESPN on Sunday, June 3, starting at 7 p.m. Eastern.

PRO STOCK TRUCK

Don Smith (Texas Harley Davidson Chevrolet S-10) - "This feels great. This is the first time we've ever done this so it's quite an accomplishment. Now we're just going to pray for rain tomorrow. Last year (Bob) Panella just took over and we just kept slipping back further and further. We knew we needed to find more power. We finally did. Bill Jenkins or "Grumpy" spent a lot of time on it and he did an excellent job. We didn't really get a hold of it in Atlanta or Englishtown, and we really didn't feel like we made a good run in Topeka and we still won. But tonight we felt really good about the whole thing. We finally have the power, the people and the truck. Scott Perin has the twin motor to ours and you can see he's running just as well as we are. To tell you the truth that's the truck I'm most scared of because we know what kind of motor he has. Tomorrow when we get to the track we're first going to do a rain dance, then for the first session we're going to go to the dark side and try some new things. Then we will start working on our raceday setup. We left about two or three-hundredths on the table. We've been labeled as the "senior tour." But we don't care what they call us as long as we're No.1! No. 1 qualifier - 7.446ET/180.91MPH

Bob Panella (Panella Trucking Chevy S-10) - "I was actually surprised we ran that good. It was probably stupid to go all the way to the end, but we don't know what's going to happen with the weather so we had to make sure we at least qualified. That'll give us some data we'll look at tonight and then get ready for tomorrow." No. 3 qualifier - 7.459ET/180.55MPH

PRO STOCK

Mike Edwards (YoungLife Chevy Cavalier) - "I'm really happy with my Cavalier. We need a little bit more on (teammate) Ron Krisher's, but we're pretty happy with both of them. We got a good start to the weekend, and hopefully we can build on this and get a little bit better. We'll make a few adjustments tomorrow - some new tires we're going to try, a couple new scoops. These new Chevy Cavaliers are just awesome, and we feel like we're going to get better, and better, and better." No. 1 qualifier - 6.876ET/199.40MPH

Tom Hammonds (Winnebago Chevy Cavalier) - "This was definitely disappointing, especially since I felt like I was on a pretty good run. The car started pushing toward the left and once I plugged it into high gear, that's all I remember really. I don't remember correcting or overcorrecting, and I'm not sure there's anything I could've done differently. It just took a hard right and the rest is history. We just have to regroup. We've got another car we'll get ready, maybe change the foot pedals a little bit and we'll go from there. These cars are constructed with safety being of the utmost concern, and this is just a tribute to how safe these cars are. And I've got to commend the Safety Safari - they were right on top of it. I kind of feel like I've just taken a charge from Shaquille O'Neal but this is just a little bump in the road."

FUNNY CAR

Ron Capps (Skoal Racing Chevy Camaro) - "The team has been working really hard at getting this Camaro up to par. We knew coming in here that we were going to have to do well in qualifying and we know we're going to have to go rounds on race day. We have to try and stop (John) Force. If we're not careful he will start running away with this championship again and we don't want that. But, our car is running well this weekend. We hope to get Tommy's (Johnson) Camaro up to where it should be tomorrow. The weather isn't looking that great though. We will hope for the best. I am very confident we can have a good weekend if we just keep plugging away and staying focused." No. 4 qualifier - 4.861ET/309.77MPH

-GM Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Sarver , Jeg Coughlin , Troy Coughlin , Bob Panella , Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Kenny Bernstein , Kurt Johnson , Bob Gilbertson , Jim Epler , Del Worsham , Ron Capps , Gary Scelzi , Ron Krisher , Randy Daniels , Chuck Etchells , Bruce Allen , Tom Hammonds , Tim Wilkerson , Mike Edwards , Tommy Johnson Jr.