Pomona: Bob Panella sets speed record

Pomona, Calif. - - Bob Panella, Jr., from Stockton, Calif., established a Pomona Dragway track speed record and, in the process, set the national standard for Pro Stock Trucks at 181.42 mph in a Chevy S-10. Panella's pass today of 7.467 seconds at...

Pomona, Calif. - - Bob Panella, Jr., from Stockton, Calif., established a Pomona Dragway track speed record and, in the process, set the national standard for Pro Stock Trucks at 181.42 mph in a Chevy S-10. Panella's pass today of 7.467 seconds at 181.20 mph backs up yesterday's run of 181.42 within one percent, as required by NHRA rules. The previous record of 180.69 mph was set by Greg Stanfield, from Bossier City, La., at Memphis Motorsports Park in October of last year.

"The best thing about the record is that we have developed our top end power and speed," said Panella, who jumped to second on the qualifying grid. "We made that one of our performance goals for this year and worked hard over the winter to develop more power. The bad part is that you receive no bonus points for a speed record. We did improve our elapsed time and will be out tomorrow to grab the top spot."

Panella also hold the NHRA national Pro Stock Truck record for elapsed time at 7.428 seconds, which he established at Memphis Motorsports Park in October of 2000.

Panella's teammate Jeff Gracia, from Ontario, Calif., held onto his fourth spot when qualifying ended today. His run of 11.989 seconds at 74.49 mph was of no help today.

"The GMC Sonoma made a sharp move off the line. Just before I shifted into third, the transmission broke and that was it for this run. We'll look at what Bob's truck did today and try to duplicate that set up in my truck tomorrow," said Gracia, who ran 7.504 seconds at 179.14 mph on Thursday..

Two rounds of qualifying for the AutoZone Winternationals remain, both on Saturday. The first is scheduled for 12:00 noon (PST), with the final chance at 2:30 p.m.

-Mikey Schultz

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Panella , Jeff Gracia , Greg Stanfield