Bob Panella Jr. Clinches Third Consecutive Pro Stock Truck Title POMONA, Calif., Nov. 8, 2001 - Chevy S-10 driver Bob Panella Jr. clinched his third consecutive Pro Stock Truck championship today at the 37th annual Automobile Club of Southern ...
Bob Panella Jr. Clinches Third Consecutive Pro Stock Truck Title
POMONA, Calif., Nov. 8, 2001 - Chevy S-10 driver Bob Panella Jr. clinched his third consecutive Pro Stock Truck championship today at the 37th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Pomona Raceway. He joins an elite group of nine NHRA competitors that includes Joe Amato, John Force, Kenny Bernstein, Don Prudhomme, Bob Glidden, Raymond Beadle, Lee Shepherd and Matt Hines that have won three straight titles. It was also the fourth straight NHRA Pro Stock Truck title for Chevy S-10.
Panella came into this event needing only to make one qualifying pass to mathematically eliminate his closest competitor, second-place and fellow Chevy S-10 driver Greg Stanfield. Panella fulfilled that obligation during the first qualifying session of the weekend driving his Pro Stock Chevy truck to an elapsed time of 7.490 seconds at 181.08 mph. That was good for the No. 7 starting position with three sessions of time trials remaining.
"Even though I only needed to stage my Chevy S-10," said Panella, "I still wanted to make sure that I did a good job. This is exciting because it's our third straight title and because Pomona is our home racetrack. We've had a lot of success here over the years so to finally get the championship clinched today is something special. Even though the category is going away, I know that I at least have a resume that speaks for itself."
Coming into the NHRA Finals, Panella has 13 career Pro Stock victories and four wins so far during the 2001 campaign.
"This third championship was probably the hardest one to win," said Panella. "Everyone runs so close to each other out here now. But we give it 110% every time we go to the line and our success on the racetrack can only be attributed to our hard work and dedication."
The No. 1 qualifier is Scott Tidwell in an S-10 with a track-record elapsed time of 7.460 seconds at 181.32 mph. Mike Coughlin is second in an S-10, John Lingenfelter is fourth in a GMC Sonoma, Todd Patterson is fourth and Craig Eaton is fifth.