CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES AUTOZONE WINTERNATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES POMONA RACEWAY, POMONA, CALIF. SUNDAY, FEB. 7, 1999 PRO STOCK TRUCK - CHEVY S-10 Defending Winston Champion LARRY KOPP in the SPEEDCO TRUCK LUBE CHEVY...
CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES AUTOZONE WINTERNATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES POMONA RACEWAY, POMONA, CALIF. SUNDAY, FEB. 7, 1999
PRO STOCK TRUCK - CHEVY S-10
Defending Winston Champion LARRY KOPP in the SPEEDCO TRUCK LUBE CHEVY S-10 was ousted in the second round by Craig Eaton on a holeshot advantage, 7.609/176.12 for Kopp, 7.654/173.63 for Eaton. Kopp's reaction time was .524, compared to Eaton's .462.
KOPP: "This is a very important race to win. Hopefully, we will go out of here with the national elapsed time record (7.586, established in yesterday's first round of eliminations)." ON THAT RUN: "When I left the starting line I knew I was late, but I thought maybe I had enough powEr to outrun him, but obviously I didn't. When I'm good, I'm good, when I'm bad, I'm really bad. I had the problem last year (slow reaction time), I just have to keep working on it. I was hoping that in high gear I would go past him, but I didn't. The pedal wouldn't go any further." HOW DID YOU FEEL AT THE END? "Dejected, rejected, unselected, p---d off. But I can't blame anybody but myself. Everybody who has helped me this weekend, who help me all the time, did their jobs. I said from the first time I raced the truck if I do my job we will win races. I cannot depend on my crew to give me a faster truck than anybody every time, I've got to do my part." ON THE CLOSE FIELD THIS YEAR: "It's obvious the field has really tightened up. Last year, it would have been almost a three tenths (of a second) separation from No. 1 to No. 16. Now it's 16 hundredths. I'd say by the end of the year it will be a tenth separation. That would be my guess. Every race it will tighten up, everybody gets a little better, a little bit quicker."
MARK OSBORNE, RCL COMPONENTS CHEVY S-10, in his first Pro Stock Truck event, was eliminated in the second round by Randy Daniels (7.729/172.32 for Osborne, 7.647/175.96 for Daniels).
OSBORNE: "We had a little problem, the collector at the end of the header fell off the truck and the tire ran over it and made the truck jump off the ground and it got loose in the middle of the track, so we didn't go down as good as we should have. But we have an excellent crew, and we had a .418 light. But we didn't get enough to win the round." ON COMPETING IN PRO STOCK TRUCK: "I love it. It's real fun. The people I'm working with, the family (Kessingers) who own the whole deal, there are no nicer people, and the crew, Kevin Horst, Tim Freeman and A.J. Brown, they're awesome.
TIM FREEMAN, No. 1 qualifier, Bluegrass Transportation Chevy S-10, was also eliminated in the second round, on a holeshot advantage by Bob Panella, in the Panella Motorsports Chevy S-10 (7.606/175.82 for Freeman, 7.654/175.11 for Panella, .467 reaction time for Freeman, .403 for Panella). Panella's reaction times were dynamite in eliminations, .402 in round one, .403 in round two. (He cut it too close and red-lighted, however, in the semifinal).
FREEMAN: "I'm sorry that I lost, but I'm happy with the way we ran. With Panella's .403 (reaction time) I lost a tough drag race. It's hard to not be disappointed for both of our trucks (Kessinger Motorsports owns Osborne's and Freeman's S-10s). I think we will have a strong team this year. I just wish we were racing again next weekend. It was his (Panella's) day today. Last year at the Winston Finals the table was turned, I beat him here. But you know, he's beaten me more than I have beaten him. Everytime he and I raced, he beat me by five thousandths once, then by eight thousandths, and I beat him by three thousandths in the Winston Finals. Everytime we race it's been less than two hundredths. It was 16 thousandths today."
The Final will see two Chevy S-10s face off, Brad Jeter and Randy Daniels. Jeter won here in the Winston Finals.