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CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES PIONEER KEYSTONE NATIONALS MAPLE GROVE RACEWAY NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SATURDAY, SEPT. 19, 1998 FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28 WHIT BAZEMORE, TEAM WINSTON CAMARO Z28, lost his No. 1 qualifying position in the final...

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES PIONEER KEYSTONE NATIONALS MAPLE GROVE RACEWAY NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SATURDAY, SEPT. 19, 1998

FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28

WHIT BAZEMORE, TEAM WINSTON CAMARO Z28, lost his No. 1 qualifying position in the final session to his fiercest rival John Force. Whit is No. 2, 4.990/293.15.

"John and I had words last night and he got upset, but I just stated the facts and my opinion, and I am entitled to that. We shook hands today. We ran our 4.99 this morning against him, and it's fine. John is a good guy, he's made phone calls on my behalf to help me find spnosors, and I appreciate that. But at the same time I have to look out for my best interests to be competitive, just as he does. The point I have made -- that he doesn't like me making -- is that the Ford Mustang last year won 12 out of 23 races, had the speed record, and finished 1-2-3 in the championship. The question I have to ask is, with that kind of success, what's wrong with it (the Ford body)? That's just the issues that I have brought up, and obviously John doesn't want me to bring these up. We made a change to the Team Winston Camaro, and we're very happy with that change, but the point is we still spin the tires down the track sometimes, just like the Mustang. It's good to be fighting with John to be low qualifier, and Skuza, and the others, and to be back in the thick of things. The Winston Camaro team this weekend has done an outstanding job because they methodically attacked our problems and increased the performance of the Camaro each run. And even though the last run was a five-flat, it was still a much better five-flat than our 4.99 in terms of not being quite as much on the edge. We're very happy with the progress we have made. I think we are in a good position for tomorrow."

ON FORCE'S COMMENT THAT HE ASKED JACK ROUSH TO BUY YOUR TEAM TO HELP YOU IN YOUR SPONSORSHIP SEARCH: "I don't know if Force is serious or not, but I told him that if I get a deal like that I'd never make him mad again. Actually, I told Force that he should hire me, then I wouldn't make him mad anymore, I'd be making him happy."

RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, is No. 5 qualifier, 5.020/270.35.

"We found that one of our fuel pumps was going down all weekend, it showed up a little today in the first run, and in the last run when it shook the tires -- we hardly shake the tires anymore -- Roland (Leong, crew chief) came back and looked at the computer, and found the fuel pump had been down over a gallon. So we went ahead and switched the fuel pumps for tomorrow. You have to look on the bright side of that: we found it today and not tomorrow in the first round. We will be just fine."

ON FORCE'S DEAL WITH YOU, ETCHELLS AND BAZEMORE ABOUT FORCE BUYING A BEER FOR ANYONE WHO BEATS HIM FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP: "I'm the one who's going to buy the beer. I love the idea because we have all this Miller Lite over here and I don't have to pay for it. I'll be glad to buy and I plan to buy, because I plan to be the Winston champion. I'll buy him all the beer he wants."

CHUCK ETCHELLS, KENDALL/MA MA ROSA'S PIZZA/SUPERWINCH CAMARO 28, is No. 7 qualifier, 5.060/293.63. His oppnent in the first round will be No. 10 Randy Andrson, against whom Etchells has a 7-2 career eliminatins record.

"The ladders are always tough, no matter who you run. Randy always runs well against us. In fact, he beat us the last time we faced him (at U.S. Nationals two weeks ago), so maybe we're due to get by him this time. Right now, our Camaro is off the other top guys by about half a tenth, and if you look at the numbers, it's all in the first 60 feet. They're running .88 60-ft. times while we're running .920s. If we can find a way to get those early numbers up, we'll be in the 4.98, .99 range. But we can't use tomorrow to try and figure it out. We're going to go out there with what we've got, and try to be consistent. Then maybe this Kendall Camaro Z28 might just win this darn thing."

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force