Greg Stanfield Sets Pro Stock National Record in Pontiac GTO Tommy Johnson Jr. Drives Chevy Monte Carlo Funny Car to No. 1 Qualifying Position READING, Pa., Sept. 30, 2006 - The Pro Stock national record changed hands today when Greg ...
Greg Stanfield Sets Pro Stock National Record in Pontiac GTO
Tommy Johnson Jr. Drives Chevy Monte Carlo Funny Car to No. 1 Qualifying Position
READING, Pa., Sept. 30, 2006 - The Pro Stock national record changed hands today when Greg Stanfield's Pontiac GTO established a new landmark elapsed time of 6.621 seconds during qualifying for the 22nd annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. The purple Piranha Z Pontiac set the new mark less than 24 hours after Greg Anderson's record-breaking run on Friday afternoon, giving Greg Stanfield his fourth career No. 1 qualifying (including two in NHRA Pro Stock Truck) award, and his first pole effort since the 2003 Winternationals at Pomona Raceway (Calif.).
"It's awesome to have the record," said Stanfield. "We're tickled. For us to be able to run with those guys across the street (Greg Anderson and Jason Line), we're pretty happy. This has been a long time coming. This year we've had our ups and downs and without the funding some of these other teams have, it's a struggle sometimes just to keep up. Once we get established, we're okay for awhile. Our engine program is coming around, but since it's just me and my brother working on engines, when we're at the races, all of the work that we're doing comes to a stop."
Stanfield's record-breaking run came during Saturday's first session of time trials after trackside activities were delayed for more than two hours because of rain showers. When the Pro Stock cars finally made their qualifying runs at around 2 p.m., Stanfield's Pontiac GTO jumped to the top position with a lap that also included his career-best speed of 208.04 mph.
"It was an excellent run, but a lot of people struggled on the track and we were just fortunate to hit on it a little bit better," said Stanfield. "Whoever gets the setup right in these conditions is going to go fast, and if you look at the numbers that session, we were probably the closest to being right. Hopefully we can get a little faster. Me and (crew chief) Mike (Elliott) felt we could go a 6.62 and the conditions were there to do it. We need to be more consistent, though, on raceday. During the race we're losing the setup and unfortunately that's where we seem to lack some of the experience. We need to stay on top of it, keep the car consistent and I need to do my job on the starting line."
Greg Anderson will start raceday from the No. 2 position after driving the Summit Racing Pontiac GTO to a 6.626 e.t. at a national-record top speed of 208.91 mph.
"I've certainly got a good racecar for tomorrow, there's no question about that," said Anderson. "When the conditions come in like they have this weekend it's difficult to make a perfect run, and obviously we're trying to do that to set the national record. We missed a little bit, shook the tires and could have used one more chance tonight. Maybe tomorrow will be just as good and we'll get another shot. At the same time, you have to look at the big picture, and that's winning four rounds on Sunday, but we'd sure like to have that extra 20 points for the record. We're going to keep digging, keep trying, and see if we can run four good times in a row to get the 80 points that are out there."
Mike Edwards is qualified No. 3 in a Pontiac GTO with a 6.632 e.t. at 208.04 mph and Jason Line's Pontiac GTO improved to the No. 4 position with a 6.633 second run at 208.14 mph.
"Considering where we were coming into today, we needed to make a good, safe run," said Line. "We didn't go for it with my car, and maybe we could have been more aggressive, but all in all, it was a good pass. We made it down the racetrack and the team did a great job getting this Summit Racing Pontiac ready. We broke an engine yesterday so we had to switch motors this morning. The car wasn't quite as fast as we had hoped it would be today, but looking at tomorrow, the car's as good as it's been the last few weeks. Now it's up to the driver."
Tom Lee has the quickest Chevy Cobalt in the field and is qualified in the No. 5 spot after running a career-best e.t. and speed of 6.634 seconds at 207.62 mph.
"Our Slammers Chevrolet team has done an awesome job this weekend," said Lee. "Everyone's worked together, and we made some really good runs yesterday, unfortunately today we went out and shook the tires, which was unexpected. The car felt good in low gear and I didn't dream it would do that. We're still pleased with our performance so far. We qualified fifth, we ran our career-best e.t. and mph, and I think we've made huge strides in the last few weekends. When we had the rainout here two weeks ago we went testing in Richmond and changed the setup a little bit on the car. We went right on to Dallas, and used the same setup and found that it worked good there too. We got here and with a few minor changes we were able to step up and run some pretty good numbers."
After sliding through the sand traps at the far end of the racetrack during qualifying last night, Kurt Johnson's team did a marvelous job getting the ACDelco Chevy Cobalt race ready, and prepared in time for today's lone session. Johnson will start Sunday from the No. 10 position after posting a 6.649 e.t. at 207.66 mph.
"We were pleased with the results today," said Johnson. "It was a combination of about 20 people jumping in and getting it done. If someone wasn't swinging a hammer they were turning a screwdriver, welding, fiberglass, everything it took to get this ACDelco Chevrolet back together. We didn't have a tree in the front end until about an hour before we ran today - that was our last project. If it had been a little bit worse we probably wouldn't have made it, but we forced ourselves to get it done."
The Funny Car field was led by the Skoal Racing Chevy Monte Carlo of Tommy Johnson who stopped the timers with a track-record e.t. of 4.693 seconds at 327.27 mph. It is the seventh time in his career that Johnson has earned No. 1 qualifying honors, and the second time this season he's put the Skoal Racing Chevrolet at the top of the Funny Car qualifying ladder.
"At Brainerd we made a turning point," said Johnson. "We made some changes on the car and it really responded. From that point on, we won that race, and it's just been that the car's been running really well ever since. We keep learning with this new combination at every race and it keeps getting better and better at every race. As good as we're running right now, it's frustrating to see the season end. This will help us make a charge toward the end and I think you're only going to see us improve. The car keeps getter quicker and quicker every week, but what I like better than the performance is the consistency we have right now. Our Skoal Racing Chevy Monte Carlo goes down the track almost every time, and when it doesn't it's because we're pushing the envelope too much. But when we need it to go down the track we know right where to put it, and that's the key to winning races."
-credit: gm racing