Reading Joe Amato interview (Top Fuel)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761 REJUVENATED AMATO LOOKS FOR FIRST WIN AT MAPLE GROVE RACEWAY MOHNTON, Pa. -- Joe Amato has a quick message for all of his golfing buddies in his hometown of Old Forge,...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761 REJUVENATED AMATO LOOKS FOR FIRST WIN AT MAPLE GROVE RACEWAY

MOHNTON, Pa. -- Joe Amato has a quick message for all of his golfing buddies in his hometown of Old Forge, Pa.: Find someone else to round out that weekend foursome for a while. "Some people, even some of my buddies, have said that I've raced all these years, won all that stuff," Amato said. "They say I should forget that, retire and play golf. I love drag racing. I love trying to win. It's something you get used to doing, and you don't want to walk away from it." Don't count on five-time NHRA Winston champion Amato walking away anytime soon. He has won four races and resided in the top three of the NHRA Winston Top Fuel point standings the entire season in the Keystone Automotive Warehouse Dragster. He had only won five races combined and finished no better than fifth in the points from 1993-96. Amato's driving renaissance could reach another level with a victory at the 13th annual, $1,562,150 Pioneer Electronics Keystone Nationals, Sept. 11-14 at scenic Maple Grove Raceway. He has never won his home race, the 17th event of the 22-event, $30-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series in 1997. The mechanical magic of crew chief Jimmy Prock has fueled Amato's resurgence. Prock's tuneup is one of the most feared in drag racing, powering Amato to the NHRA elapsed-time and speed national records of 4.564 seconds, 318.24 mph this season. Amato also has qualified No. 1 eight times to lead Top Fuel. The only missing element is consistency, as five first-round losses have put Amato in third, 187 points behind leader Gary Scelzi. "The Prock Rocket makes so much horsepower that sometimes it's hard to take away," Amato said. "It's a fine balance. That's one thing that Jimmy Prock is learning, how to get the maturity to adjust the car. I think that's the key for us as far as consistency."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Joe Amato , Gary Scelzi