CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES WINSTON INVITATIONAL ROCKINGHAM DRAGWAY SATURDAY, APRIL 4, 1998 FUNNY CAR RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, is No. 2 qualifier (4.894/311.41) after today's final qualifying session, setting an e.t. just one ...
CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES WINSTON INVITATIONAL ROCKINGHAM DRAGWAY SATURDAY, APRIL 4, 1998
RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, is No. 2 qualifier (4.894/311.41) after today's final qualifying session, setting an e.t. just one hundredth of a second slower than No. 1 qualifier Cruz Pedregon (4.884/307.79). In this final round Capps was in the left lane and Cruz in the right. As they were about to stage, Cruz's crew pushed his car away from the lane choosing not to run.
CAPPS: DID YOU THINK YOU COULD'VE BEATEN HIM FOR LOW E.T.? "Boy, I wanted that one bad. They told me that Cruz's car was pulling out of the staging lanes. I thought that was unfair for the fans in not giving them a good side-by-side race and maybe at the same time they were thinking that we didn't have a chance of taking the No. 1 spot away from them. It's too bad we couldn't take it away from them. But we gave it a good try. We knew the left lane was better, and that proved to be right. We basically didn't change a thing from our previous run. It's good to have lane choice tomorrow (against Tim Wilkerson in first round)."
CHUCK ETCHELLS, KENDALL/MA MA ROSA'S PIZZA/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, is No. 5 qualifier (4.970/305.81). Etchells won this event in 1994 against K.C. Spurlock (5.290/276.15 to 5.399/276.07). "Any time you have an 8-car field you automatically have to run good to get in. The interesting thing about this particular race is when you enter the first round in every other event that would be the second round. We're kind of disappointed after the last run. We took a shot at it, we didn't feel the right lane was as good, and we figured that's why Cruz probably didn't make that run. At least we have lane choice tomorrow we thought. And then Ron (Capps) comes out and runs an .89 and Bazemore runs a .90 and we say there goes lane choice against our buddy Johnny (Force) in first round."
ON WINNING IN '94: "It's kind of ironic, John Medlen was our crew chief, the weather was extremely hot, and all the cars were spinning tires at half track. No performanes like we're seeing here. Even though it was the same race track it was a whole different world. The cars that are hunkering down in the 4.90s, and the weather is expected to be the same tomorrow. That's what it's going to take (to win). Back in '94 the track was newly paved, the asphalt was very green, now it's seasoned, but the conditions were very hot with a lot of sun on it. You can come to the best track in th world in less than good conditions and it's not going to be as good as the worst track in the world in perfect conditions."
CAN YOU USE THE WINSTON $100,000 IF YOU WIN? "We can definitely use the money if we win. Obviously $100,000 plus all the sponsor incentives that we have if we get this win is a huge thing for our team. This is the bst of the best type of race and that gives you a lot of pride even though there's no points involved. We come here to say thank you to R.J.Reynolds and Winston for their loyal support of the NHRA Drag Racing Series for so many years."
PRO STOCKKURT JOHNSON, ACDELCO CAMARO Z28, is No. 4 qualifier (6.929/198.54) in the Winston Invitational in the quickest and fastest 16-car field in the 10-year history of this event. In the final qualifying session Kurt faced his father Warren, who ended up No. 1 qualifier in that run with a track record low e.t. of 6.888 and a track record stop speed of 200.13 mph.
KURT: "I guess the fans kind of went wild. We actually ran pretty good. We outran him at the 60-ft. mark, it was real close at 300 feet, but the Camaro is falling off in the last 1000 feet of the race track. We should be running '89 or .90. We're off a couple of hundredths and we really don't know why. It's not running as fast as it should."
ARE YOU MORE MOTIVATED WHEN YOU RUN AGAINST YOUR DAD? "Yes, because I know who built the motor because I know it's a pretty good piece under the hood because I dynoed the engine. If you can beat the three-time world champion it's good for the fans. You get motivated whenever you race somebody who has been a world champion, or has done well, or is a consistent driver or someone who can leave on time.
LARRY MORGAN, RAYBESTOS CAMARO Z28, winner here in the first year, 1989, against Warren Johnson (7.355/187.85 to 7.366/187.28), failed to qualify today (No. 21, 7.002/195.43). "It shook the tires real bad. We're just trying to figure out why." ON THE CHANGES TO THIS EVENT IN THE 10 YEARS SINCE YOU WON HERE: "The cars run so much closer today, the competitiveness of this class is just outrageous, to be quite honest. There was a time where you could make a mistake and still get in the program, not anymore." WHAT IS THE ONE SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE: "I would say the development, the GM programs. Their program is real good now and there's a lot of development that's happening and all the teams are getting the parts. Back then you only had a few teams, and the parts weren't out there to get your hands on unless you were a team player. Now the parts are there for everybody. It makes it more competitive."
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