RT66 NHRA Chevy S-10 notes

Kopp Gets His Kicks On Route 66, Wins Three In a Row in Chevy S-10 JOLIET, Ill.; May 30, 1998: Larry Kopp became the first champion to be crowned in the Route 66 Raceway winner's circle today when he won his third straight Pro Stock ...

Kopp Gets His Kicks On Route 66, Wins Three In a Row in Chevy S-10

JOLIET, Ill.; May 30, 1998: Larry Kopp became the first champion to be crowned in the Route 66 Raceway winner's circle today when he won his third straight Pro Stock Truck event in his Accurate Binding/G-Force Transmissions Chevy S-10. Kopp defeated Bill Henderson in the Pro Stock Truck final at the inaugural Fram Route 66 Nationals sanctioned by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) at a new facility headed by former Indycar driver and current Champ Car team owner Dale Coyne. Kopp, of Baltimore, Md., demonstrated his now familiar dominating form by outpowering Henderson at the finish line, taking the title by 33 feet over the Dodge with a 7.772-second elapsed time at 174.37 mph to Henderson's 7.887/171.55. "We had a better light (reaction time) than he did," said Kopp. "We were definitely faster. We knew we had an advantage going into the final, so as long as I did my job we were in good shape." Henderson, No. 7 qualifier, had defeated the season-opener winner and No. 3 qualifier David Nickens in the semifinals on a holeshot advantage. Track records were set with each qualifying round at this new dragstrip outside of Chicago in Pro Stock Truck's fourth round of the season. First it was Scott Tidwell in a Chevy S-10 with a 7.796-second pass. Then it was John Lingenfelter in his S-10 taking the No. 1 spot with a 7.754-second run, which he held through two rounds. In final qualifying, Kopp, who missed the pole only once in the first three events of the year, snatched the top spot from Lingenfelter with a 7.720-second pass. The top speed record of the event is also in Kopp's portfolio, 174.93 mph, set in qualifying. Seventeen compact pickups attempted to qualify for 16 positions, the largest field so far. With NHRA's rule guaranteeing four positions to each manufacturer -- GM, Ford and Dodge -- for their top qualifiers as well as four wild-card positions determined by e.t., new entrant Bart Price, of Pleasanton, Calif., who set an e.t. good enough for No. 16 qualifier, found himself on the sidelines in his Chevy S-10. "We knew coming in that that was the rule," he said. "We're not really upset about it. We have the horsepower and the knowhow, we'll do some practicing and we'll be better." Kopp takes a strong lead in championship points with eight events remaining, 450 points to second-place Nickens' 306. Lingenfelter is third with 282. Next stop on the NHRA Pro Stock Truck tour are the Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, outside of St. Louis.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Kopp , John Lingenfelter , Dale Coyne