Seattle NHRA Chevy Friday Qualifying Notes

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES PROLONG SUPER LUBRICANTS NORTHWEST NATIONALS SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES FRIDAY, JULY 31, 1999 FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28 -- AFTER SECOND QUALIFYING ROUND WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL ...

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES PROLONG SUPER LUBRICANTS NORTHWEST NATIONALS SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES FRIDAY, JULY 31, 1999

FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28 -- AFTER SECOND QUALIFYING ROUND

WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, is No. 5 qualifier, 5.152/281.71, set in today's first round. Whit's second qualifying round was slower, a 5.21-second pass.

BAZEMORE: "It had a hole (cylinder) out and I legged it down the track and the motor wasn't totally happy. I thought we were OK when it made it half track and it didn't smoke the tires at the end of the pad. I thought it might improve our time a little bit. But, early in the run it didn't feel as good as it did in the first run. An improvement just wasn't going to happen in that run, the motor just wasn't happy enough. So we ran a 5.20, which is a big disappointment. Tomorrow is a different day. We are going to run early at around noon and the past two to three days in Seattle it's been really overcast in the morning. That really could be good if it's overcast, it might help the finish line come around a little bit. The early part of the track is really pretty good, it's fairly stellar." ON THE LANES: "That last run was in the right lane, which is probably the better of the two lanes, so we will just have to fix the Camaro for tomorrow. Obviously the competition (John Force) went out and ran pretty well, so we know the track can take it. We had a surprise. Something's not quite right with the car, we have to get it right. Our intention was to try not to smoke the tires nearly as much and improve, and we didn't do it." ON THE BUMP IN THE LEFT LANE: "The bump in the left lane is not nearly as bad as it was, but it's still there, it does unload the car quite a bit. I give them credit, they did repave it last year and that was nice."

RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, is No. 9 qualifier, 5.255/262.18, in his new Camaro, also established in the first round. In the second run he slowed to a 7.77-second pass at 94.63 mph. After passing through the lights he stopped on the track as the Camaro spewed smoke from the engine compartment. He quickly exited the car and, with the Safety Safari's help, raised the body away from a small fire under the hood. The heat was so intense that it softened the carbon fire on the body, causing it to crinkle when the body was raised.

CAPPS: "We definitely thought we had a chance for low e.t. to beat John Force's 4.98. It left great, I gave it a quick pedal, it started shaking, then it hooked up and took off, but the motor went sour immediately. At that point I lifted off the throttle. Usually when you lift off the throttle like that it would idle pretty smooth. It sounded terrible. Then I looked through the fire windows (two circular windows on each side of the lower cockpit covered in Lexan allowing the driver to view the engine compartment) and saw the orange color so I knew I was on fire. I hit the fire bottles and it didn't faze the fire. At that point I tried to keep it in my lane. When I stopped and got out I tried to lift the body and got the fire out with the Safety Safari's help. It wrinkled the fender a litte bit. We think it broke an oil pump because it kicked four rods out of it. It's unfortunate, I can't think of the last time we kicked a rod out of the engine. With Roland (Leong, team advisor) and Todd (Okuhara, crew chief) I don't worry about fire or the car having parts flying out. They're pretty good about being safe with the engine. I think God's throwing the big test on us. Why I don't know. Don't stand close to me if it's lightning out. We will get through this." ON THE NEW BODY: "I love the body, I love the car. I'm getting more and more used to the chassis, but the body is wonderful, especially the roof area being a little smaller than last year. It's like going from a station wagon to a Camaro coupe. It's just a smaller roof area and I've got so much area around me I can look out in front of the car and it feels just much more stable."

PRO STOCK -- CAMARO Z28

KURT JOHNSON, AC DELCO CAMARO Z28, is No. 2 qualifier, 6.909/200.14, behind his dad Warren (6.901/200.50).

MIKE EDWARDS, DEWCO SALES CAMARO Z28, is No. 17 (DNQ), 6.980/197.19, in his new Jerry Bickle chassis. TOM HAMMONDS, WINNEBAGO/MATCO TOOLS/KENDALL OIL CAMARO Z28, is No. 18 (DNQ), 6.992/197.62, much improved over his first round run of 7.04.

HAMMONDS: "It's very encouraging going into tomorrow morning because that will probbly be the best session all weekend. It gives us something to shoot for, a baseline we can tune on and improve on and qualify the Camaro and race on Sunday for the first time this year." HAVE YOU FIGURED OUT THE PROBLEMS YOU'VE BEEN HAVING?: "I think we have some problems straightened out. We're not kidding ourselves, we probably still have more to work on, but this is definitely an encouraging sign." HOW MANY MORE RACES WILL YOU RUN BEFORE TRAINING CAMP BEGINS? (Tom played for the Minnesota Timberwolves' NBA basketball team this year and is now a free agent): "We plan on running until training camp begins, whether that's the next four, five or six races, we don't know yet. Training camp usualy begins early in October, that usually takes me into Reading, Penna. I don't really know officially when training camp starts and how that coincides with the drag racing season. I know the season schedule is out, but I haven't heard when training camp starts. I'm a free agent anyway, they don't tell free agents much."

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force