St. Louis Randy Daniels Number One

RANDY DANIELS, BAILEY TRUCKING CHEVY S-10, is No. 1 qualifier for only the second time this season (he was No. 1 at the Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.) with the track record 7.553-second elapsed time and track record top speed of ...

RANDY DANIELS, BAILEY TRUCKING CHEVY S-10, is No. 1 qualifier for only the second time this season (he was No. 1 at the Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.) with the track record 7.553-second elapsed time and track record top speed of 178.57 mph he posted in last night's session.

Daniels did not better his elapsed time in tonight's session, as conditions deteriorated. BOB PANELLA JR., PANELLA TRUCKING CHEVY S-10, also did not improve his position, although he was clocked in the quickest run of the session, at 7.598/176.30. His 7.579/177.21 recorded last night places him in second position. A short rain shower came through after Randy's run, but before Panella's.

DANIELS: DID YOU THINK YOU WOULD HOLD ON TO NO. 1? "I felt like we did. It's pretty bad conditions right now. We both (he and Panella) had to run that right lane. The air was pretty bad, the rain was coming; it's not optimum conditions for these motors. And the right lane is obviously not the lane of choice; it's a little slick over there."

WERE YOU GLAD TO SEE THE RAIN? "What was going through my mind at that time was I figured probably the rain would cool things off and the NHRA would groom the track and he (Panella) would have a good shot at us in the night. I was glad to see the little shower pass and we got back to racing, because I didn't think they would be that good after that; the .59 was pretty surprising."

ON FACING PANELLA'S TEAMMATE JEFF GRACIA IN THE FIRST ROUND: "I'm sure they will be shooting at us. I'm just going out there to do my job. It's kind of strange; I had to run with him (Gracia) in that round right there. I got to the stripe first, if those are bragging rights. I was in the bad lane, he was in the good lane. Hopefully tomorrow we will get by him again."

PANELLA: "I heard Randy say that he's won a bunch of races from second or third place; maybe I can do that. We just didn't make the right run at the right time yesterday. We made two good runs today, especially tonight. I think we have a good race setup for tomorrow. I'm glad we made a good run in the right lane, in case something happens and we get stuck there. My driving is good and we'll hope for the best, and hope that Jeff (Gracia) can take him out."

ROB SLAVINSKI, CASTROL SUPER CLEAN CHEVY S-10, who had failed to qualify for the last four Pro Stock Truck events, knew he needed to get hot at this event. The heat he generated, however, wasn't exactly what he had in mind. He heard a bang when he shifted his Chevy S-10 into fifth gear on Friday's first qualifying attempt.

SLAVINSKI: "When I went around the corner (at the end of the run), I saw the Safety Safari guys rolling to me. Then I could smell carbon fiber burning. They came running over yelling 'get out, get out.' It wasn't pretty. I got out and saw flames coming out from under the hood. They're spraying from underneath and the flames just got bigger. So I go over and take the hood off -- and that's when she really went. It burned up all the computer wires, the vacuum lines, all the electrical lines, the carburetor lines, the fan shroud, all that stuff. But we got 'er cleaned up and now she looks like nothing happened."

He was able to get everything put back together in time for the last qualifying session, in which he held on to claim the No. 15 spot (7.645/175.52) and end his two-month skid. That's the good news. The bad news? He draws reigning Winston Champion and national record holder Bob Panella Jr. in Saturday's first round.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Randy Daniels