Topeka: Chevrolet race notes

TOPEKA, Kan., May 27, 2001 - Ron Krisher drove his Chevy Cavalier to the winner's circle for the first time this year at the Advance Auto Parts Nationals at Heartland Park, defeating Mark Pawuk in the final round of eliminations. It was the...

TOPEKA, Kan., May 27, 2001 - Ron Krisher drove his Chevy Cavalier to the winner's circle for the first time this year at the Advance Auto Parts Nationals at Heartland Park, defeating Mark Pawuk in the final round of eliminations.

It was the third career victory for the 53-year-old Krisher and the first time that he's won a Pro Stock race in almost a year. His last victory came last June at the Sears Craftsman Nationals in St. Louis.

"Our Chevy Cavalier ran real consistent from about third gear on," said Krisher. "Reaction times also saved me a couple of times. Mike (Edwards) broke a spring in round two and it was just one of those days. There are times when everything goes your way and you have to take advantage of it."

Krisher came into eliminations qualified in the No. 10 position after struggling all weekend in time trials. On raceday though his Chevy Cavalier was a model of consistency eliminating George Marnell in round one with a 6.981 e.t., Mike Edwards in round two with a 6.974 e.t., and Vieri Gaines in round three with a 6.993 e.t. In the finals against Pawuk, Krisher's Cavalier crossed the finish line in 6.963 seconds at 198.73 mph. Pawuk's Grand Am went right towards the wall at the hit of the throttle and followed Krisher in 7.076 seconds.

"It feels real good to get the win," said Krisher. "I had to beat Mark (Pawuk). I had that in the back of my head. He beat me last year at Columbus, and he beat me in a round here not too long ago by four-thousandth's of a second. I figured it's got to be my turn sometime. We've lost a lot of close ones this year and it was time to win one of them for a change.

"If I'd been stuck in the lane that Pawuk was in on the last run the results may have been the other way around. That lane was tough to get down all day long. We got him by three thousandth's on lane choice in the semifinals and that was really the difference in the race."

With his four round wins today Krisher moves up to sixth place in the points standings while Pawuk takes the lead for the first time in his career. It is also the fifth lead change this season in the Pro Stock standings. Pawuk is in first place with 626 points, Warren Johnson is second with 579, Jim Yates is third with 566, Jeg Coughlin Jr. is fourth with 532, Kurt Johnson is fifth with 505, and Krisher has 473.

In Pro Stock Truck, Don Smith won for the first time in his career by defeating Randy Daniels in a final round battle of Chevy S-10's.

"From the entire truck class, everyone has been congratulating us and that's a good feeling," said Smith. "When the guys you race with applaud you that's really something."

Smith came into final eliminations qualified in the No. 2 position and defeated Bart Price in round one, Greg Stanfield in round two and Jeff Gracia in round three before squaring off against Daniels. In the championship heat, Daniels fouled out with a red light while Smith's S-10 drove to a 7.652 elapsed time at 157.87 mph.

"We won some rounds today because of lane choice but we've also lost some too from being in the wrong lane," Smith said. "We got our new engine from 'Grump' (Bill Jenkins) at the last race in Atlanta and that really picked up the performance on our Chevy S-10. We knew we would be ready for Topeka but right now I'm just ecstatic."

With Greg Stanfield's loss in round two to Don Smith, Randy Daniels moves back into the Pro Stock Truck points lead with 557. Bob Panella Jr. is in second place in an S-10 with 543 points, Stanfield is third with 532, Jeff Gracia is fourth in a Sonoma with 450 and Don Smith takes fifth with 325.

Skoal Racing Chevy Camarodriver Ron Capps took a shot at victory in the Funny Car category today before losing in round three to eventual race winner Tony Pedregon. Capps came into the event qualified sixth, and defeated Gary Densham in round one and Bob Gilbertson in round two before losing to Pedregon. Capps leaves Topeka in second place in the Winston standings.

"Our Chevy Camaro went out and ran 4.86's in the first and second round," said Capps. "That had us feeling pretty confident. In the semifinals the car was trucking right down the track against Tony (Pedregon) and then all of sudden it just shook the tires. It was a pretty good weekend overall. We accomplished a lot in the points with (Bruce) Sarver going out in the first round and now we're in second place. Unfortunately we were trying to gain on Force and we didn't get it done. We're just going to have to collect our thoughts and go on to Chicago."

The Top Fuel category saw Team Chevrolet driver Larry Dixon advancing to the finals before losing to Kenny Bernstein by a razor-thin margin. Dixon qualified No. 7 and defeated Rhonda Hartman in round one, Doug Kalitta in round two and Gary Scelzi in round three. Bernstein won in the finals with a 4.625 elapsed time at 317.94 mph. Dixon tripped the lights in 4.648 seconds at 313.73 mph.

In the Sportsman categories, Valvoline Chevy Camaro driver Jay Payne defeated Vern Moats in the Federal Mogul Funny Car championship heating. Payne's Camaro ran 5.763 seconds at 248.11 mph while Moats Firebird registered a 5.788 elapsed time at 248.75 mph.

Dan Larson of Vadnals Heights, Minn., won in Super Stock in an '85 Camaro, Kevin Helms of Mineola, Tex., won in Stock Eliminator in a '69 Camaro, Todd Helns of Gladstone, Mo., won in Super Gas in a '96 Beretta and Curt Harshfield of Sioux City, Iowa won in Super Street in a '55 Chevy.

The next stop on the NHRA Winston Drag Racing tour is the Lucas Oil Products Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois on May 31-June 3.

<pre> Pro Stock Truck Race Winner: Don Smith (Chevy S-10) 7.652ET/157.87MPH Pro Stock Truck Runner-Up: Randy Daniels (Chevy S-10) Foul Chevy Pro Stock Truck semifinalist: Bob Panella, Randy Daniels, Don Smith Pro Stock Truck Top Qualifier: Bob Panella (Chevy S-10) 7.475ET/180.96MPH Pro Stock Truck Top 10: 1. Randy Daniels (S-10) 2. Bob Panella Jr. (S-10) 3 Greg Stanfield (S-10) 4. Jeff Gracia (Sonoma) 5. Don Smith (S-10) 6. Scott Perin (S-10) 7. Todd Patterson (Dodge) 8. Mike Coughlin (S-10) 9. Jeff Naiser (S-10) 10. John Lingenfelter (Sonoma)

Pro Stock Race Winner: Ron Krisher (Chevy Cavalier) 6.963ET/198.73MPH Pro Stock Runner-Up: Mark Pawuk (Pontiac Grand Am) 7.076ET/197.19MPH Chevy Pro Stock semifinalist: Ron Krisher, Vieri Gaines Pro Stock Top Qualifier: Warren Johnson (Grand Am) 6.868ET/200.92MPH Pro Stock Top 10: 1. Mark Pawuk (Grand Am) 2. Warren Johnson (Grand Am) 3. Jim Yates (Grand Am) 4. Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Cavalier) 5. Kurt Johnson (Cavalier) 6. Ron Krisher (Cavalier) 7. Mark Osborne (Dodge) 8. Bruce Allen (Grand Am) 9. Richie Stevens (Grand Am) 10. Mike Edwards (Cavalier)

Funny Car Winner: Tony Pedregon (Mustang) 4.912ET/309.77MPH Funny Car Runner-Up: John Force (Mustang) 6.032ET/246.62MPH Chevy Funny Car semifinalist: Ron Capps Funny Car Top Qualifier: John Force 4.809ET/316.82MPH Funny Car Top 10: 1.John Force 2. Ron Capps (Chevy Camaro) 3. Bruce Sarver (Pontiac Firebird) 4. Whit Bazemore (Pontiac Firebird) 5. Frank Pedregon (Pontiac Firebird) 6. Tony Pedregon 7. Del Worsham (Pontiac Firebird) 8. Tommy Johnson Jr. (Chevy Camaro) 9. Gary Densham (Mustang) 10. Dean Skuza (Dodge)

Top Fuel Winner: Kenny Bernstein 4.625ET/317.94MPH Top Fuel Runner-Up: Larry Dixon 4.648ET/313.73MPH Chevy Top Fuel semifinalist: Larry Dixon Top Fuel Top Qualifier: Mike Dunn 4.495ET/319.52MPH Top Fuel Top 10: 1. Kenny Bernstein 2. Larry Dixon 3. Mike Dunn 4. Doug Kalitta 5. Darrell Russell 6. Gary Scelzi 7. Tony Schumacher 8. Doug Herbert 9. David Grubnic 10. Rhonda-Hartman-Smith

-GM Racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Sarver , Frank Pedregon , Jeg Coughlin , Bob Panella , Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Kenny Bernstein , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Bob Gilbertson , Tony Pedregon , Dean Skuza , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Ron Krisher , Todd Patterson , Jeff Gracia , Randy Daniels , Mike Coughlin , John Lingenfelter , David Grubnic , Gary Densham , Greg Stanfield , Bruce Allen , Vieri Gaines , George Marnell , Vern Moats , Jay Payne , Kevin Helms , Mike Edwards , Tommy Johnson Jr.