Darlington, SC (Feb. 20, 1999) --- The goal of winning the 1999 IHRA Pro Stock championship became a bit more defined this past weekend, as the Stu Evans/Ford Credit Racing Team came away from The Majesty Homes' Groundhog Warm-Up with a ...
Darlington, SC (Feb. 20, 1999) --- The goal of winning the 1999 IHRA Pro Stock championship became a bit more defined this past weekend, as the Stu Evans/Ford Credit Racing Team came away from The Majesty Homes' Groundhog Warm-Up with a victory.
Chris Holbrook used a quicker reaction time and a pass of 6.719 at 207.27 mph to defeat rival John Montecalvo in the final round of the "Chicago-Style" eliminations on the final day of the three-day event.
Last month, his teammate Stewart Evans won the only other pre-season testing event for the factory hot rods, the Pro Stock Superbowl at Houston Raceway Park, defeating Holbrook in the final round.
Although rain on Friday cut short the number of runs planned by the Livonia, Mich. - based team, nevertheless, Holbrook clocked off several quick passes, including a 6.683 - 207.27 mph and a 6.698 - 206.70 mph. Evans was also consistent with runs of 6.705 - 206.92 mph and 6.710 - 205.54 mph. The team wasn't looking to set the world on fire, but to establish a baseline to take into the season opener at Darlington in three weeks.
"With these two big test sessions before the beginning of the season in the books, we look pretty good," said Holbrook. "It gives the whole team a very positive attitude to take to the first national event and hopefully we can get a win and a runner up there.
"We were waiting for this test session here (in Darlington). You know, you hear rumors during the off-season that ' This guy's got more power and that guy's got more power '. Now, we've come here to face our strongest competition and we've won."
"It was nice to go to Houston and win, even though it was against my teammate," said Stewart Evans. "Now to come away from this event after racing against Pro Stock's ' Big Dogs' is extremely satisfying.
"I think right now, we've got a good baseline set up on my car to start the season. With Chris' car, we've got a bit more work to do. There's still more left in his car. But, the bottom line is - the team worked well together and everyone is focused. Morale is very high after winning these two events. You really couldn't ask for much more."
Veteran crew chief Butch Petersen has waged numerous campaigns for the Pro Stock championship, but this season is different.
"When you go into the new season with two victories under your belt and you've had the opportunity to measure up against the best in the class and you've run strong and stayed right with them, you know you' re heading into the season at the top of your game.
"Both of our drivers are doing very well behind the wheel. The team is working hard every day at the shop and at the races. We've shown a lot of promise and as long as we keep up this level of determination and confidence, the 1999 season for Stu Evans Racing will be phenomenal."
Next stop for the Stu Evans/Ford Credit Pro Stock Team is the season opening IHRA Prolong Winternationals at Darlington International Raceway, March 12-14.