Atlanta: Chevrolet Racing Friday notes

COMMERCE, Ga., May 4, 2001 -Qualifying for the 21st annual Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals got underway today at Atlanta Dragway. In Pro Stock Truck, defending champion Bob Panella Jr. drove the Panella Trucking Chevy S-10 to the No. 1 ...

COMMERCE, Ga., May 4, 2001 -Qualifying for the 21st annual Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals got underway today at Atlanta Dragway. In Pro Stock Truck, defending champion Bob Panella Jr. drove the Panella Trucking Chevy S-10 to the No. 1 qualifying spot with a track-record elapsed time and speed of 7.471 seconds at 180.69 mph. Jeff Gracia is second in a Sonoma, Don Smith is third in an S-10, Greg Stanfield is fourth in an S-10, and Taylor Laster is fifth in an S-10. Bailey Trucking Chevrolet S-10 driver Randy Daniels is qualified seventh, Mike Coughlin is ninth, Matt Rhodes is 15th and John Coughlin is 16th.

In Pro Stock, Mike Edwards has the Young Life Chevrolet Cavalier qualified in the No. 2 position with an elapsed time of 6.895 seconds at 199.61 mph to lead the red bowtie brigade. Greg Anderson is the No. 1 qualifier in a Firebird with a track-record elapsed time of 6.884 seconds at 199.82 mph. Kurt Johnson is third in the ACDelco Chevrolet Cavalier with a track-record top speed of 200.44 mph. Ron Krisher is qualified fourth in a Cavalier and George Marnell is fifth in a Grand Am.

In Funny Car, Skoal Racing Chevrolet Camaro driver Ron Capps ran an elapsed time of 4.879 seconds at 293.47 mph to take the No. 3 spot. Jerry Toliver is the No. 1 qualifier in a Firebird with a track-record elapsed time of 4.843 seconds at 310.98 mph. Bruce Sarver is qualified second, John Force is fourth and Jim Epler is fifth in the Sunoco Chevrolet Camaro. Tommy Johnson Jr. is 18th.

In Top Fuel, Kenny Bernstein ran a track-record elapsed time of 4.521 seconds to equal the best nitro run under the 90% rule with a speed of 318.92 mph. Mike Dunn is qualified second running a track-record top speed of 324.75 mph. Larry Dixon drove the Miller Lite/Chevrolet dragster to the No. 3 position, Darrell Russell is fourth and Doug Herbert is fifth.

The 21st annual Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals is the seventh race on the 24-event NHRA Winston championship tour. Qualifying highlights of the Southern Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 on Saturday, May 5, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Eastern. Same-day coverage of final eliminations can be seen on ESPN2 on Sunday, May 6, starting at 5 p.m. Eastern.

PRO STOCK TRUCK

Bob Panella (Panella Trucking Chevrolet S-10) - "It feels good to struggle like we did, and to come back and rebound the way we did. We had some stuff go wrong in Gainesville, so we went and tested both of the trucks and we learned a little bit. We made a great run tonight. We're looking forward to in the morning to see if we can get this Chevy S-10 to go a little faster. We had a miss that was hurting us in Gainesville and we didn't know if we totally got it fixed, obviously that run we did. Now we know where we are and we're going to keep trying to go faster. I think the morning's going to be pretty good. It's going to be our best chance to either stay on top or lose the top. We're really happy with that run. We can only hope that we can go out and do it again in the morning and even run a little better. Hopefully no one will find too much between now and then. We want to stay on top, one and two, that's what we've been looking for. It sent goose bumps down my legs when I heard we were one and two. You work so hard to get to that point. The trucks are set up about the same but they were in different lanes with different drivers. Hopefully we can put one of them in the winner circle on Sunday." No. 1 qualifier - 7.471ET/180.69mph

Mike Coughlin (Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet S-10) - "It feels great to start the weekend on a high note. We have a great baseline to tune from and we are looking forward to making some noise this weekend in our Jeg's Mail Order Chevy S-10's. "The second run we made really felt good from the my seat in the Chevy S-10. The Jeg's machine hooked up well with the track from start to finish. We will continue to fine tune these bow ties and make improvements tomorrow morning." No. 9 qualifier - 7.562ET/177.58mph

John Coughlin (Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet S-10) - "We made a good run in the first session in the Jeg's Chevy S-10 and we can start the weekend with a good baseline. The guts have been really busy working on our engine combination since we last raced in Las Vegas and it is great to see everyone's hard work start to pay off. "The run in the second session felt better then what the time ticket showed. I felt like I might have over run first gear and that probably hurt us a little. The important thing is the we have these Jeg's Mail Order Chevy S-10's running competitive and that is a real testament to how hard Scott and everyone has been working in the shop on this new engine program." No. 16 qualifier - 7.591ET/177.00mph

PRO STOCK

Mike Edwards (Young Life Chevrolet Cavalier) - "I'm real happy with how both Chevrolet Cavaliers are running. The set up is identical on both cars. We were hoping to get in the top half of the field and we are. Now tomorrow we hope to continue and run even better. I think tomorrow morning is going to be the better of the two. But our goal is to get both these cars in the number one and two spots. During the first session the track was really warm and the cars didn't really want to adjust to it and they were shaking all over the place. But the second session was much better with the sun going down and the temperature going down. Hopefully tomorrow morning will be just as good as that session." No. 2 qualifier - 6.895ET/199.61mph

Kurt Johnson (ACDelco Chevrolet Cavalier) - "We feel pretty good about this ACDelco Chevy Cavalier. That first run it went left and still ran a 6.97. It was all over the racetrack shaking but we knew it wasn't in the car and that it was in the track. We made some minor adjustments and put the suspension basically the same way we've tested on all year. The testing has really paid off seeing how we ran the 6.89 that session. I'll sleep good tonight knowing that we're in the show for the weekend. That's the big thing. That's half the battle right there. They've got a Deejay on Z93 out here and the lady on there said that 'knowing was half the battle,' so we feel that being in the show is half the battle." No. 3 qualifier - 6.897ET/200.44 mph.

Ron Krisher (Eagle One Chevrolet Cavalier) - "Well we're in the show with the Eagle One Chevy Cavalier. We're happy about that. Too bad we couldn't get to the top of the page, but fourth is okay. We obviously want to improve on that for tomorrow. We've got a good baseline for tomorrow's runs. We've been working on some things and it seems things are starting to come together for both cars. Mike (Edwards) has really been working hard to get both of these Cavaliers running equally. I think we're starting to show that they are now." No. 4 qualifier - 6.901ET/199.82mph

Jeg Coughlin (Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier) - "We left some on the table during our first run. The Jeg's Chevy Cavalier felt good and it responded well to the transition. We have a good baseline to tune from and we are looking forward to being competitive all weekend. "The car just felt like it nosed over down track. We will review all of the data from the run and check over the car before putting it to bed in the trailer for the night. I am confident that we can get this Jeg's Chevy Cavalier back in the top half tomorrow. We are learning a lot about what these new car like and we are making progress with each run." No. 19 qualifier - 6.963ET/199.32mph

FUNNY CAR

Ron Capps (Skoal Racing Chevrolet Camaro) - "We feel really good about our new Camaro. Unfortunately Tommy's (Johnson) car has something wrong with it so we're trying to figure that out right now. But we got a lot of data from my run that will help both teams. Hopefully we will have a better day tomorrow with the blue Skoal Racing Camaro. Plus we want to keep our momentum going with the green car. I'm sure we'll be okay, it's just frustrating right now for Tommy and his crew and trying to find out what the heck the problem is." No. 3 qualifier - 4.879ET/310.98mph

TOP FUEL

Larry Dixon (Miller Lite Dragster) - We're really happy with how this dragster is running. We were hoping to get to the top but it wasn't meant to be tonight. We're going to go for it again tomorrow though you can count on that. Dick Lahaie has been working very hard and he has done a great job. The whole crew is doing their job, now I just have to do mine. " No. 3 qualifier - 4.594ET/316.30mph

-GM Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Bruce Sarver , Jeg Coughlin , Bob Panella , Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Kenny Bernstein , Kurt Johnson , Jim Epler , Ron Capps , John Force , Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher , Jeff Gracia , Randy Daniels , Mike Coughlin , Tommy Johnson , Greg Stanfield , George Marnell , Taylor Laster , Jerry Toliver , Mike Edwards