Atlanta GMC Racing Thursday Notes

COMMERCE, Ga. (May 13, 1999) - Pro Stock Truck qualifying for the 19th annual Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals got under way today with two sessions at Atlanta Dragway. the first qualifying session, Rick Jones drove his RJ Race Cars Sonoma...

COMMERCE, Ga. (May 13, 1999) - Pro Stock Truck qualifying for the 19th annual Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals got under way today with two sessions at Atlanta Dragway. the first qualifying session, Rick Jones drove his RJ Race Cars Sonoma to an elapsed time of 7.754 seconds at 174.71 mph. In the second session he improved to a 7.751 elapsed time at 175.18 mph which was good enough for the No. 6 qualifying position. David Spitzer did not make a qualifying pass in the first session, but ran an elapsed time of 7.785 seconds at 173.67 mph in the second session. That was good enough for the No. 11 qualifying position.

There will be two more qualifying sessions tomorrow with final eliminations beginning on Saturday. Fox Sports will televise same-day coverage of final eliminations on Sunday, May 16, beginning at 5 p.m., local time. Speedvision will televise qualifying highlights of the Southern Nationals on Saturday, May 15, and Sunday, May 16. Check local listings for specific air dates and times.

David Spitzer (Dynagear GMC Sonoma) We ran into a little problem in the pits and got behind the eight ball. We were the second pair out, and I thought we had made it to the starting line in time, but they fired them off and we missed making our pass by one pair. Other than not making a run and getting a good read on the track, I don't think it will effect us too much. But we're disappointed because we missed a good chance to get a baseline to tune from. We'll go out this afternoon and see if we can't make up for it.

Second Session: The second session wasn't a real pretty run. It spun pretty good in second and shook a little bit so I think we have some more left. I don't know if we can run a 7.70, but I think we have the potential of jumping up into the middle of the pack. The track and air conditions were pretty much what we expected. Not making the run in the first session kind of juggled our gameplan around a little bit, so that was really our first run. Some guys picked up and some guys slowed down so I think both sessions were pretty even. Our goal is to get the Dynagear Sonoma into the top-half of the field so that we have lane choice on Saturday. I think tomorrow night will be the decisive qualifying session and that may be where everyone picks up. We'll have to see. Rick Jones (RJ Race Cars GMC Sonoma) We made a lot better run down low than what we've been able to do this year, but we still spun pretty hard in fourth gear. That qualifying run was a pleasant surprise because we haven't even worked on the truck since Richmond. We've been working on customers cars. Thanks to John Lingenfelter for letting us use one of his good engines because it really helped us. We've been working a little bit together and helping each other, and it's obvious we benefited by the way we were No. 4 qualifier in that session. Now we're just hoping we can keep pace with the rest of the field as the conditions change. I think some of the front runners who didn't get down the racetrack have the potential of knocking us down because they'll get their acts together. Sometimes it's easier to go out in the first session and make a good run, but you have to be able to keep up with the pace. The bottom line is that we can't sit still because we're going to have to improve to stay in the top half.

Second Session: We have some left in the RJ Race Cars Sonoma. It was pretty soft down low. We ran good speed and ran well from the eighth-mile on, but we should have run at least a couple of hundredth's quicker on the first-half of the track. We'll be okay. I would have liked to have run a 7.73 in that session, and we probably could have if we would have made a better charge to the 330. We're still learning, and today gave us an education on what it takes to run these trucks.

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Lingenfelter