Bristol: Chevrolet Racing Saturday qualifying notes and quotes

BRISTOL, Tenn., April 28, 2001 -The field is set for the Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. In Pro Stock, Mike Edwards leads all Cavaliers as the No. 3 qualifier. He ran an elapsed time of 6.954 seconds at 197.83 mph and will...

BRISTOL, Tenn., April 28, 2001 -The field is set for the Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. In Pro Stock, Mike Edwards leads all Cavaliers as the No. 3 qualifier. He ran an elapsed time of 6.954 seconds at 197.83 mph and will face Larry Morgan in the first round of eliminations on Sunday. Bruce Allen held on to the No. 1 spot in a Grand Am with a track-record elapsed time and speed of 6.934 seconds at 198.47 mph. Warren Johnson is second in a Grand Am and Ron Krisher's Eagle One Cavalier is fourth. Kurt Johnson is qualified seventh and Jeg Coughlin Jr. is 11th.

In Funny Car, Ron Capps is qualified sixth to lead the nitro-powered Camaros. Capps ran an elapsed time of 4.911 seconds at 295.72 mph and will face Bob Gilbertson in round one. Gary Densham held on to the No. 1 qualifying position with an elapsed time of 4.870 seconds at 303.71 mph. Frank Pedregon is qualified second in a Firebird, Tim Wilkerson is third in a Firebird, John Force is fourth, and Tony Bartone is fifth in a Firebird. Jim Epler is 14th in the Sunoco Chevy Camaro and Tommy Johnson Jr. is 15th in the Skoal Racing Camaro.

PRO STOCK

Kurt Johnson (ACDelco Chevrolet Cavalier) - "The car keeps shaking in second gear. The ACDelco Chevrolet Cavalier ran a 7.01 and a 7.04 but it's still shaking in second gear. We're going to have to get after this chassis, make some adjustments and get this thing hooked up and down the racetrack. If I can get to the finish line we'll be in good shape. The sunshine is what's making the track so hard to handle. It's good for sun tanning but not for racetracks. There's something going on with that right lane and with the way they grounded the surface, it doesn't want to hold the rubber very good. The sun is just destroying the racetrack. We're digging into our notes from some of the stuff we ran into last year in the heat of the day so I feel pretty confident about going into tomorrow. We have some adjustments to make and after we do that I feel like we'll be in pretty good shape." No. 7 qualifier - 6.959ET/198.23MPH

Ron Krisher (Eagle One Chevrolet Cavalier) - "The track wasn't in good shape. It wasn't prepared very well. What happens is when the sun gets on the track it makes it real greasy. Everyone went out there with more clutch from last night and the track didn't like it at all. That right lane is the worst of the two. We'll want to make sure we keep lane choice with our Eagle One Chevrolet Cavalier for tomorrow. The shock sensors broke so we're in the process of trying to fix them. But I expect things to stay the same as far as the ladder goes. The track probably won't change too much from what it was in the first session. We're going to take some clutch out for the second round and see what that does. We still feel good about the car and where we're heading with it. Mike's (Edwards) doing the best he can considering the conditions. We didn't want to stay in fourth but it looks like we're going to stay where we're at for tomorrow. Now it's time to focus on race day." No. 4 qualifier - 6.956ET/198.00MPH

Mike Edwards (Young Life Chevrolet Cavalier) - "The problem was the track not the Young Life Cavalier. You expect the Pro Stock cars to slow down a little bit because of the elevation level we're at but that had nothing to do with it during that last session. I really don't know what the problem was. All I know is that the right lane is no good and the left isn't that much better. The air is a lot worse than it was yesterday. That is relative. I mean you saw how well we could run last night. Everyone went right down the track and we saw some great times. But when that sun comes it makes the track a little slick. It's a beautiful weekend though and the kids I have here from Young Life in Abbington, Tennessee are having a great time and that makes me happy. They are really having a great time watching us work on the car and seeing what changes we make to it. They are great kids. But as far as tomorrow, I think we'll see similar conditions and we're going to have to focus on getting lane choice all day long. Everyone is having the same problems we are so at least it's a group thing and not just us. I still feel good about where we're heading with the Cavaliers. Hopefully we can show we are heading in the right direction tomorrow." No. 3 qualifier - 6.954ET/197.83mph

Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier) - "We made a lot of changes to our set up going into the third session in an effort to improve our qualifying position significantly. We were on the aggressive side of things. We felt like it was the right thing to do and after reviewing the data from the run we went in the wrong direction. The run that we made in the final session will really help us out a lot tomorrow. We will have these conditions on race day and we now know what the Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier responds well to. We expect tomorrow will be another great day for Team Jeg's, Chevrolet and Mac Tools." No. 11 qualifier - 6.984ET/197.25mph

Troy Coughlin (Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier) - "The track is getting hotter by the minute and traction is becoming a real problem. We made the decision to put a new engine between the frame rails of the Jeg's Chevy Cavalier for the final qualifying session. Sometimes you have to make drastic changes when you least want to. We made an engine change and changed our thinking about how to tackle the track in the final session. We made a move in the right direction and the Jeg's machine responded well to the changes that we made. Unfortunately it was a little too late. We needed to make the run that we made in the final session when we rolled the red bow tie out of the trailer on Friday for the first session."

FUNNY CAR

Ron Capps (Skoal Racing Chevrolet Camaro) - "Well we're ready for tomorrow to be here. We're ready to race. We feel good about both Skoal Racing Chevrolet Camaros. The track just wasn't any good today. That sunshine just wasn't helping it at all. Unfortunately we're going to see the same thing tomorrow. But we did learn a lot that will help us for tomorrow. Tommy (Johnson) and I may meet in the semifinal round. That's better than round two, which was what it was before that last round. If we're both in the semifinals that just means that one of us is in the finals, which is a great thing for this team and organization. Both teams are working very hard, and feel confident going into tomorrow's eliminations." No. 6 qualifier - 4.911ET/295.72MPH

Tommy Johnson Jr. (Skoal Racing Chevrolet Camaro) - "We've had a bad weekend. It's our first bad weekend all year. We just had a lot of problems and we've had to fix them during the best sessions of the weekend. We were fourth best that last session but we're 14th on the ladder. We're just happy we were able to get in the show. The team has worked real hard on this Skoal Racing Chevrolet Camaro to get it to go down the track. But, that track isn't in good condition. When that sun is out on it, oil seeps out and comes up to the top, which in turn makes it slick. The asphalt they used on this track isn't the best there is to use. But we're in the show and that's what counts. What helps is that Ron (Capps) is running pretty well. It looks like we may be racing him sometime throughout the day, which we try to stay from until the finals of course. But one thing's for sure, both of these Skoal Racing Chevrolet Camaros are going to be running strong and hopefully we can get one of them in the winner circle." No. 14 qualifier - 4.992ET/288.95mph.

TOP FUEL

Larry Dixon (Miller Lite Dragster) - "We're very happy with that last run. It builds confidence in the team and myself going into race day. To be able to run a 4.62 in these warm and sticky conditions is just great. Dick Lahaie and the whole crew have really been working hard. I think if we can run that tomorrow you will see us in the semifinals for sure if not the finals. We'll just have to wait and see. But I can tell you that I'm excited about that run and I'm excited about tomorrow. Too bad it's not race day. We really needed to get in a run like that today. It will definitely help us for tomorrow. I wouldn't mind getting my second win here and make it two in a row." No. 3 qualifier - 4.615ET/315.56mph

-Chevrolet Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Frank Pedregon , Jeg Coughlin , Troy Coughlin , Larry Dixon , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Bob Gilbertson , Jim Epler , Tony Bartone , Ron Capps , John Force , Ron Krisher , Larry Morgan , Tommy Johnson , Gary Densham , Bruce Allen , Tim Wilkerson , Mike Edwards , Tommy Johnson Jr.