Epler Excerpts Final results for the inaugural Thunder Valley Nationals Epler's upset bid falls shy in Bristol Date: Sunday, April 29, 2001 Location: Bristol Dragway, Bristol, TN For the second time in as many weeks, Jim Epler faced a tall...
Final results for the inaugural Thunder Valley Nationals
Epler's upset bid falls shy in Bristol
Date: Sunday, April 29, 2001
Location: Bristol Dragway, Bristol, TN
For the second time in as many weeks, Jim Epler faced a tall order in the first round of eliminations at the inaugural Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee. After qualifying the Sunoco/Matco Tools Camaro 14th, not only would he be facing what had been one of the most consistent cars throughout the event in Tim Wilkerson, but he would have to do so without the benefit of lane choice. However, perhaps the biggest challenge would come from the Bristol Dragway surface, which had been giving crew chiefs throughout the pit area fits all weekend. To have any chance of advancing, the Etchells Racing team knew they would need a nearly perfect run.
Unfortunately, Epler's car lost traction at mid-track, erasing any hopes of a second consecutive upset.
"Until we can have a better handle on our engine package, it will be hard to be consistent with the race car. Naturally, a big part of that problem was not being able to get the parts we need. For example, right now we're fighting a gremlin in our superchargers. Fortunately, with Sunoco stepping up to help us out we will be able to buy new superchargers, which should help out with the engines, and then we can work on the clutch.
"We tried something different this morning, but the car was still slow to 200 feet, which is where we lose our momentum, and affects our down track performance. That's something we can fix once we get make our engines more consistent, and once we do, I'm confident we make power with the best of them.
"It's going to take a little time for us to get back to normal and assemble the right parts. We'll do the best we can with what we have for the next couple of weeks, and by Englishtown we expect to be up to full speed."