Bristol: Johsm, Slavinski at the Showdown

BRISTOL, Tenn. - With Castrol Super Clean teammate Steve Johns occupying one of the guaranteed spots on the strength of his victory in last November's AAA of Southern California Finals at Pomona, Calif., Rob Slavinski faces the toughest ...

BRISTOL, Tenn. - With Castrol Super Clean teammate Steve Johns occupying one of the guaranteed spots on the strength of his victory in last November's AAA of Southern California Finals at Pomona, Calif., Rob Slavinski faces the toughest qualifying challenge of his brief Pro Stock Truck career this week (July 7-9) at Bristol Dragway.

Slavinski, hopefully back on track after a frustrating stretch during which he failed to qualify for four consecutive NHRA national events, sends his Super Clean Chevy S-10 after one of only two at-large spots available in the sport's official All-Star event, the second annual Winston No Bull Showdown.

    If successful, the 39-year-old Pro Stock Truck rookie will join     
Johns and six others in a battle for a $15,000 top prize.               

A NHRA national event winner in three different categories as a sportsman racer, Slavinski moved up this year to what has become the most competitive category in the Winston Series. He thought being ousted in the first round in each of his first four Pro Stock Truck starts was frustrating. Then came his qualifying failures.

However, after making the field at the most recent event in the NHRA Winston Series, the Sears Craftsman Nationals at Madison, Ill., Slavinski believes he's finally turned the corner in his bid to become the fourth different driver to win an NHRA national event in a Kessinger Motorsports truck.

"We know (qualifying for an eight-truck field) is a long shot," Slavinski said, "but we're not working just to make the show this week, but to improve ourselves for the rest of the season. Every time we go down the racetrack, either qualifying or racing, we learn something that's going to help us later."

As for Johns, a Winston Showdown victory could provide the momentum necessary to thrust him back into a points race dominated thus far by reigning Winston Champ Bob Panella Jr. and Randy Daniels. The 1992 Competition Eliminator World Champion, Johns won the 1998 Pro Stock Truck title as Crew Chief to Larry Kopp.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Panella , Larry Kopp , Randy Daniels , Steve J