Bristol: Pontiac Racing Friday notes

BRISTOL, Tenn. (July 7, 2000) - Qualifying for the 2nd Annual Winston "No Bull" Showdown got underway today at Bristol Dragway. In Pro Stock, Ron Krisher in the Eagle One Pontiac Firebird is the No. 1 qualifier with an elapsed time of 7.030...

BRISTOL, Tenn. (July 7, 2000) - Qualifying for the 2nd Annual Winston "No Bull" Showdown got underway today at Bristol Dragway. In Pro Stock, Ron Krisher in the Eagle One Pontiac Firebird is the No. 1 qualifier with an elapsed time of 7.030 seconds at 196.02 mph. Troy Coughlin is qualified second, Jeg Coughlin, Jr. is third, Warren Johnson's GM Goodwrench Service Plus Firebird is fourth and Tom Martino is qualified fifth in the Century 21 Pontiac Firebird. Mark Pawuk is qualified seventh, Greg Anderson is ninth, Jim Yates is 15th, Richie Stevens is 16th and Brad Jeter is 19th.

In Funny Car, Ron Capps is the No. 1 qualifier with an elapsed time of 4.887 seconds at 301.40 mph and Scotty Canon is qualified second with an elapsed time of 4.949 seconds at 304.46 mph. With 10 qualifying positions already filled by the series' most recent winners, both Capps and Cannon fill the two open Funny Car spots. That leaves Bruce Sarver outside of the party looking in, even though his Pontiac Firebird was the third quickest car of the day with an elapsed time of 4.952 seconds at 295.66. Whit Bazemore is qualified fourth, Del Worsham and the Checker Shuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebird is qualified fifth, Frank Pedregon is seventh, Jerry Toliver is 10th, and Tommy Johnson Jr. is 13th.

In Top Fuel, Gary Scelzi took the No. 1 qualifying position with an elapsed time of 4.675 seconds at 303.30 mph. Tony Schumacher is qualified second, Doug Herbert is third, Bob Vandergriff is fourth and David Grubnic is fifth. Cory McClenathan and the MBNA/Pontiac Dragster arequalified 12th.

In Pro Stock Truck, John Lingenfelter continued to show his muscle by turning in the third quickest run of the day. The Summit Racing GMC Sonoma ran an elapsed time of 7.70 seconds at 173.81 mph. Bob Panella is seeded first in an S-10 with an elapsed time of 7.66 seconds at 175.84 mph. Rob Slavinski took the other open spot in the field with an elapsed time of 7.707 seconds at 174.48 mph. Randy Daniels was fourth and Mike Coughlin was fifth.

The Winston Showdown at Bristol Dragway is the 13th race on the 23-event NHRA Winston championship tour. Qualifying highlights can be seen on ESPN2 on Saturday July 8, beginning at 10 p.m. Eastern. Television coverage of final eliminations can be seen on Sunday July 9, beginning at 9:30p.m. Eastern


Warren Johnson (GM Goodwrench Service Plus Pontiac Firebird) - "Even though we are pre-qualified we want to perform the best we can out there. We are slowly but surely sneaking up on this thing. We made a nice clean run with the GM Goodwrench Service Plus Pontiac Firebird, maybe even a little conservative. It's better to go out there and have a conservative run and know what it is you have to change on it. We felt pretty good with the run overall. It appears that the right lane came around this evening as opposed to the morning session when hardly any of the cars were getting down the track. Since the Fuel cars ran after us it put some rubber down on the track so that helped in the second run. We have a couple of changes we want to make on the car for tomorrow. There are couple of little things that we want to look at but we will be ready to go tomorrow." No. 4 qualifier - 7.055ET/195.65mph

Mark Pawuk (Summit Racing/Matco Tools Pontiac Firebird) - "We were lucky enough to get the left lane during the first round, but unfortunately we have the right lane tonight. It was definitely a one-lane racetrack during the first session. We made an okay run. The car shook all the way through second and third gears. A lot of good cars are going to be in that left lane tonight and will run well. Thank God the Summit Racing/Matco Tools Pontiac Firebird is already qualified here because you never know what might happen. We're here to learn some things and get ready for the second half of the season. We're going to stay with our game plan and hopefully go out and run good, if not tonight, then tomorrow and go some rounds on Sunday." No. 7 qualifier - 7.074ET/194.32mph

Ron Krisher (Eagle One Pontiac Firebird) - "To be No. 1 again is amazing. We're going to ride this as long as it will ride because we don't anticipate being able to cover everybody all the time. Our purpose here is getting down the racetrack with the Eagle One Pontiac Firebird. We were a little soft on the clutch that time but we did enough to do what we needed to do. The motor is starting to come around it's fresh right now. It should pick up during the next round. We're pretty excited. That wasn't exactly the best lane we went down either. When you go down the track with confidence you drive better. My crew is just awesome. They do a great job at reading the track and I'm a believer in them. We're on a pretty good roll right now. If we win a couple of more races this year I would be happy. If we win more than that, then obviously I will be even happier. But we're taking it one race at a time. You don't ever want to count out Warren (Johnson). He's having some problems right now but he has the power to get it down there so don't ever count him out. We seem to race conservatively during qualifications but on race day we give it all we've got. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this racecar. It is perfect right now." No. 1 qualifier - 7.030ET/196.02mph Jim Yates (Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Firebird) - "The right lane is pretty impossible at this point in time. The first couple of cars that went down had a lot of trouble. There were only three guys that got down that right lane with any kind of elapsed time. But we're not going to panic based on what we saw there. We're going over to the left lane this evening and we're expecting it to be pretty nice. Every car but one or two got down the left lane, so we'll tune it up for the conditions and for whatever the air and the track shows us. I hope the right lane comes around by tomorrow because we have to run over there in the morning. We're pretty happy with how the Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Firebird ran. We're just excited about already being qualified. We're changing the four link of the car now. We'll try a different combination tonight, tighten the chassis and wait and see what happens." No. 16 qualifier - 7.133ET/193.54mph

Brad Jeter (Dynagear Pontiac Firebird) - "I had some trouble during the burnout for some reason. I had to keep the clutch in, so I didn't get the tires hot and right of the starting line it started shaking. We're going to make some adjustments on the Dynagear Pontiac Firebird, go back tonight and get a good run in. We'll be working on getting more RPM during the burnout. The air is pretty bad here. The track is about 90 degrees and the starting line is probably about 135 degrees. It's kind of hard to make the car go down the track when it's that hot." No. 18 qualifier - 7.151ET/193.38 mph Richie Stevens (Valspar Refinish Pontiac Firebird) - "We're having some problems today. In the first round we just didn't have the clutch set up right. Then, in Round 2, I was cruising on down through there when the car just died. Everything went out -- the motor, the gauges, the electrical system, everything. It just killed the run. It's disappointing because that was the only night session of the weekend and we were on a great run. I was next to Allen Johnson, running side-by-side with him, until the car died. He posted a 7.06 so I would think we would have been in that range. That's real good for this track because of the altitude here. It's been a strange deal because we got back to the pit and everything checked out fine. There has to be a pinched wire somewhere. Something as simple as that can ruin you. We're dissecting the car now and checking it in sections to see if we can pinpoint the problem. It's not the main power switch. We know that. We'll just keep working until we have it solved. We need to make a big move up tomorrow. I'd like to be on a roll before Sunday and we really need to fight for lane choice. We'll be busy." No. 16 qualifier

Tom Martino (Century 21 Pontiac Firebird) - "Our problems during the first session were completely related to the lane. If we had been in the left lane, we probably would have run a 7.11 or 12. That made us a little shy about getting after it, and as a result we were a little light on the run tonight. Our motor isn't running quite as well as we'd like. It's not too happy in the altitude. We'll make a few changes to it for tomorrow, see if we can find out what it wants, and get this Century 21 Firebird to run even better." No. 5 qualifier - 7.067ET/194.55MPH


Bruce Sarver ( Pontiac Firebird) - "I'm pretty happy with the Pontiac Firebird. Hopefully tomorrow in the heat we can go out like we have the last couple of races and run quick. The car was excellent, smooth as glass. It just spun the tires a little bit down track. The track conditions during the first round weren't good. There was no traction. It was a little better tonight but we were the third pair and it got better as the night went on. I wish we could've been a little farther back in the bunch. We are just trying to get it from spinning the tires and it will run a 4.91 or 4.92." No. 13 qualifier - 4.952ET/295.66mph

Tommy Johnson Jr. (Hofmann Racing Pontiac Firebird) - "We're getting there. It's not what we had in mind but it's progress. Every time we've went out there with the Hofmann Racing Pontiac Firebird for a run we've made progress. I just hope it speeds up a little bit. We keep finding little things and changing them and it keeps getting better. That last run the car made a move to the right and I didn't catch it fast enough got out of the grove and shook the tires and smoked them. I pedaled it just so we could get more run data on the computer. It's the quickest run we've made so at least we are making some progress. If we continue the progress we should be all right in a couple of runs. We are just trying to get everything to gel together. We haven't found one big thing we've just found a lot of little things. If we can get it down to the low 5.00s I would be real happy." No. 12 qualifier 5.553ET/282.72mph

Del Worsham (Checker Schuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebird) - "That was a huge run for us, in a lot of ways. I've been excited and anxious to get back in the car since the wreck, but I'd be flat-out lying to you if I didn't say I was nervous right before the run. I was very nervous, like a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. The whole team was nervous, on edge, and pretty much stressed out. We weren't ready to run the first session and I figured we would be sitting around waiting to go for the night run, but man we were thrashing to get the car ready. Lots of little stuff, nothing big, but it all has to be done and done right or you'll have a problem. And we didn't want to have any problems. And then we go out and blast down there to a 4.98, it could hardly be any better. It was running a bit better than that, but it put two cylinders out way down track and made a move for the centerline so I had to click it off a little early. We'll come out here tomorrow to do the best we can, and we expect to win some rounds here." No. 5 qualifier - 4.981ET/286.56mph

Frank Pedregon (Checker Schuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebird) - "Nice easy lap, nothing less than I expect from (Crew Chief) Dave Fletcher. We were set up just a little softer than Del, that was the plan. They took a shot at it with a fairly aggressive tune-up, and we went out a little softer to see what the track wanted. That's why you have two cars, you can go out there and test the track twice in one session. So we'll get together with the red team tomorrow and both be ready to run stout numbers. I was nervous for the red team guys, and for Del. It was huge to see them go out there and bust off a 4.98." No. 5.004ET/305.49mph


Cory McClenathan (MBNA/Pontiac) - "The tune-up was weak and the tires shook. We didn't even get off the pad. I pedaled it a couple of times but couldn't get it to stop spinning. We need to get atleast one good strong run in with this MBNA Pontiac Dragster before final eliminations on Sunday." No. 12 qualifier - 5.536ET/193.24mph


John Lingenfelter (Summit Racing GMC Sonoma) - "The starting line seemed to be pretty good. The truck was loose about 100 feet out but we had new tires on. We're taking the tires off and going back to the tires that are already broke in for the next round. I was a little disappointed with our speed. I thought we could've run quicker. We had a little bit too much clutch so we're going to adjust that and hopefully go faster. Where we were slow was the 330 line. The 60-foot line was fine. It's going to be tough to get in with only two spots open. It's probably going to take a 7.75 to get in. I think tomorrow morning will tell us if we will make it in or not. As far as the right lane goes, it seems to be the worse of the two. Panella went fast but looking at the other trucks, it looks like the left lane might be better. Most of the trucks in the left lane were going faster than the trucks in the right lane. Hopefully we will get the Summit Racing GMC Sonoma in the Winston Showdown and look forward to race day." No 3 qualifier - 7.707ET/173.81mph

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Bruce Sarver , Frank Pedregon , Jeg Coughlin , Troy Coughlin , Bob Panella , Brad Jeter , Mark Pawuk , Warren Johnson , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher , Randy Daniels , Mike Coughlin , John Lingenfelter , David Grubnic , Cory McClenathan , Tom Martino , Allen Johnson , Jerry Toliver , Bob Vandergriff , Tommy Johnson Jr.