Capps holds on to No. 1 in Brainerd

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES THE COLONEL'S NHRA NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES BRAINERD INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY BRAINERD, MINN. SATURDAY, AUG. 18, 2000 FUNNY CAR: CAPPS QUALIFIES NO. 1, FOURTH STRAIGHT POLE FOR CAMARO RON CAPPS, U.S.

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES
THE COLONEL'S NHRA NATIONALS
NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES
BRAINERD INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
BRAINERD, MINN.
SATURDAY, AUG. 18, 2000

FUNNY CAR: CAPPS QUALIFIES NO. 1, FOURTH STRAIGHT POLE FOR CAMARO

RON CAPPS, U.S. TOBACCO CO. CAMARO Z28, could do no wrong this weekend, as he underscored his previous three outstanding qualifying passes (5.027, 4.901, 4.958) with a track record-setting elapsed time of 4.862 seconds at 312.50 mph in the final session. This is the fourth straight pole position for the Camaro. WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/MATCO TOOLS CAMARO Z28, held a three-race streak before today. Bazemore qualified sixth, following two solid passes today: first with a 4.949/308.21, then a 4.954/306.67 in the final round. Whit won in Denver from No. 1 spot, then lost in the first round in Seattle, and the second in Sonoma.

CAPPS: "I hope I don't have the same luck Whit did in the last couple of races. It's great to be excited about being No. 1; now we're really focused on winning this thing. It was on the ragged edge the whole way down. If we get in the final round tomorrow and conditions are like this, where we know we can run an .86, it will be OK." TO WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE YOUR PERFORMANCE HERE? "Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch), before the first round, said let's have more fun, let's relax, let's not let it get to us that we lost to Force in Sonoma, didn't do well in Seattle, and didn't have good luck for awhile. Let's have some fun and the rest will come with it. And it showed. The guys are more relaxed, the Camaro is running exceptionally. And I think Ace finding the problem with the fuel system in Sonoma helped. That could have plagued us for a long time. We got the Camaro body on this car so patched up and when you look at it closely it's pretty ugly. But we will not put it away until we get a win. It's hung with us for most of the year, we had a few explosions and fires, and I had to raise the body up a few times to help the Safety Safari get the fires out. We refuse to put it away until we win and then we'll put it out to pasture."

BAZEMORE: "We're excited because we made two runs consistently and that's what we're trying to do now. It's mission accomplished. It's fun to be No. 1 qualifier, but when you're No. 1 like we were where we made one or two good runs and the rest of the time we didn't, hurt us on Sunday. I'm starting to feel pretty good that we might have a good combination for race day and we will see what we do tomorrow. We're going to test in Indy next week. We just need more runs. After the test at Indy hopefully we will have a much better idea of where we are. We're getting there, we made a lot of progress today." DO YOU LIKE THIS TRACK? "It's good. The weather was nice and overcast today. They did a lot to it. They paved it two or three times in the last number of years and it's come around. It seemed to have some teeth today."

JIM EPLER, WWF RACING 'BIG RED MACHINE' CAMARO Z28, qualified eighth, with his 4.994/304.80 lap in the final session. He faces fellow Camaro driver SCOTTY CANNON in the first round.

EPLER: "We've got lane choice, which isn't bad. We wanted to go from point A to point B in that session to make sure we were close on the tune-up. It was really a flawless pass, but it just needs to run a little better. We should be able to run a lot better tomorrow; the track is better than we thought. We take on another Camaro in the first round. It should be OK. I feel good about it. We owe him (Cannon) one. We need to take him out. He's sixth in points and we're fifth and he beat us in Denver (in the second round). We're up for it."

PRO STOCK: KJ QUALIFIES NO. 2; HAMMONDS NOT IN FIELD

KURT JOHNSON, ACDELCO CAMARO Z28, qualified No. 2 today, following four good runs (7.006, 6.951, 6.978 and 6.981). The 6.951/197.57 posted on Friday night was his quickest pass, good for the "front row." He faces his dad Warren in the first round.

KURT: "We're happy. We made four runs within .005 of a second. The car seems to be consistent, which is good." ON THE LAST RUN: "We were trying to improve, but there was a little bit of headwind down there. It slowed everyone down. It seems to be a 6.96, 6.97 race track right now. We ran a .98. We're making pretty good runs on the computer, everything looks fairly decent." YOU FACE DAD IN FIRST ROUND: "That's what they say, I hope they made a mistake. Instead of having two chances to win the race, now I only have one." YOU'VE COME ON STRONG IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEASON: "The Camaro is responding to our changes. That's good, then you can learn something. When it quits responding then you can't learn anything." DO YOU LIKE THIS TRACK? I like them all. Any time you can have the opportunity to go out there and let the clutch out and have some fun I like all the tracks. It's fun to compete against all these guys. Some people never have that opportunity." ON THE ENGINE PERFORMANCE: "The GM powerplant is holding up really well. It has 34 runs on it now, which is quite a few. We will get it through this race and freshen it up for Indy. It's been through the West coast tour. Once we leave here we will get it freshened up for the biggest race of the year. ON LANE CHOICE HERE: "I don't know. We have been going down both of them. I'm happy with the performance of this Camaro in both lanes. I'm not concerned about lane choice. It's a matter of just staying out of the lane that's got the most oil in it."

TOM HAMMONDS, WINNEBAGO/GM PERFORMANCE PARTS CAMARO Z28, failed to qualify. He came in 20th with a 7.035/195.56 pass. Tom changed engines last night to another Ron Krisher-built motor.

HAMMONDS: "There's something wrong with the car somewhere. It used to make four good runs. Now we can't make four runs past 60 feet. You can have all the power in the world, but if you can't make runs down the track then you are stuck where we are now. This has got to be solved. As a team owner I will not tolerate a half job. We have got to do a better job. I really appreciate (engine builder) Ron Krisher's help, and Jimmy Oliver's and Tom Roberts. They have been very good to us, but we have got a problem and we have to got to get it fixed."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Krisher