Chevy S-10 Pickups Gear Up for NHRA'S Pro Stock Truck Season Opener in Houston BAYTOWN, Texas; March 17, 1998 -- Jerry Haas and John Lingenfelter join other Chevy S-10 compact pickup racers who will represent Chevrolet Trucks this...
Chevy S-10 Pickups Gear Up for NHRA'S Pro Stock Truck Season Opener in Houston
BAYTOWN, Texas; March 17, 1998 -- Jerry Haas and John Lingenfelter join other Chevy S-10 compact pickup racers who will represent Chevrolet Trucks this weekend at the Pennzoil Nationals at Houston Raceway Park, as the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) debuts its newest professional category, Pro Stock Trucks.
Following a successful nine-event season of exhibition runs last year, in which the Chevy S-10s were consistently quickest and fastest against the Dodges and Fords, Haas and Lingenfelter gear up to compete in the first of 12 NHRA national event eliminators of the 1998 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. "I can't wait," says Haas, also the chassis builder of his, Lingenfelter's and at least ten other Chevy S-10 Pro Stock Trucks expected to compete this season. "We've made some improvements in chassis design over the winter and I can't wait to turn this Chevy S-10 loose on the quarter mile."
Lingenfelter, who also builds the small-block 358 cu.in. Chevy V8 engines that power his, Haas' and other Chevy S-10 Pro Stock Trucks, is also eager to start the season, but expects formidable competition from the Dodges, Fords and other Chevy S-10 racers. "I'd say everybody out there is going to be tough competition. I am proud to be racing with all of them. Every one of these guys, including Jerry, Brad Jeter, Bill Henderson, Todd Patterson, Roy Hill and many other former Sportsman drivers are going to be tough. We'll just try to be a little tougher."
In the 1997 exhibition passes, Lingenfelter posted the lowest elapsed time (7.700), and the fastest top speed (175.26 mph) of the nine drivers racing six compact pickups (two from each manufacturer).
"We've made some changes to the body as to NHRA's new rules," says Haas, "and we've added the new '98 Chevy S-10 nose, and hopefully John has found some more power in the engines over the winter. If the weather is cool in Houston, we'll be in the 7.60s at about 175-176 mph. If not, then we won't be there. If it's hot we'll probably be in the low .70s."
An estimated field of 14 Pro Stock Trucks is expected in Houston, with the number rising as the season progresses and Haas and other chassis builders construct additional Pro Stock Trucks for their customers. "I'd love to have a full field of 16 trucks," says Haas, "but I don't think it's going to happen in Houston. It's been a real struggle to get these pickups built in time for this race, we've been working around the clock. But, I tell you, no matter how many trucks we have in the field it's going to be one exciting and wild class."
Lingenfelter's Chevy S-10 is sponsored by Summit Racing Equipment, Haas' S-10 continues to be supported by Chevy Trucks. "Vortec" will be prominently displayed on Haas' S-10, representing the line of engines with which all Chevy S-10 production vehicles are equipped.
Pro Stock Truck qualifying sessions are scheduled for Thursday, March 19, at noon and 3 p.m. PST final eliminations will start at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 21. The event Pro Stock Truck champion will be crowned on Saturday.