Chicago Chevrolet Finals Report

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES ROUTE 66 RACEWAY JOLIET, ILL. FRAM NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SUNDAY, JUNE 6, 1999 PRO STOCK TRUCK -- CHEVY S-10 PICKUP BOB PANELLA JR. DOMINATES RTE. 66, WINS IT ALL! Bob Panella Jr., in the...

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES ROUTE 66 RACEWAY JOLIET, ILL. FRAM NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SUNDAY, JUNE 6, 1999

PRO STOCK TRUCK -- CHEVY S-10 PICKUP

BOB PANELLA JR. DOMINATES RTE. 66, WINS IT ALL!

Bob Panella Jr., in the Panella Motorsports Chevy S-10 pickup, defeated Dale Eaton's Dodge in the Pro Stock Truck final, winning his first professional Pro Stock Truck title of his career and collecting an additional $10,000 for his "Double-Up" victory. Panella was clearly the dominator this weekend, capturing the No. 1 qualifying position, earning $20,000 for his triumph in the Holley Dominator Duel, and taking the event title, for a total of $41,500 in prize money.

Panella, 27, of Stockton, Calif., outran Eaton with a 7.683-second elapsed time at a top speed of 175.23 mph to Eaton's 7.725/174.26. Panella has been making a name for himself as a "good leaver" with his excellent reaction times. His slowest reaction time in final eliminations was a .488 in the final round. He defeated Scott Perin, Craig Eaton and then Brad Jeter, in the Jeter Motorsports Chevy S-10, in the semifinal.

PANELLA: HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SPEND THE MONEY? "I'm sure our motor program wil take care of most of it, and moving the S-10 up and down the road costs a lot of money. Money is obviously what makes these things run, but the points are the most important at this stage of the season. They're both important." ON THE RUN AGAINST JETER IN THE SEMIFINALS: "That was just one good old drag race. We left almost identically (.455 reaction time for Panella, .459 for Jeter), the difference was probably the lanes. I probably made a better run because of that. I wish he and I would race more often in the finals, because I know we put on the best races." DID YOU THINK YOU HAD AN ADVANTAGE OVER EATON? "I really, honestly knew he would run a low 7.0 like he ran all day, he was one of the most consistent trucks out there. He's a heck of a driver. I have raced these guys for years (in the Sportsman class). When you take someone lightly usually it bites you." WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SCORE YOUR FIRST WIN FOR CHEVROLET? "It feels great to win for Chevrolet, especially to beat a Dodge in the final. I'm happy to be with Chevrolet, their support means a lot to me. I hope we have many years together." YOU'VE BEEN CONSISTENTLY UP THERE IN THE SERIES, BUT THIS IS YOUR FIRST WIN. TO WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE IT? "Most of all, my crew Rick Watters (crew chief), Tony Cazabat and Jeff Gracia, and of course my parents (Dorothy and Bob Sr.) and my whole family. I'm grateful for their support and for coming to the races, it probably wouldn't be the same without them (including wife Tiffany and sister Nikki). WHY WERE YOU SO GOOD HERE? "We were the fastest truck here this weekend, that's probably why we're here right now (being interviewed in the press room). I prayed for hot weather here on Thursday. I figure I've got a good combination for the hot weather. There are a few more races with these conditions, so I'm looking forward to those. It takes a lot of luck just trying to make consistent runs all weekend. Running the 7.63 yesterday (in the first round of the Dominator Duel against Larry Kopp) was awesome. I knew if I could get close to that I would be in good shape. That's what it takes, consistency, and I made four good runs today."

Note: Chevy S-10s have won each of the seven Pro Stock Truck events held so far.

POINT STANDINGS:

1.  Mark Osborne, Chevy S-10    587
2.  Bob Panella Jr., Chevy S-10 545
3.  Brad Jeter, Chevy S-10      533
4.  Randy Daniels, Chevy S-10   438
5.  Tim Freeman, Chevy S-10     408

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Panella , Brad Jeter , Larry Kopp , Jeff Gracia , Randy Daniels , Tim Freeman