PRO STOCK TRUCK: DANIELS WINS HOLLEY DOMINATOR DUEL; PANELLA QUALIFIES NO. 1 The boys are back in the ring this weekend, as RANDY DANIELS, BAILEY TRUCKING CHEVY S-10, and BOB PANELLA JR., PANELLA TRUCKING CHEVY S-10, continue their rivalry on...
PRO STOCK TRUCK: DANIELS WINS HOLLEY DOMINATOR DUEL; PANELLA QUALIFIES NO. 1
The boys are back in the ring this weekend, as RANDY DANIELS, BAILEY TRUCKING CHEVY S-10, and BOB PANELLA JR., PANELLA TRUCKING CHEVY S-10, continue their rivalry on the race track. Panella was unable to defend his 1999 win in the Holley Dominator Duel here today, as his nemesis, Daniels, knocked him out in the final round of this special event for a $20,000 prize. Eight pickup trucks competed in the Dominator Duel, with Daniels defeating Brian Self and Greg Stanfield to face Panella once again in the final round. Panella, after defeating Mike Coughlin and John Coughlin, lost lane choice to Daniels by one thousandth of a second. Reaction times were close, a .449 for Panella, .459 for Daniels. It looked like a tight race at the start, but midway Panella's S-10 began to shake and Panella shut it off, as Daniels cruised to the victory in 7.536 seconds at 178.71 mph to Panella's 8.687/112.47.
EVENT QUALIFYING: Panella is No. 1 qualifier, 7.477/179.61; Daniels is No. 3, 7.493/179.02.
DANIELS: "He did get the advantage on me on the starting line a little bit. We had lane choice and it looked like the left lane may have been a little better for us. We had made up the difference in the reaction time by the 60-ft. mark. he must have gotten loose in the middle of the track and I drove away from him. In fact, if I could have scripted this season I would not have been this generous to myself." WHY? "I'm feeling right greedy right now." DO YOU FEEL GUILTY? "I have no guilt. That's what we have always dreamed about doing. We come to the races to win; that's what we are trying real hard to do right now. If we can 'double-up' tomorrow and get the points lead it will be a great weekend." (Daniels could earn an additional $10,000 from Holley if he wins the event tomorrow.) WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THE MONEY? "We will put it back into the racing fund. We have no real definite plans for it." DO YOU NEED THE MONEY? "You always need the money. It will go into the R&D fund. We'll buy new parts for this S-10 and make it even faster than it already is." WERE YOU PLAYING A PSYCHE JOB ON PANELLA? "There were no psyche jobs at all. We went up there, I didn't play any games. I staged first all day long; I let everyone else play their games. I just drove my own race."
PANELLA: "It's just going to make me work that much harder. My driving is a lot better than it has been. I practiced a lot the last couple of weeks. I hope I can turn the cards around tomorrow and win this thing. That's the most important thing right now. Points are very important at this stage of the game. It's unfortunate. We lost lane choice by a thousandth of a second in the semifinals. That probably cost us the race. Maybe I shifted at the wrong time, I don't know. It got loose in third gear and there was no bringing it back." ON QUALIFYING: "Jeff Gracia, with our other S-10, went out there and ran like second quickest of that session (No. 7 with a 7.539/178.24). I was pretty down leaning against the fence, so that helps. Tomorrow is a whole other day. I'm confident that if I can stay in the left lane -- I'm also driving better -- maybe I can do some damage."
FUNNY CAR: TOLIVER NO. 3, CAPPS NO. 4, BAZEMORE STRUGGLING IN 12TH
Six Camaros qualified in the field of 16 in the Funny Car category, with JERRY TOLIVER, WWF RACING CAMARO Z28, recording a track record top speed of 313.58 mph this afternoon. His 4.862-second pass at 304.25 mph in last night's session put him in third place, while RON CAPPS, in the U.S. TOBACCO CO. CAMARO Z28, followed in No. 4, with a 4.888-second elapsed time at 304.67 mph. JIM EPLER, in the other WWF RACING CAMARO Z28, is No. 6, 4.902/304.19. TODD PATON, in the NITRO-FISH CAMARO Z28, placed seventh, 4.903/277.89; WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/MATCO TOOLS CAMARO Z28, struggling to stay in the field, ended up 12th, 4.991/306.60. BOB GILBERTSON, TRICK TANK CAMARO Z28, squeaked into No. 15th spot, with a 5.035/293.35.
Bazemore was not in the top 16 when he rolled up to the line for the third qualifying session, but he pulled off the 4.991-second lap, good for 12th position. In the final qualifying round he smoked the tires on takeoff and slowed to a 15-second pass.
BAZEMORE: "Our run this morning felt good and safe. Since we were not in the show at that point, we had to be pretty conservative with the set-up. It felt like it had a lot left in it, something the computer confirmed. I'm not sure what happened tonight. Some of the big numbers run by some of our competitors show the track is there; we may just have been too aggressive. Certainly qualifying 12th is now what anyone on this Kendall/Matco Camaro team expected coming into Chicago. We have a tough opponent tomorrow in Dean Skuza (in the first round), so we'll need to be on top of our game if we expect to go rounds. Everyone here knows what we have to do. There's no room for error. We'll have to be right on the tune-up, and I have to do my job as the driver. It will be a tough task to get by Skuza. If we do that, we'll see what happens the rest of the day. But for now our focus is squarely on the first round."
PRO STOCK: KURT JOHNSON IS NO. 6, V.GAINES AND TOM HAMMONDS ARE DNQs
KURT JOHNSON, ACDELCO CAMARO Z28, qualified in No. 6th spot, with a 6.885-second pass at 200.00 mph. In the Pro Stock version of the Holley Dominator duel, Kurt's Camaro got out of shape in his second-round match with Jeg Coughlin Jr., forcing him to abort the run. Jeg went on to defeat his brother Troy in the final round of the Duel.
KURT: The track was so good that the car wanted to wheelstand. Usually when a car wheelstands it wants to go to the left, but in the second round it went to the right. I think the traction was ueven on the starting line, and when it got the front end up in the air, the right wheelie bar unloaded and drove the car out of the groove. After the first run we did everything we thought wold settle down the car, but when the front wheels are in the air, you can't steer the car. I'm disappointed."
TOM HAMMONDS, WINNEBAGO/MATCO TOOLS CAMARO Z28, posted a career-best elapsed time today. In fact, he did it twice. In the first session he recorded a 6.952-second elapsed time at a career-best 199.29 mph, placing him 24th. In the final session he was in the favored left lane and was able to lower his career-best elapsed time to a 6.946 at 199.23 mph, but was still unable to qualify, ending up in 25th position.
HAMMONDS: "I feel better. To go out and run like we are capable of running is great. Obviously, we had a problem ever since we started in Englishtown or even before that when Donnie (Gardner) and Nick (Ferri) were testing during my regular basketball season. We didn't really find the problem until last night, which was in the fuel distribution. (Although we didn't qualify) I haven't been this excited in a long time, because we are kind of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. If we could have gotten to run yesterday morning (Tom pulled off the line with a vibration) and were able to rune from that yesterday afternoon we would have been further along."
V. GAINES, WESTERN MOTORSPORTS CAMARO Z28, first-time winner last week in Dallas, failed to qualify.