Chicago Chevy S-10 Winners Report

Bob Panella Jr. Dominates Rte. 66, Wins it All in Chevy S-10 JOLIET, Ill.; June 6, 1999. Bob Panella Jr., driving his multi-colored Panella Motorsports Chevy S-10 Pickup, defeated Dale Eaton's Dodge, winning his first professional Pro...

Bob Panella Jr. Dominates Rte. 66, Wins it All in Chevy S-10

JOLIET, Ill.; June 6, 1999. Bob Panella Jr., driving his multi-colored Panella Motorsports Chevy S-10 Pickup, defeated Dale Eaton's Dodge, winning his first professional Pro Stock Truck title in three final round appearances, and collecting a bonus prize of $10,000 for his "Double-Up" victory -- the Holley Dominator Duel on Saturday and the Pro Stock Truck title on Sunday -- at the Fram Route 66 Nationals. This was the seventh of 14 NHRA Pro Stock Truck events in '99. Panella was clearly the "common dominator" this weekend, capturing the No. 1 qualifying position, earning $20,000 for his triumph in the Dominator Duel against Jerry Haas, 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 (.400 is perfect) in the final round. En route to the final, he defeated Scott Perin, Craig Eaton and then Brad Jeter, in the Jeter Motorsports Chevy S-10, in the semifinal. Beating Eaton, in a final round for the first time, was no easy task for Panella. "I really, honestly knew he could run a low 7.70 (elapsed time) 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." "I'm sure our motor program will take care of most of it, and moving the S-10 up and down the road costs a lot of money," he responded when asked how he would spend the money. "Money is obviously what makes these things run, but the points are the most important at this stage of the season." Panella moved into second in points, bumping Brad Jeter to third. The semifinal round against Jeter, in the Jeter Motorsports Chevy S-10, was one of the better match-ups of the day. "That was just one good old drag race," said Panella. "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." Panella disposed of Jeter with a 7.667-second pass at 175.39 mph to Jeter's 7.690/176.07. Four different drivers, all in Chevy S-10s, have won the first seven events of the '99 season. Chevy S-10 drivers hold the top eight spots in the Winston Championship point standings, led by Mark Osborne (587), who lost to Dale Eaton on a holeshot advantage in the second round, Panella Jr. (545) and Jeter (533). Next event on the Pro Stock Truck schedule is the Pontiac Excitement Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Panella , Brad Jeter , Jerry Haas