Chicago Chevy Sunday Eliminations Note #1





Both WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, defending event champion, and RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, were eliminated in the first round: Bazemore to Tim Wilkerson, 5.131/277.09 for Whit, 5.060/292.65 for Tim; Capps to Randy Anderson, 5.181/282.90 for Ron, 5.014/295.34 for Randy.

CHUCK ETCHELLS, SICKLES MOTORSPORTS CAMARO Z28, defeated Tony Pedregon (5.210/273.88 for Chuck, 6.162/176.37 for Tony) in the first round, then was eliminated by Dean Skuza in the second (4.984/292.84 for Skuza, 11.745/74.19 for Etchells).

ETCHELLS: "We were really optimistic going into race day, but for some reason in the first round it shot a head gasket. I had to leg it out the back to beat Tony, and I knew it was going to kill the motor and it did. That meant we had to change engines between rounds, and even though this is a part-time crew, they did manage the change in time to make it to the lanes for the second round. We were pretty confident of being able to do something to put out Skuza, but it was absolutely dead at the hit. I think the fuel pump is probably out on it...So we've had two solid qualifying efforts with this car, and if some sponsorship would show up for it, it could race more and be more competitive. I'm not sure when we'll be running it again. This Camaro is just too good to not have some support to keep it out here. I know we have a match race in Atco, N.J., June 30, and we'll be able to do the Winston Showdown in Bristol, and I know were running in Indy."

CAPPS: "We had a tough match with that Pontiac and we really felt comfortable going up there first round and really tried to run a mid to low 5.0. We're still trying to get back to the basics. We changed back to the 4-disc clutch before we came here, and we're slowly working the motor back to what it was last year. We didn't want to smoke the tires and Roland (Leong, crew chief) set up the Camaro a little softer than we expected to. We were just trying to race the race track, but we ended up getting beat. It actually left pretty lazy, it was lazy all the way down. It never had any get up and go. I saw Randy pulling away from me; it put a cylinder out at about four seconds and he drove away. We expected them to run good. It doesn't matter who's in the car, it's going to be a tough car all year long. We will rebound, I promise." ON ETCHELLS BEING THE ONLY CAMARO DRIVER TO ADVANCE TO THE SECOND ROUND: "It's nice to see Chuck Etchells come back out. We miss racing Chuck. It's nice to see him keeping up the Chevrolet tradition and taking the Camaro to the next round."

BAZEMORE: :"The Kendall Camaro was on an excellent run in the first round against Tim Wilkerson, but when we got off the concrete pad it just blew the tires off. It was just a case of not knowing exactly where we are with this different combination Tim (Richards, crew chief) has in the car. It was still a good round, and I feel very confident about this team, because the car was on a very good lap. That doesn't win you anything, but the fact is there's a ton of potential here. We have a car back that we can race, and I think Tim feels very happy with it, and so do I. From the driver's seat, it was a very easy car to drive this weekend, which makes it easier to win rounds and races, which is what we're looking for."


KURT JOHNSON, ACDELCO CAMARO Z28, No. 1 qualifier, lost to the No. 16 qualifier, John Nobile, in the first round. Kurt's ACDelco Camaro went into severe tire shake and made a hard right turn toward the centerline. K.J. muscled his machine back to the middle of the lane, but by then it was too late. He slowed to a 7.427-second elapsed time at 191.10 mph, while Nobile took the win light with a 7.089/195.39. "I shifted into second gear, the tires started shaking, and it was out of control. I don't know why. The computer graph in first gear was identical to the 7.00 run we made yesterday. It's got me baffled. We made 21 consecutive runs in testing and qualifying, and then when it counts in the first round of eliminations, we're flat on our back. I was excited this morning. I thought if we could make a good run today, we'd be in good shape for the rest of the season. Obviously we're going to have to change our plan again. We changed it once, and that put us back on top in qualifying at least. There's no reason that we can't change it again and get back on top on race day."

MIKE EDWARDS, DEWCO SALES CAMARO Z28, defeated Mike Thomas in the first round, on a holeshot advantage, 7.123/195.39 for Edwards, 7.096/195.17 for Thomas. In the second round Edwards faced Jim Yates, losing to Yates when he redlighted with a .396 reaction time. Yates won with an e.t. of 7.057 seconds at 195.05 mph to Edwards' 7.155/196.22. "We had some clutch problems and it rolled the lights. When I brought the RPMs up, the Camaro just took off rolling. It pulled me through the beam. It's some malfunction in the clutch. We've got to fix that."


Five Chevy S-10 drivers advanced to the second round: BOB PANELLA JR., BRAD JETER, MARK OSBORNE, JERRY HAAS and JOHN COUGHLIN.

In the second round PANELLA defeated Craig Eaton with a 7.670-second pass at 175.43 mph to Eaton's 7.816/173.23; JETER eliminated Rick Jones with a 7.674-second lap versus Jones' 7.836/174.14; OSBORNE was ousted by Dale Eaton on a holeshot advantage, 7.761/174.17 for Eaton, 7.753/174.77; and HAAS defeated JOHN COUGHLIN, 7.757/174.91 for Haas, 8.230/138.74 for Coughlin.

LARRY KOPP, SPEEDCO TRUCK LUBES CHEVY S-10, defending series and event champion, lost to Jerry Haas in the first round. "We didn't have lane choice, we think that hurt us a little bit. We didn't run real fast, we just didn't get a handle on the track this weekend, with the heat and everything, and we didn't run like I thought we should have. As far as the S-10 goes, I think we figured out some of the troubles we had. The heat threw everybody a curve here. We will just have to rgroup and go to Columbus." ON THE RUN AGAINST HAAS: "I was out ahead of Jerry. At the 1250-foot mark I was winning, at the 1300-foot mark I was winning. I'd say it was probably two feet (margin of victory) at the end. I don't think Jerry would have known who won until his crew told him."

RANDY DANIELS, DANIELS MOTORSPORTS CHEVY S-10, winner of two titles in '99, went out in the first round against Craig Eaton. "We went out on a limb this weekend trying to figure out something for this bad air, and we went the wrong way. I tried some real wild stuff with gear ratios and it didn't like it at all." ON THAT RUN: "We felt like we had him covered first round, but with the changes we made, we didn't. We slowed down enough and got beat. If we stayed where we were yesterday afternoon we would have had enough to beat him. We're in the process of finding out what works, we already know what doesn't work."

TIM FREEMAN, BLUEGRASS TRANSPORTATION CHEVY S-10, was defeated in the first round by Rick Jones. WHO GAVE YOU AN ENGINE TO USE? "We got one of Don Smith's." ON THAT RUN: "The transmission mis-shifted, it skipped a gear and went from second to fourth and started slipping the clutch and that was it. When it mis-shifts like that it just doesn't want to go any place. That's one of those things, along with the rest of my racing bad luck this weekend."

MARK OSBORNE, RCL COMPONENTS CHEVY S-10, two-time winner in '99 and points leader coming into this event, defeated JOHN LINGENFELTER, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVY S-10, in the first round, then was tossed out by Dale Eaton in the second. "This weekend has not been fun by any means. It has not been a fun weekend for Mark or Tim (Freeman, Mark's Kessinger Motorsports teammate). I had a .480 light, which wasn't great. I was later than he was, he beat me on a holeshot. It didn't run good the first 60 feet, so we've got to straighten that problem out. We'll test somewhere this coming week and see what happens. This team has got to do better, not just one of us, the pair of us."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas , John Nobile , Tony Pedregon , Dean Skuza , Chuck Etchells , Tim Wilkerson , Jerry Haas