Chicago Pro Stock Motorcycle Preview

SEELING CONTINUES TO DOMINATE PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE COMPETITION JOLIET, Ill. -- Catch her if you can. That slogan is quickly becoming the war chant for competitors in NHRA's Pro Stock Motorcycle category this season. Every...

SEELING CONTINUES TO DOMINATE PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE COMPETITION JOLIET, Ill. -- Catch her if you can. That slogan is quickly becoming the war chant for competitors in NHRA's Pro Stock Motorcycle category this season. Every competitor, except one. With three victories in four final round appearances, Angelle Seeling has roared out to a decisive lead in the NHRA Winston point standings after four events, leaving a wake of dazed two-wheel competitors in her path. The New Orleans resident will try to add a fifth straight final round to her victory parade at the second annual FRAM Route 66 Nationals, June 3-6, at Route 66 Raceway, near Chicago. The $1.8 million race is the fifth of 14 events for Pro Stock Motorcycle competitors in the $40 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Seeling has earned victories at Gainesville, Fla., Atlanta and most recently at Englishtown, N.J. She was a runner-up to Antron Brown, the season's only other bike winner, at Dallas. Her domination has also included four No. 1 qualifying efforts and a national elapsed time record (7.212 seconds). After finishing second in the Winston point standings last year with three wins in eight finals, Seeling says a lot of hard work in the off-season by her dedicated Team Winston crew has made a big difference in the performance of her Suzuki GSXR. "During the short time we had off we discussed all the areas where we felt like we had room for improvement," Seeling said. "We realized that before we could make the next step we had to correct those problems. We sort of went back to the basics and worked on a lot of things. We're starting to see results after our hard work. It's definitely paying off with the performance of the bike." She says having a sponsor like Winston also helped during the winter months as the team was able to focus on much-needed research and development work. "Having Winston's support really makes a big difference because the team can devote all of its energy to making the bike better, instead of worrying about the process of finding a major sponsor," she said. "Everybody was in a great mood all winter and we came into the season really pumped up and ready to win a Winston championship. "We got the ball rolling at Gainesville and we haven't let up. It's been pretty awesome. We've had CNN, People Magazine and Sports Illustrated in our pits in the last two races. There's been a real good mood with all the guys on the team. Winning has been busy, but it's also been a lot of fun." One rider not having as much fun as he's accustomed to is two-time defending Winston Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Matt Hines, who remains winless on his Eagle One Suzuki. Seeling, who faced Hines in seven finals last year, isn't counting him out just yet. "It's just a matter of time before Matt and his team get their program figured out," Seeling said. "They've been struggling to find the power that they had last year. I know what he's going through because this team has been there before. I'm just trying to win as many races as I can and keep building on that Winston points lead."

DANIELS READY TO END PRO STOCK TRUCK ROLLER COASTER RIDE JOLIET, Ill. -- Randy Daniels has been on one heck of a white-knuckle ride lately. Daniels, driver of the Daniels Racing Chevrolet S-10, has experienced both extremes of drag racing in Pro Stock Truck competition in 1999. He's stood tall in the spotlight following victories at Pomona, Calif. and Atlanta, then found himself scratching his head and looking for answers following disastrous first round losses at Gainesville, Fla. and most recently at Englishtown, N.J. "In this deal you can go from a hero to a zero in a week's time," said Daniels, 30, from Grantsboro, N.C. "This category has got so tough you can never rest. There are no easy rounds. Any driver out here can win. Just because you've won a couple of races you can't start to think you've got 'em whipped. Winning a race just makes you a bigger target for the competition." He'll be one of the biggest targets in the category at the second annual FRAM Route 66 Nationals, June 3-6, at Route 66 Raceway, near Chicago. The $1.8 million race is the seventh of 14 events for Pro Stock Trucks in the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Daniels, a former NHRA sportsman competitor, finished eighth in the NHRA Winston standings in 1998 and was one of several early season championship contenders. Since those prognostications were cast, however, there's been several other drivers emerge as title hopefuls. Namely former Pro Stock threat Mark Osborne. Daniels is considering taking the Pro Stock spot left vacant by Osborne. He says it just might be a little less stressful. "With the competition in Pro Stock Truck like it is, it makes you think you need to go Pro Stock racing," Daniels said with a laugh. "I don't think the 500 cubic inch (Pro Stock Trucks use 358 cubic inch V8 engines) deal would be any harder. I believe this class is going to be tougher (than Pro Stock) because it's easier to make a decent run with these trucks because of the less power. Everybody's got good power now so no single truck is dominating." * Down on Power: Defending Winston Pro Stock Truck champion Larry Kopp, the defending winner at the FRAM Route 66 Nationals, says his Chevrolet S-10 needs a little pep in the engine department. He hopes a power increase will help him successfully defending his title in Chicago. "I think our engine is down on power," said Kopp, from Baltimore. "We've been running the first half of the track fine, but we're down about two mph at one-eighth of a mile. We will take the engine back to (Bill 'Grumpy') Jenkins and let him look at it and see if we have a problem. I will be shocked if we don't find something wrong. We will just regroup and be ready for Joliet." * Big Fish, Small Pond: Mark Osborne, who finished No. 5 in the Winston point standings in Pro Stock last season, leads the Pro Stock Truck title chase this year in his RCL Components Chevrolet S-10. However, the Abingdon, Va. driver doesn't feel like a big fish in a small pond. While many expected him to do well in the category, Osborne says the competition is just as tough as Pro Stock. "The only thing that is different is the names on the doors and different faces," Osborne said. "I'm sure (the Winston championship) is probably going to come down to the last race for two or three guys out here."

JETER LEADS PRO STOCK TRUCK RACERS IN SEARCH OF CASH IN HOLLEY DUEL JOLIET, Ill. -- No. 1 seed Brad Jeter will lead a special eight-truck field in pursuit of bonus bucks during the inaugural Holley Pro Stock Dominator Duel for Pro Stock Trucks, June 5, at the second annual FRAM Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. A purse of $41,000 is available for the eight drivers competing in the Duel. The winner of the Duel will earn $20,000. The runner-up will earn $5,000. The two semi-finalists will earn $3,000 each and the four first round finishers $2,500 apiece. Jeter, from Greenville, S.C., qualified No. 1 at three of the six NHRA national events that drivers could earn Duel points. Jeter earned No. 1 qualifying positions at the O'Reilly Nationals in Houston, the Pennzoil Nationals in Richmond, Va., and the Mopar Parts Nationals in Englishtown, N.J. Jeter qualified in the top five at all six Duel series events. The $50,000 Holley Pro Stock Dominator Duel showcases the eight best Pro Stock Truck qualifiers during a six race span between the 1999 AutoZone Winternationals at Pomona Raceway and the 1999 Mopar Parts Nationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J. In addition to the $41,000 available in the Duel, $9,000 in bonuses were awarded to quick Pro Stock Truck qualifiers throughout the Holley Pro Stock Dominator Duel series. A $1,500 bonus was awarded to the No. 1 qualifier at each race in the series. Holley Pro Stock Dominator Duel rounds for Pro Stock Truck are scheduled for noon, 3:15 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. June 5. 1999 HOLLEY PRO STOCK DOMINATOR DUEL FINAL STANDINGS 1. Brad Jeter, Greenville, S.C., Karl Chevrolet Chevy S-10 955 2. Tim Freeman, Roan Mountain, Tenn., Bluegrass Transportation Chevy S-10 915 3. Mark Osborne, Abingdon, Va., RCL Components Chevy S-10 885 4. Bob Panella, Stockton, Calif., Panella Trucking Chevy S-10 845 5. Larry Kopp, Baltimore, Speedco Truck Lube Chevy S-10 835 6. Randy Daniels, Grantsboro, N.C., Daniels Motorsports Chevy S-10 815 7. Jerry Haas, Fenton, Mo., Texas Harley-Davidson Chevy S-10 700 8. Craig Eaton, Glendale, Ariz., ATSCO Dodge Dakota 660 1999 HOLLEY PRO STOCK DOMINATOR DUEL ROUND PAIRINGS FIRST ROUND (noon): Jeter vs. Eaton; Freeman vs. Haas; Osborne vs. Daniels; Panella vs. Kopp. SEMI-FINALS (3:15 p.m.): Jeter-Eaton winner vs. Panella-Kopp winner; Freeman-Haas winner vs. Osborne-Daniels winner. FINAL (5:30 p.m.)

FRAM ROUTE 66 NATIONALS GENERAL INFORMATION * Schedule: Pro qualifying sessions are scheduled for 2:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. (CT) on June 4 and at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on June 5. Holley Dominator Duel for Pro Stock Truck begins at noon on June 5. Final professional eliminations start at 11 a.m. June 6. Federal-Mogul competition starts at 9 a.m. June 3. * Tickets: Tickets are available for the FRAM Route 66 Nationals. Call (815) 722-5500 or Ticketmaster for ticket information. * On TV: ESPN2 will televise two hours of final round coverage of the FRAM Route 66 Nationals on June 6 at 7 p.m. (ET). Repeats of final round coverage will be shown on June 7 at 12:30 a.m. and June 9 at 2 p.m. ESPN2 will also televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 7:30 p.m. (ET) on June 5. A repeat of qualifying coverage will be shown June 6 at 4 a.m. ESPN will televise one hour of race highlights June 15 at 1 p.m. (ET).

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* * * * * * * Thanks for your coverage of the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Matt Hines , Bob Panella , Brad Jeter , Larry Kopp , Randy Daniels , Tim Freeman , Jerry Haas