CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES PONTIAC EXCITEMENT NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES NATIONAL TRAIL RACEWAY COLUMBUS, OHIO SUNDAY, JUNE 13, 1999 PRO STOCK -- CAMARO Z28 -- ELIMINATIONS MIKE EDWARDS, DEWCO SALES CAMARO Z-28, was eliminated...
CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES PONTIAC EXCITEMENT NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES NATIONAL TRAIL RACEWAY COLUMBUS, OHIO SUNDAY, JUNE 13, 1999
PRO STOCK -- CAMARO Z28 -- ELIMINATIONS
MIKE EDWARDS, DEWCO SALES CAMARO Z-28, was eliminated by Jeg Coughlin in the semifinals, both with excellent reaction times; Edwards with a .461, Jeg with a .449; 7.047/197.08 fr Coughlin, 7.042/197.16 for Edwards. The margin of victory was one hundredth of a second.
EDWARDS: ON THE CLOSE RUN: "I think it was pretty bad. I didn't like the outcome at all. I just can't believe I was that late. .460 for me is late. We try to really excel in this position out there because I know I am at a disadvantage most times. I try to do the best possible, I guess I was just late. I hate to lose like that, I really do, especially when you get that close. We ran all right, we probably ran as good as anybody did in the right-hand lane. We couldn't run with (Warren) Johnson, but we can run with everyone else. I'm happy with the performance of the Camaro, I'm just not happy with the driving. My crew (crew chief Mike Elliott and Barry Foester) did an awesome job this weekend. They stuck with us, they qualified it sixth. We didn't make good runs yesterday, they worked all last night, and worked this morning some more. We got it pretty good for the right-hand lane, we're pretty happy with the performance of the car." HOW DOES WHAT YOU LEARN HERE HELP YOU AT THE NEXT RACE? "It's a different race track. You never know. You take this setup and use it here the next time (you race here), but you don't even consider what happened here for the next race. You try to make it happy with the track you are racing on." ON THIS TRACK: "There's no rubber on the starting line, it'sjust really tricky, you have to tiptoe off the starting line. We did a good job, we outran him at 60 feet, we outran him everywhere except the finish line."
KURT JOHNSON, ACDELCO CAMARO Z28, lost to Mike Trumble in the first round. Kurt had the edge on reaction times (.451 for Kurt, .474 for Mike), but lost at the finish line with his 7.224-second pass at 192.71 mph to Trumble's 7.052/196.47.
KURT: "We kind of took a shot in the dark and just threw away everything we did over the year, because we've been shaking the tires. We decided to change the shocks, the springs, the 4-link and put the Camaro back to the way we were qualifying in Seattle and Brainerd (in '98). We did a major adjustment on the chassis, we changed some stuff around on the chassis. We kind of missed on the pre-load (a rear-end tracking adjustment), and it hooked a right turn right off the bat, and it just shot over to the right. I believe if it would have gone straight, it would have gone right down the race track. It was overclutched a bit, it spun the tires, but never really shook. It just got out of the groove, it was just on marbles out there, spinning and I was looking at the wall one time, so I had to pedal it. It ran a 7.22 at 192 (mph), but I believe if it had stayed in the groove, it would have been just fine. I think we made some major gains, we'll probably run here tomorrow, make a couple of runs and get the clutch back down and see if we can keep it from shaking. If we can do that we'll have us a race car."
RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, was eliminated in the first round by Frank Pedregon, 5.229/271.62 for Capps, 5.197/290.44 for Pedregon.
CAPPS: "It dropped a cylinder very early in the run and it actually picked the cylinder back up. I never saw him, but I heard his car for a long time and since I'm so tucked back into the Camaro body unless somebody is half a car length in front of I'm not going to see them. I could hear him, so I knew I was right next to him. I felt the cylinder pick back up and then it shot a spark plug out of another cylinder right through the Camaro body. At that point his engine got louder and I had the wheel cranked as hard as I could to keep the car off the centerline. Just as I crossed the finish line I saw his nose. When I pulled the parachutes I looked for the small light on the guardrail which tells you if you won. It wasn't lit; I was hoping the bulb was burned out. As soon as I saw the cameraman go to his car not ours, I knew I had lost. We went down the track every run under power without shaking the tires, I didn't have to pedal it one run this weekend. That sure takes the pressure off the driver." ON THE HEAT AND HUMIDITY HERE: "I love the humidity. Wrestling for many years I had to go into the sauna wearing three layers of sweats trying to lose weight for the next tournament; I grew up doing that. I feel like I have an advantage over anybody who feels uncomfortable in that position. It could play a big part. With some guys it may break their concentration, it will tire them a little more. We will take any advantage we can over these guys." ON THE NEW CAMARO BODY: "The exciting part is having our new Camaro body for St. Louis. Snake just told me that he's going to do what is necessary to have it ready. Some people think the Roush body (on John Force's Ford) is neat. Wait 'til you see this new Camaro body. The cool part is we feel that the Camaro body we have been running this year is fine, but to have a better body is even more exciting. We are going to tracks where it's going to be tough to hook it up at half track, and the more downforce we can gain will help us. I saw picttures of the new Camaro and it's very sleek, and as 'Snake' (team owner Don Prudhomme) would say, it's very sexy-looking."
WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, was eliminated in the semifinals by Tim Wilkerson, 5.874/253.47 for Wilkerson, 6.896/222.58 for Bazemore. In the second round, Bazemore defeated Tony Pedregon, in an identical e.t. matchup, as both recorded 5.028-second elapsed times. Bazemore won by six thousandths of a second by virtue of his better reaction time (.496 to .502). Prior to reaching the staging lanes, after the team replaced the engine, they were forced to reassemble one side of the motor a second time due to a problem. With no warmup and no time to spare, the team staged immediately upon rrival. His hopes of reaching his second final of the season ended as he lost traction almost immpediately.
BAZEMORE: "It was just one of those things where fate intervened. In this case, we had a problem after the motor was back together where we had to take half of it apart again. We could't warm it up, so we couldn't do our normal routine with the clutch, on top of its being a new motor. There are so many things you take care of when you warm the car up in the pits. If your routine is based on this, as ours is, it's really a critical part of running the car. So we didn't get to warm it up, it smoked the tires, and I couldn't get it to recover. When it finally hooked back up, it dropped a bunch of cylinders, so I did't have any power to run him down. I feel really bad for the team, because they gave it their best shot. We all felt really confident the way the day was going. Right when you have your eyes focused firmly on the trophy, it gets yanked. That's part of racing. You've never won until you win. All losses are hard, and this was just another one."