Columbus Chevy FC/PS Qual Note

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES PONTIAC EXCITEMENT NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES NATIONAL TRAIL RACEWAY COLUMBUS, OHIO SATURDAY, JUNE 12, 1999 FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28 -- FINAL QUALIFYING RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, is No. 6, ...

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES PONTIAC EXCITEMENT NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES NATIONAL TRAIL RACEWAY COLUMBUS, OHIO SATURDAY, JUNE 12, 1999

FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28 -- FINAL QUALIFYING

RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, is No. 6, 5.124/288.77, set in the final round.

CAPPS: "Today we were trying to pretty much get the car set up for tomorrow. We figured for sure the conditions will be pretty close to high temperature and high humidity and muggy. We wanted not to shoot for low e.t. but have a car that could go out there and contend and go a few rounds. It's pretty neat to work around these guys right now. To come back and make the passes we made for the conditions and for the car to improve is amazing because the Camaro had a cylinder out at 1.3 seconds on the 5.12 run. If we can fix that small problem I think we will see some great numbers out of this Camaro tomorrow." ON THE SEASON: "It's tough right now because the guys on this Cope Camaro team are so beat up. We made over 120 runs up to now, probably more than anybody else has made all year. It shows the tenacity of this team from Don Prudhomme down. It's exciting to get running good again because we're looking forward to having the '99 Camaro body that's showing up here for the Bristol race. If we have this car like it's running now and we get that body we feel like we can be a contender. If we can't fight for the championship, at least we can worry some of those guys out here."

WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, is No. 8, 5.126/291.07, also set in the final round.

BAZEMORE: "We were pretty happy with the 5.12 run. Given the conditions we were in, it was a very good run. We were surprised we ran like that, but then some other guys ran a little better. But it's still a good pass, and we ended up in the top half of the show. It was just a matter of refining the car and getting it to go down the track consistently, which I feel like the team accompished. On that last run we didn't spin the tires hard at all. The Kendall Camro is a raceable car. If we can run similar to that last run tomorrow, and the weather stays the same, I think that will win a lot of rounds. If it gets cooler, it will be a lot easier to tune the thing back up. It's much simpler to go forward with the car, to tune it for higher performance than it is to slow it down. But conditions won'tbe worse, so I think we're in a good position for tomorrow."

PRO STOCK -- CAMARO Z28 -- FINAL QUALIFYING

TOM HAMMONDS, WINNEBAGO/KENDALL OIL/MATCO TOOLS CAMARO Z28, failed to qualify in his first NHRA Pro Stock race of the season.

HAMMONDS: "It's a nightmare. I think the biggest thing is that without much test time and coming here is a tough situation. I still had confidence that we would do well. I haven't felt this bad probably since...I can't remember when. We are definitely disappointed in the way we couldn't get down the track. We've got a lot of work to do before the next race in order to get back to where I think this team needs to be, whether that be testing or...whatever we have to do we've got to get it done." ON THAT LAST RUN: "Right at the top of first gear it had some real bad tire shaking. By the time I hit second gear it was pretty bad. I had to abort that run; it was pretty much like the first run. I thought we had enough clutch out of it, especially for this afternoon's session, but apparently we didn't. We have a whole new team (L.E. Norwood and Mike Matthews), a whole lot of work to do, and we need to get comfortable with each other. The bad thing is we didn't have much time to do it."

KURT JOHNSON, ACDELCO CAMARO Z28, is No. 12 qualifier, 7.075/196.70, set in the first round, and duplicated in the third round (e.t.), but is still experiencing problems on the track.

KURT: "We were up and down. We went out there and ran a 7.07, and the quickest car was an .05. We were looking good going into the second session and the track got better and the air got worse, and this thing just had the tires locked in and it shook. We came back this morning, we changed the 4-link around, we chanaged the clutch around, we changed everything around and went 7.07 this morning. Then the sun goes off the track again tonight and it's got the tires locked in and it shook again. It's like we can't put enough clutch in this Camaro to knock the tires loose, but I've had other race cars that you can be flat on the tire and go through low gear and they're not going to shake. But this car has the tires so distorted at the end of low gear it's got such a small window to work in. It's not that we don't know what to do, it's just that we're running out of time to do it going into eliminations tomorrow, and the track gets worse and we keep taking gear away from it, and obviously we need a powerful gear in it to knock the tires loose. It does't sound right that we need to spin the tires out there, but we just need to keep the tires round and keep them turning and get it into second gear."

MIKE EDWARDS, DEWCO SALES CAMARO Z28, is No. 6, 7.050/196.55, set in Friday's evening session.

EDWARDS: "That's not a bad spot. It's better than 17th. We just didn't make a very good run last night; we should have run a little faster, but we will take it. The track is really tricky. I thought Chicago (Route 66) was tricky, but this one is even worse. It's real bald on the starting line, the texture of the starting line just won't hold the rubber. It spins the tires really, really bad and makes the clutch setup very critical. You just have to deal with it the best you can. We tried changing shocks, we tried all kind of stuff this weekend, we can't say we made any improvements. We ran a 7.10 last session, it wasn't so great, but there were a lot of cars that didn't get down the track." IT'S HOT OUT HERE, HOW SOON BEFORE YOU RUN DO YOU GET INTO THE CAR? "As late as possible, probably about two cars before I run. It takes a toll on you, it really does. You pretty much forget the heat once you take off and you're inside trying to concentrate on what you're doing out there."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Don Prudhomme