Columbus Pontiav Sunday notes

PONTIAC NOTES & QUOTES 1998 PONTIAC EXCITEMENT NATIONALS SUNDAY, JUNE 14, 1998 COLUMBUS, OHIO PRO STOCK Warren Johnson (GM Goodwrench Pontiac Firebird) We had this problem before in testing, and thought that we had fixed it. We haven't had ...

PONTIAC NOTES & QUOTES 1998 PONTIAC EXCITEMENT NATIONALS SUNDAY, JUNE 14, 1998 COLUMBUS, OHIO

PRO STOCK

Warren Johnson (GM Goodwrench Pontiac Firebird) We had this problem before in testing, and thought that we had fixed it. We haven't had the problem in 100 runs since then, and all of a sudden it crops up again in eliminations. These things never happen in qualifying or when we're testing the transmission with the car on the jackstands. It's a strange deal. The car left the starting line pretty good and the clutch held in second gear, so I figured I was all right. Then on the next gear change, it was all over. Lost in round one

Note: Johnson suffered a rare mechanical failure when his 5-speed transmission's pneumatic shifter malfunctioned and shifted from second to fourth gear.

Mike Thomas (Pennzoil Pontiac Firebird) There was a bump on the track and it threw the Pennzoil Pontiac Firebird off track a little. I think I had him beat up to that point. The two runs yesterday (in which he shut the car off both times) caught up to us today. If we had qualified higher, we would've had a better draw and maybe we could have done better. Lane choice ended up being critical. Over all, I'm pleased with how everything is going. We gained some more ground in the point standings and the car continues to run well. I'd like to win the next few races and make a run at the championship. I think this car can do that. Lost in round three

FUNNY CAR

Cruz Pedregon (Interstate Batteries Pontiac Firebird) We're moving on from here. We're not too disappointed, we have an incredibly consistent car, a great crew chief and a tremendous team. The crew guys were joking that maybe we should make one good qualifying run, park the car, and save some of those great runs for race day. Everything seemed good and normal on the burnout, but it's just one of those things. When you run a car that goes that quick and performs that well, you're going to be closer to the edge. There are a lot of races left and overall, we're pleased with the way the weekend has gone for the Interstate Batteries Pontiac Firebird. This hot rod performs like a bracket car and now it's on to St. Louis. We've had the No. 1 qualifying spot for the last four races and I don't see any reason why we should stop now. That's what's keeping us in the points race. We need to find a little luck, put some round wins together and pick up a couple of victories. Lost in round one

Al Hofmann (GM Performance Parts Pontiac Firebird) We changed absolutely nothing on the GM Performance Parts Pontiac Firebird, and the computer graph is an exact duplicate of what we did in qualifying -- but for some reason, the tires came loose. I'm not one to blame anything on anyone other than myself, but I've got to blame that one on the lane. The numbers looked the same, everything matched up -- it's uncanny how close it is. I thought we had a real good chance today because in all the conditions this weekend the car has been running very smoothly. If the car had shook the tires , I would have grabbed the brake, but all of a sudden it just blew the tires off. There are two ways you can go: It's either the race track or the tires. I don't know. If it was real easy, I guess a lot more people would be doing it. We have a match race in Martin, Mich., next weekend. We'll make a couple more laps up there. Last year in St. Louis wasn't much good. I think we've got a pretty good handle on our clutch; it

(continued) Pontiac Notes & Quotes 2-2-2-2

looked like it did the same thing it has been doing, but it wasn't even close. I think we have a good chance in St. Louis; we're onto it here. Just have to get a little bit of luck to go along with it. Lost in round one

Del Worsham (Checker-Schucks-Kragen Pontiac Firebird) We went down swinging, I'll tell you that. Our Pontiac Firebird was haulin' all the way out to 1000 feet. The time slip has us quicker than him until we started to haze the tires down there at the top end. Our goal was to run it out the backdoor with a solid number to give ourselves a chance to win, and we did that. Now, about that .408 reaction time of his....I went over to Force's pit to get on him a little about that. He said it was destiny that he cut a .408 light. Wow, it's hard enough racing John Force, now you have to deal with destiny too. Lost in round one

Randy Anderson (Parts America Pontiac Firebird) We're disappointed and frustrated to say the least. It's been a disappointing season and it just got a little more disappointing. The Parts America Pontiac Firebird actually showed some good power at different points during the weekend, but all of the power in the world doesn't do you any good if you're not in the show on Sunday.

Tim Wilkerson (JCIT Pontiac Firebird) We're still kind of analyzing the problem. I'm sure that Terry and Skippy will get their heads together and get it fixed. The JCIT Pontiac Firebird didn't feel that bad while driving it, it just instantly knocked the tires off. When you look at the computer, it doesn't look that bad. We don't know if the lane got us or what, but we're going to take it apart, fix it and move on to St. Louis. We need to get our Sunday car running like it does on Friday and Saturday. We have a lot of media work to do in St. Louis. John Constanza will have customers at the race, and it's also just a few miles from where I live in Springfield. So we would like to go in there and get our first win. The team's still running around with their heads up and as long as we keep working hard, we're going to get it. We want to make a move up the ladder past fifth-place. Tony Pedregon and I are locked in a battle for that spot and we need to be battling for the top. Lost in round two

TOP FUEL

Cory McClenathan (McDonald's Pontiac) We just didn't have it together all weekend long. What it really comes down to is that we were so inconsistent. You can get lucky here and there and win a few rounds, but to win races you need to be consistent and we just don't have that right now. We have kind of put ourselves in a bad position now that Amato has a chance to pass us in the points lead. It seems like we were counting points a little bit early this year. There are a lot of races left and we need to go back, do our home work and try to keep this McDonald's Pontiac from smoking the tires. We have some good races coming up. The Western swing starts next month and that's where we got on the role that took us a long way last year. Lost in round two

Shelly Anderson (Parts America Pontiac) It was a nice, close race, but close doesn't count in this sport. We have a good car, and we should be winning some races, but we're not quite there yet. I know we're getting there, but in the meantime, it's pretty frustrating. Let's hope the St. Louis race will be a turning point for the whole team. Our qualifying run Friday night was a nice, smooth run and we were pretty satisfied with our standings going into final eliminations. The car has been running well lately and I see some real opportunity for some wins as we go into the second half of the season.

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas , Warren Johnson , Tony Pedregon , Al Hofmann , Del Worsham , Cruz Pedregon , Cory McClenathan , Tim Wilkerson , Shelly Anderson