FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28 -- ELIMINATIONS BAZEMORE AND CAPPS BOUNCED IN THE SEMIS RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, lost in the semifinals to John Force: 4.824/309.27 for Force; 4.873/310.55 for Capps. Capps defeated Dale Creasy Jr. and Cruz...
FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28 -- ELIMINATIONS
BAZEMORE AND CAPPS BOUNCED IN THE SEMIS
RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, lost in the semifinals to John Force: 4.824/309.27 for Force; 4.873/310.55 for Capps. Capps defeated Dale Creasy Jr. and Cruz Pedregon en route to the final.
WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, lost to Tommy Johnson Jr., 6.135/212.06 for Whit, 4.841/320.05 for Tommy. After defeating Cory Lee and his archrival Tony Pedregon, Bazemore had lane choice yet again as he staged against Johnson Jr. However, the race was over before it really began, as Whit lost traction almost immediately, smoking the tires and ending his chances for his second win of the season.
CAPPS: "We were confident, especially after we found out why it dropped the cylinders in the second round and slowed down to a .97. We were confident that we could run a lot quicker than we ran in qualifying (4.90). We also found a fuel pump problem last night which we fixed so we knew that if we got to 310 mph it could run an .80. Sure enough, it did. When you go against Force you know he'll run an .85 or quicker. What was scary, I went into stage, we had a master cylinder on the brakes go bad and when I pulled the brake pedal to stop, it kept rolling. I thought it would roll through the lights. I gave it a quick pump and it stopped. As deep as I staged and made a 4.87-second run, it probably would have been an .83 and .84. It's encouraging. We were right with him. It was a great race if you were watching it from inside the car. If we had an in-car camera you would see his fender out my window, then it would disappear, then you'd see it again, then it would disappear. I could keep telling you about thar round but it would take a half hour. It was fun. If he had a hiccup we would have gone by him. The thing is that we're putting pressure on that team or they would be able to run those laps at will and not worry about being pushed. Dale Armstrong is the guy who can do it." ON THE POINTS CHASE: "This Camaro is a hot rod. More than just next year, it's going to be a lot of fun to drive in these last couple of races. In '97 we started out dreadful, we were 15th or 16th all year and fought back to fifth. Unbelievable. We came in here eighth in points and now we're seventh. If we can keep our noses to the grindstone there's a chance to get (Del) Worsham and (Dean) Skuza and finish fifth. So, there are a lot of positive things."
BAZEMORE: "Early on, our Kendall Camaro seemed like a bracket car, with this team having a real handle on it. Unfortunately, we had a problem in the semifinals. It's frustrating to lose when you seem to be running so well, but those guys (Tommy Johnson Jr.'s team) really have their act together right now. We're having some difficulty running at the far end of the track. The last three to four hundred feet it's just not getting it done, which is evidenced by our top speeds. While we're struggling to run over 300 mph, our main competitors are going 315-320. Because of that, we've got to make up a lot of ground early in the run, which puts a lot of pressure on us. But we're staying here tomorrow to test and work on finding a solution. Making it into the semifinals is still a good day. I'm excited that our Kendall Camaro was one of the four best cars here this weekend. We definitely had the wick turned up, and we plan to continue in that fashion in the future. There are two races left, and each one will be a dogfight, but we plan to be in the middle of it."
PRO STOCK TRUCK -- CHEVY S-10 -- ELIMINATIONS
The battle for the championship continues, as BRAD JETER, JETER RACING CHEVY S-10, defeated BOB PANELLA JR., PANELLA MOTORSPORTS CHEVY S-10, in the semifinals. Jeter shot off the line with a .426 reaction time to Panella's close .431. But it was Jeter at the finish with a 7.518-second pass at 179.21 mph (good enough to displace Randy Daniels' national speed record) as Panella slowed to an 8.958/109.23.
Note: Panella could have clinched the championship if he had won the event and set a national elapsed time record.
PANELLA: "It broke a rocker arm in second gear. We left together, I kind of knew that, and half way through second gear it just started missing. I didn't know what happened, but I knew something happened. By then he was long gone." ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP: "That definitely didn't help. We will go home and freshen everything up, do some testing and I'll do my best in Pomona. If Brad wins here I guess he could get a lot closer, but I have not given up, I can tell you that." ON RUNNING AGAINST JETER IN SEMIS: "In a way I was kind of excited. I was hoping to be able to beat him and not have to worry about it as much. Mathematically he could still win, but realistically that would have been the end of it. That would have been a lot easier for the next couple of weeks. I said in the middle of the year it would go to Pomona and it looks like it's going to. It's unfortunate to lose that way. But the kind of run he made -- I don't know where it came from -- would have been hard to beat anyway."
TIM FREEMAN, who drove Ruben Celedon's Chevy S-10 this weekend after he resigned from Kessinger Motorsports, was defeated by VINNY BARONE, CHEVY S-10, who is in his first final of his Pro Stock Truck career, 7.572/177.79 for Freeman, 7.572/178.18 for Barone. In the second round Freeman eliminated his good friend and former teammate MARK OSBORNE, RCL COMPONENTS CHEVY S-10, who was in contention for the championship.
FREEMAN: "That was one race that was very tough for me. It's a race that I hated to win, but I also loved winning that round. I know that round cost Mark the championship probably, but that round also assured me to finish in the top 10, hopefully. It meant as much to me to win that round as it did for him. It was very emotional. We've been friends for 20 years, we're still friends today, it was just a tough race." ON THE RUN AGAINST BARONE: "That was a darn good drag race, we ran identical e.t.s. He beat me on the starting line. I did my job yesterday both rounds, unfortunately today Vinny did his a little better than me. Vinny did his job well all weekend. It was just one of those good drag races that unfortunately Tim Freeman comes off on the losing end of. I want to thank Ruben Celedon for giving me the opportunity to drive his Chevy S-10, and Bill Jenkins for helping us all weekend on the Jenkins motor."