Dallas: Chevrolet Racing Friday qualifying notes

ENNIS, Tex., Oct. 19, 2001 - Clear skies and warm weather provided for a packed house today at Texas Motorplex for first day qualifying at the 13th annual O'Reilly Nationals. Bob Panella Jr. drove the Panella Trucking Chevy S-10 to the No. 1...

ENNIS, Tex., Oct. 19, 2001 - Clear skies and warm weather provided for a packed house today at Texas Motorplex for first day qualifying at the 13th annual O'Reilly Nationals. Bob Panella Jr. drove the Panella Trucking Chevy S-10 to the No. 1 Pro Stock Truck qualifying position posting a track-record elapsed time of 7.470 seconds at 180.57 mph. If that lap holds up after tomorrow's two sessions, Panella will claim his fifth No. 1 qualifier of the year. He currently leads the Pro Stock Truck standings with two races left in the season. "I expected to run at least a 7.45 tonight," said Panella. "But the conditions weren't as good as we thought they'd be. The humidity's up and the barometers down, but regardless, I'm happy with our two runs. It means a lot to start out the weekend on the right foot. We were able to make a pair of good runs and now we just have to capitalize. "The points race is in the back of my mind. I gave away a golden opportunity at Chicago to put some extra distance between myself and the rest of the pack. On Sunday I'll be giving it my all. Hopefully we just have to keep that Chevy S-10 flying and maybe I can claim a third championship" Mike Coughlin is qualified No. 2 in an S-10, Todd Patterson is third in a Dodge, Don Smith is fourth in an S-10 and Taylor Lastor is fifth in an S-10. In Pro Stock, Young Life Chevy Cavalier driver Mike Edwards posted the quickest lap of the day running 6.872 seconds at 200.62 mph in the evening qualifying session. Edwards has won four No. 1 qualifying spots so far this year and is currently third in the Winston standings. "The track turned around tremendously from the first to the second session," said Edwards. "The entire 60-foot was covered in shade and that really helps our cars. We made an awesome run, and I tell you, I keep getting more amazed with our Reher-Morrison horsepower. They have really turned our program around and have made our Chevy Cavalier competitive. When I won here in '98 it was with Reher-Morrison power. "We need to be a little more consistent on Sunday. I feel like I've given away too many races. We have a good car but I need to do a better job driving and making adjustments. The points race is a big deal for us, but I want to win another race and try to finish as high as I can. Finishing third would be awesome but there are a lot of good cars behind me too. Our goal now is to try to win rounds, try to win races and finish the best that we can." Bruce Allen is qualified second in a Grand Am, Tom Hammonds is third in a Cavalier, Troy Coughlin is fourth in a Cavalier and Jim Yates is fifth in a Grand Am. Ron Capps has the Skoal Racing Chevy Camaro qualified in the No. 3 position with a 4.826 e.t. at 31.09 mph. John Force is the No. 1 qualifier, Scotty Cannon is second, Whit Bazemore is fourth and Dean Skuza is fifth. Final eliminations from the Texas Motorplex begin at 10:30 a.m. Central on Sunday, October 21. Qualifying highlights of the O"Reilly Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 on Sunday, October 21, beginning at 12 p.m. Eastern. Two hours of final eliminations will be telecast on ESPN on Sunday, October 21, starting at 4 p.m. Eastern with final-round coverage beginning at 9 p.m.

-GM Racing-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Troy Coughlin , Bob Panella , Dean Skuza , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Todd Patterson , Mike Coughlin , Scotty Cannon , Bruce Allen , Tom Hammonds , Mike Edwards