CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES CASTROL NATIONALS TEXAS MOTORPLEX ENNIS, TEXAS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SUNDAY, APRIL 25, 1999 FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28 FIRST ROUND WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, showed Al Hofmann ...
CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES CASTROL NATIONALS TEXAS MOTORPLEX ENNIS, TEXAS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SUNDAY, APRIL 25, 1999
FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28
WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, showed Al Hofmann the exit in the first round, with a decisive 4.918-second pass at 311.31 mph over Hofmann's 7.968/105.10. He will meet Dean Skuza in the second round.
RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, was defeated in the first round by Dale Creasy jr. (5.249/255.53 to Creasy's 5.099/294.40). Ron had the edge at the starting line, with a .476 reaction time to Creasy's .552, but the Camaro lifted its nose, got squirrelly and Ron mustered up all of his driving talent to keep the car going straight. Ron has not won a round all season and did not qualify for one event as he continues to struggle. The team did show promise this weekend as Ron was No. 1 qualifier until John Force grabbed that spot.
CAPPS: "Obviously, we were very confident, and we weren't trying to set the world on fire. We put five more pounds of weight on the front end, because it carried the front at the starting line yesterday. We backed it down a little bit and thought we would run a close .90. It had the front end up in the air and went to the right, it set it down then picked it back up again. I think we were just too aggressive early in the run. After it picked the front end up the second time it got out there and started hazing the tires. At that point I pedaled the car and then he drove around me."
DID THE RAIN LAST NIGHT AFFECT THE TRACK? "What I think happens a lot of times when it rains like it did last night and today -- the NHRA obviously prepped the track -- the track is as good as it's going to get. It washes a lot of reside that builds up around the track, like oil. The rain will come in and wash a lot of it away and will leave a lot of nice rubber. You always see great racing in the first round and a lot of guys have good numbers. The Camaro was just grabbing more and the front end came up. It's not a front-end downforce problem, it's the first 200 feet of the track and it's just that you are trying to run these cars so hard you lift the front end. When you step on the pedal when the front end comes up on the Funny Car, with the bigger injectors on it, you can't see because the hood comes up and you don't know where it's going, you lose the horizon. It went left and the front end was so high, I thought it was either going to hit the guardrail or the front end was going to come down and give me a chance to drive it. We know how to cure that and we will have it fixed before Virginia."
WHIT BAZEMORE lost to Dean Skuza in the second round, 5.288/299.00 for Whit, 5.118/304.36 for Skuza. Both Bazemore and Capps are awaiting the delivery of all-new '99 Camaro bodies for their Funny Cars.
BAZEMORE: "The latest from Chevrolet is that the Camaro body will be done in two to three weeks. It will take another probably three weeks for us to get it mounted and painted. It's going to be a definite advantage. It will help us, no question, especially in the summer on the hot, greasy tracks that we will be going to. We will have more downforce than we have now. But, right now, the lack of downforce is not our problem. We just had a couple of Sundays where the Camrao is not consistent on race day. We ran good in the first round. We had a good first round with a 4.91. And then we just shook in the second round. I did everything I could do to pedal it and save it. We still should have run better than we ran. Something did not work properly. It recovered frm the tire smoke, but it didn't recover performancewise."
PRO STOCK -- CAMARO Z28
KURT JOHNSON, ACDELCO CAMARO Z28, advanced to the semifinals by defeating Ron Krisher and Allen Johnson. He faced MIKE EDWARDS, DEWCO SALES CAMARO Z28, again for an all-Camaro round for the only two Camaros in the field. He had the holeshot (.446 to .452) on Edwards, but it was Edwards first at the finish line with a 7.008-second pass at 196.93 mph to KJ's 7.029/198.58. Kurt still holds the Winston Championship points lead with 54 points to Warren Johnson's 34.
KURT: "You're going to have good days and bad days. Sure we had the performance today, but just didn't have the luck. It's hardball out there. We thought we had a cushion, but you can't take a chance when you're racing a guy like Edwards. You know he's going to be right there on the Christmas Tree and he's got the potential to run fast. We didn't change a thing before the semis. As soon as I let the clutch out it broke the tires loose and shook in first and second gear. By then we'd lost our momentum and it was all over."
Mike Edwards faces Warren Johnson in Edwards' second straight final-round appearance.