CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES REVELL NATIONALS TEXAS MOTORPLEX NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SATURDAY, OCT. 24, 1998 FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28 FINAL QUALIFYING WHIT BAZEMORE, TEAM WINSTON CAMARO Z28, is No. 6 qualifier, 4.891/309.70, his...
CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES REVELL NATIONALS TEXAS MOTORPLEX NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SATURDAY, OCT. 24, 1998
FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28
WHIT BAZEMORE, TEAM WINSTON CAMARO Z28, is No. 6 qualifier, 4.891/309.70, his career bes e.t., set last night. Whit went head to head with his rival John Force in the final qualifying run today. Whit made a 4.91-second pass, Force performed the fastest pass in Funny Car history, 4.78 seconds.
BAZEMORE: "It's unbelievable that our career best is so over-shadowed by someone else's career best. But it's been a good weekend so far. We went up this morning to try to run a stellar number, a low .80 and we spun the tires at half track. The track was a lot hotter then. This afternoon we went back to try to get down to be ready for tomorrow. We were the first pair, the track cooled off a lot and conditions were just perfect. We ran a .91, which is about what we were trying to do and in the other lane John Force ran a .78, an all-time best. After that the other drivers got real aggressive, there were a lot of .8s. We went from No. 2 to No. 6. We are in good shape for tomorrow and that's why we are here, to win the race tomorrow, not necessarily to set low e.t. of the world. These are just awesome performances for these guys. I'm glad our Camaro is right there in the thick of it."
DID YOU SAY ANYTHING TO FORCE AFTER THAT ROUND?
"I told Force and (Austin) Coil at the other end how that run reminded me of 10 years ago when I ran 6.50 and they ran 5.30 and then whipped us in the first round all the time. I thought at half track that this old hot rod is not running that bad, but Force is driving away. Then it dropped a cylinder at the finish, but at half track it was running good, but theirs was running a lot better."
DO YOU FIND THAT FORCE HAS THAT EXTRA EDGE WHEN HE RUNS AGAINST YOU?
"They do run pretty well against us somtimes, it's obvious. Maybe we spur them on a little bit. If we do, then that's a bad thing."
ON FORCE AND THE CHAMPIONSHIP:
"John sincerely is trying to help me find sponsorship next year. He's been a good help and I appreciate it. He's a good champion, he's a great champion. But we would like to see a Chevy win the championship this year. If it can't be us we'd like to see Ron (Capps) or Chuck (Etchells) do it for Chevrolet. But John Force is pretty strong. The championship chase is going back and forth. Hopefully we can upset somebody and flip the cards one way or the other."
ON YOUR SPONSORSHIP HUNT:
"We are very close to having a major sponsor for next year. A lot of rumors have been going around. This won't be announced for probably quite some time, but we will probbly have something signed this week. We made a lot of progress the last couple of days, I'm pretty excited about the possibilities for next year."
RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, is No. 4 qualifier, 4.868/314.79, set in the final round. Capps nearly matched his best career e.t., a 4.864-second pass established in Englishtown, N.J., in May.
CAPPS: "That was a great run, but we really should have done that earlier, on Friday. We wanted to test some new things. Unfortunately we got behind the 8-ball once again and we were fighting some really weird stuff all weekend, but that's Roland (Leong, crew chief). When it counts he seems to pull it out every single time, and we know we have Force on our side of the ladder tomorrow and it's going to be a very important day. It could be very pivotal in the points championship and I think we found our problem. It's supposed to warm up a little tomorrow and we are a little excited about that."
ON FORCE'S 4.78-SECOND PASS:
"It was a great run. You know, if he had more downforce he might have run a .72 (smiling, tongue firmly in cheek)." DO YOU FEEL UNDER PRESSURE FOR THIS CHAMPIONSHIP? "No. 'Snake' (team owner Don Prudhomme) said to me, 'act like a rookie. Just go up there and do your best. You have nothing to lose.' That's the way I've been driving all year long. I'll just stay loose."
CHUCK ETCHELLS, KENDALL/MA MA ROSA'S PIZZA/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, is No.3 qualifier, 4.848/308.00 -- his career best e.t.
ETCHELLS: "I knew at the finish line that it was a career best. I even told that to the official at the end of the track before I took off my helmet. It was a great run. The Camaro left hard and ran almost 253 miles per hour at half track, which is absolutely flying. It's tough when you look at Force's run, but it just shows how good this team is to come back only half a tenth away from him, which isn't that much when you look at it under race conditions. In fact, when he put that run down, it probably made them turn the wrenches a little harder on our car. Tomorrow's a new day, and it's up to us to bring our Kendall Camaro to the winner's circle, and we'll certainly give it our best shot."
PRO STOCK -- CAMARO Z28
KURT JOHNSON, AC DELCO CAMARO Z28, is No. 5 qualifier, 6.907/199.95. Only his father Warren, No. 1, had a faster speed in qualifying.
KURT: "We're trying to figure out what we should have done. We finally movd enough weight forward in the car; the last pass was the smoothest run we've made here. It shook almost all the way through low gear and then it cleared up; from second gear on, it was perfect. With a 1.048 in the first 60 feet, we've got a lot of room for improvement. There are probably two hundredths (of a second) we could take out of our 6o-foot time, but I'd be happy to find one hundredth. Lane choice shouldn't be a factor; we went right down both lanes. It looked like the left lane was a little bit quicker at 11 o'clock this morning, so that's probably the lane we'll take unless something happens to change our mind."
LARRY MORGAN, RAYBESTOS CAMARO Z28, did not qualify. He was No. 18, with a 6.951198.19.
TOP FUEL DRAGSTER
LARRY DIXON, MILLER LITE TOP FUEL DRAGSTER, is No. 3 qualifier, 4.564//315.67.
CRISTEN POWELL, TEAM REEBOK TOP FUEL DRAGSTER, is No. 11, 4.652/299.40.