Denver Pontiac Racing Review

PONTIAC NOTES & QUOTES 1998 MILE-HIGH NATIONALS SUNDAY, JULY 19, 1998 DENVER, COLORADO Jim Yates (Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Firebird) We’re going over the whole car trying to get the gear ratios back in line with what we need to run at sea-level.


Jim Yates (Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Firebird) We’re going over the whole car trying to get the gear ratios back in line with what we need to run at sea-level. We’re checking the motor out to make sure it’s okay, changing the ignition components to make sure there’s not a problem there, and getting back to the baseline that we run at during the rest of the season. I felt pretty confident coming here, especially with the way our Splitfire-Peak Pontiac Firebird performed. Hopefully when we get to Sonoma we can do a better job. The scary part is that we don’t know why we didn’t run good Friday night. We’re just trying to replace everything in the car that may have had something to do with it. We came out and ran good on Saturday and made a decent run in the first round of eliminations before the car quit running. Hopefully, we can take care of those problems and get on with the rest of the season. Lost in round one

Bruce Allen (Outlaw Pontiac Firebird) We took the left lane and it was extremely loose. I spun up real hard in fourth and then in fifth, spun up again and headed straight towards the wall. I just let up then. After us, it looks like about everyone switched. We may have been a little too aggressive with the Outlaw Pontiac Firebird. But it got cloudy and we felt that the track might start to come around. This weekend was still a success. We were able to qualify in a pretty good spot and the problems we were experiencing over the last two events appear to be fixed. We’ll need to be fast again next weekend at Sonoma because I’m sure it will be hot and the track will be loose which will make lane-choice critical. I’m confident we’ll be ready. Lost in round one

Mike Thomas (Pennzoil Pontiac Firebird) This weekend started out so well for the Pennzoil Pontiac Firebird. Then it went downhill. After blowing that engine yesterday we really had our hands full getting a new powerplant here from our shop in Ohio. It arrived this morning and we were rushing to get it installed in time. Then, just before the race, we had to go to the scales and weigh-in. We ended up being 25 pounds light and had to scramble to fix that problem and get to the starting line where we were the first pair to race. It was just a case of too much anxiety and I blew the light. The good news is that the new engine ran great and we’ll be ready to go in Sonoma. Hopefully, we’ll have a nice smooth weekend up there. I’m glad we only have a few days off because I want to get back out there and race. Lost in round one


Randy Anderson (Parts America Pontiac Firebird) We found out this morning when we went to start the Parts America Pontiac Firebird that something was seriously wrong. It backfired and started a little fire. We changed engines, I ran down to pre-race ceremonies, and then came back to warm up the car. Unfortunately, we had already chosen a setup and made a decision on how to run the car, so all we could do was go race the race. There wasn’t any time for adjustment. I’m looking forward to Sonoma now. I’m about as optimistic about this team that I’ve been all year. I feel very good about everything and the direction we’re headed in. Jim Dunn can’t come in here and change things over night. It will get turned around though and we feel fell pretty good right now about the rest of the season. Lost in round one

Al Hofmann (GM Performance Parts Pontiac Firebird) It looks like there’s a bald spot right there where they yank all the rubber off in the first 60 feet. It bit Etchells when he smoked the tires there. We spun the tires about a turn-and-a-half and it put the No. 7 cylinder out because there was too much fuel. When it got down there, it re-lit the cylinder and then we smoked the tires. The GM Performance Parts Pontiac Firebird did pretty good this weekend. It could have been a lot worse. We won a round here today and for us, that’s a move in the right direction. We’re sneaking up on the setup, we have a little bit of a handle on things now, and we can’t wait to get to Sonoma. I think we can do pretty good there.

Lost in round two Tim Wilkerson (JCIT Pontiac Firebird) That’s definitely not the way we wanted this weekend to end. I’ve tried to change my driving style a little bit because sometimes I’m a little behind. I saw yellow, hit the gas, and the front end jerked forward. We’ve watched it on the tape and the pipes aren’t lit. I’m not going to change my driving style for a .393 reaction time. We think it was more of the car reacting than it was me. The JCIT Pontiac Firebird reacted to the tree very well, so nine times out of ten, that’s a pretty good light. If we would’ve had a little more weight in the nose, or if the engine would have been a little weaker, that would have been a stellar light. That’s all right. We’re learning how to race this Firebird. Sonoma’s going to be a lot like this, hopefully I can keep my head on straight there, and avoid this kind of mistake again. Lost in round two

Del Worsham (Checker-Schucks-Kragen Pontiac Firebird) I’m about sick and tired of this. That’s three races in a row where we’ve made our best pass of the weekend in round one. We’ve run well enough to win, we’ve run side by side with the best in the sport, and we’re 0 for 3. Columbus, St. Louis, and now here. We end up losing by a hundredth or so to Force, Cruz, and Tony Pedregon. Our Pontiac Firebird Funny Car is running as well right now as we ever have. The car wants to win, it’s running well enough to win, it’s waiting for a break or two I guess. All we can do is keep doing what we’re doing, keep running strong, and we’re going to win some rounds and win a race. I just wish we didn’t have to put up with these ‘moral victories’ until the wins arrive. Lost in round one

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas , Tony Pedregon , Al Hofmann , Del Worsham , Bruce Allen , Tim Wilkerson