CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES MOPAR PARTS NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES OLD BRIDGE TOWNSHIP RACEWAY PARK ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. SUNDAY, MAY 23, 1999 FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28 -- FINAL ELIMINATIONS RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, and WHIT...
CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES MOPAR PARTS NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES OLD BRIDGE TOWNSHIP RACEWAY PARK ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. SUNDAY, MAY 23, 1999
FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28 -- FINAL ELIMINATIONS
RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, and WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, were eliminated in the second round; Capps by John Force (4.952/297.29 for Force, 16.175/72.59 for Capps), when the tires smoked instantly on take-off; Bazemore by Tim Wilkerson (4.915/295.34 for Wilkerson, 5.183/294.82 for Bazemore). The start of today's rounds was delayed approximately four hours because of rain.
CAPPS: "We knew, obviously, when Force ran a 4.86 in the first round, that we had our work cut out for us. We hurt the motor pretty bad in the first round, it put a cylinder out on the first hit of the throttle. When you run it down like that it hurts the engine. We had to replace the engine. It was no secret that we had to really get after it to give him any kind of race after the way he ran the first round. As soon as I hit the throttle it went right up in smoke. We will look at the computer to see whether it was a clutch malfunction. More than likely we went up there with too much power. But we're happy with the way this Camaro ran all weekend. We made a lot of progress. By no means are we even satisfied with the way we ran this weekend. We were happy to have been able to go a round, but our team expectations are much higher than going 4.99 (in qualifying) and winning one round." AFTER EIGHT RACES, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE SEASON? "It's going to be tough to fight for a championship this year. We put urselves so far into the hole, it's going to be tough to get ourselves out. We will try to win as many races as we can and try to get back in the game and try to have a car with which we can run with these other guys, Force, Cruz (Pedregon), (Whit) Bazemore. Every run right now is another run for Roland (Leong, crew chief) to get information on. The more information he gets the better he will get the Camaro to run." (This was Ron's first win in a final eliminations round this year.)
BAZEMORE: "Obviously we are disappointed with the outcome of today's race for Team Kendall and Chuck Etchells Racing, because coming off a runner-up last weekend it's still a good high, but it's not winning, obviously. But it's still a good, positive result and we struggled with the performance of our Camaro all weekend and we just never got fully dialed in with the car. Even so, I was still confident for today and in the first round we smoked the tires early and I couldn't get the car to hook back up. We did a 6.50 pedaling it five or six times. But I still had a great amount of faith in this team. We went up there against Tim Wilkerson knowing that team is capable of running a really good number any time. We were trying to run probably a low .90 and this didn't happen. Tim (Richards, crew chief) believes there is something amiss with the tuneup and the car is not making the power that it should make with the tuneup that's in it. He's obviously going to be working on that and we are going to go from there." ON THE WEATHER HOLDUP, HOW DOES THIS AFFECT YOU? "It doesn't bother me at all having to wait. I wake up in the morning and I'm ready to race, ready to win. That doesn't change. My lights (reaction time) were really good today, it's a hungry team and we were eager to get out on the race track and start racing. The weather can get a little bit tedious, a kind of long day. You feel like you want to take a nap, but it's the same for everybody. It interferes with your diet on race day. I like to eat a lot of fruit and other (lighter) things. The longer the day goes by the hungrier you get and then you might be tempted by a nice pizza and it's not really good race day food. Other than that, getting hungrier and wanting to eat a pizza or ice cream is not that big a deal."
CHUCK ETCHELLS, SICKLES MOTORSPORTS CAMARO Z28, went out in the first round, losing to Al Hofmann, 5.483/193.43 for Hofmann, 15.383/66.90 for Etchells, as he lost traction at the hit of the throttle.
PRO STOCK -- CAMARO Z28
MIKE EDWARDS, DEWCO SALES CAMARO Z28, carried the Chevrolet banner alone in final eliminations after KURT JOHNSON, ACDELCO CAMARO Z28, failed to qualify for the first time since Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., in 1996. Edwards was defeated in the first round when he red-lighted against Greg Anderson.
Note: Edwards failed to qualify in the first three events of '99, then made it into the finals in the next two.
EDWARDS: "Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, I just don't like beating myself. We made a good run, but I just left too early. It was my fault, driver error, it was nobody's fault but my own." HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU WENT TO THE LINE?: "Fine. I thought I would do good. I thought I could win, but I think that every time I go up there. If you don't, you shouldn't be up there." DID YOU HAVE EXTRA CONFIDENCE KNOWING YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO RACE KURT JOHNSON? "It doesn't matter who's up there or who's in the show. You have to do your own thing every time, and it just wasn't our day." ON BEING THE ONLY CAMARO IN THE FIELD: "I was glad to do my best. Chevrolet has been good to me and I tried to do good for them. Hopefully, I can win a race for them this year, and also for Dewco, Mary Lou (Kight, team owner) and my crew. It's hard to win. It's going to be tough. I hope at least we can win one this year." WHEN WILL YOU HAVE YOUR NEW JERRY BICKLE CHASSIS? "Probably somewhere around Denver. I will run the new chassis in testing to see what it's like. It will have to be awfully good before I run it." IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD? "Shucks."