SONOMA PERFORMANCE CONTINUES AT ENGLISHTOWN ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 22, 1999) - Pro Stock Truck final eliminations began today for the 30th annual Mopar Nationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Coming into today's event, Rick Jones...
SONOMA PERFORMANCE CONTINUES AT ENGLISHTOWN
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 22, 1999) - Pro Stock Truck final eliminations began today for the 30th annual Mopar Nationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Coming into today's event, Rick Jones was qualified in the No. 8 position and faced Todd Patterson in round one. Jones' RJ Race Cars GMC Sonoma defeated Patterson's Dakota with an elapsed time of 7.688 seconds at 176.63 mph to Patterson's 7.647 elapsed time at 176.10 mph. A reaction time advantage at the starting line for Jones of 55-thousandth's of a second was the deciding factor. "We didn't do too bad this morning," Jones said. "The guys on this race team did a good job on the clutch and the chassis, and thanks to John Lingenfelter, we had a brand new bullet to power this GMC Sonoma down the racetrack. It didn't run too bad for the first time with that engine. We're going to work on the clutch and try and tune the motor a little more to see if we can't beat Jeter again. He's always tough and it should be a good race. "After blowing the engine in yesterday's last qualifying session, we stayed until midnight getting ready for today's race. We came in early this morning and encountered the typical deal where nothing seemed to fit. All motors are a little different in certain areas, and the truck was set up for the other motor, but we got it to work. We had too much clutch in it for the first round but it was only a guess since we didn't have a baseline on this motor. The nice surprise is that we actually got it pretty close." In a rematch of their Atlanta shootout last week at the Southern Nationals, Jones and Brad Jeter hooked up in round two. This time Jeter took the round win with a performance number of 7.610ET/176.67MPH to Jones 7.668ET/176.53MPH. David Spitzer came into today's race qualified in the No. 15 position and lost in round one to Bob Panella. "We're looking at the truck trying to figure out what happened," Spitzer said. "I let my foot off the clutch and it just died. My head about hit the dash because it quit that quick, and from that point it was over. We were a tenth behind at 60 feet and short of a miracle, you're just not going to make that up. Just looking at everything else though, this Dynagear Sonoma appears to be in pretty good shape. We qualified and we keep getting better at every event. We'll take this truck back to the shop in Indianapolis, refresh the motors, do some routine maintenance and get ready to go race again." Competition continues tomorrow with the semi-final and final rounds of eliminations. ESPN2 will televise two hours of first-round coverage on Sunday, May 23, beginning at (continued) GMC Racing - NHRA Englishtown 2-2-2-2
11:00 a.m. Eastern, and two hours of final-round coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. The next stop on the NHRA Pro Stock Truck tour is the Second annual Fram Route 66 Nationals on June 3 - 6, at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill. It is the seventh race on the 14-event Pro Stock Truck schedule. Same-day television coverage of final eliminations can be seen on ESPN2 on Sunday, June 6, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.