GMC SONOMA NOTES & QUOTES 30th ANNUAL NHRA MOPAR NATIONALS OLD BRIDGE TOWNSHIP RACEWAY PARK ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 20, 1999) - Pro Stock Truck qualifying for the 30th annual Mopar Nationals got under way today with two rounds of time trials at...
GMC SONOMA NOTES & QUOTES 30th ANNUAL NHRA MOPAR NATIONALS OLD BRIDGE TOWNSHIP RACEWAY PARK
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 20, 1999) - Pro Stock Truck qualifying for the 30th annual Mopar Nationals got under way today with two rounds of time trials at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. In the first qualifying session, Rick Jones drove his RJ Race Cars Sonoma to an elapsed time of 7.605 seconds at 178.19 mph. In the second session Jones fell of to a 7.628 elapsed time at 177.79 mph. He is qualified in the No. 7 position. David Spitzer piloted the Dynagear GMC Sonoma to an elapsed time of 7.647 seconds at 175.89 mph in the first session, and improved to an elapsed time of 7.634 seconds at 176.40 mph in round two. He is qualified in the No. 12 position.
There will be two more qualifying sessions tomorrow with final eliminations beginning on Saturday at 11:15 a.m. ESPN2 will televise two hours of first-round coverage on Sunday, May 23, beginning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern, and two hours of final-round coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Rick Jones (RJ Race Cars Sonoma) It looks like we slipped the clutch pretty good in low gear, but in reality, we were just guessing. We really don't have the book loads of experience where we can make the jump from one track, as in Atlanta, to a place like this where the air and track conditions are real good. We're just trying to fill our notebook up with relevant information like what to do with clutch and gearing, and what kind of leave rpm we should be running. We were soft. We thought our Sonoma should have run about a 7.58. We're just trying to put all of our collective knowledge together from the guys on the race team to what we learn working with our customer base. It seems to be working but we'll have to see what happens. We still have three qualifying sessions to go and a lot of good trucks are going to step up.
Second Session: We keep gaining on this thing and learning what it wants every time we make a run down the racetrack. We probably had too much clutch in it that session, but we weren't completely sure what it would want this afternoon. We're learning though and today was just another great opportunity to gather information. We made two good runs down the racetrack and the 7.60 was good enough for seventh. We've got a couple of good baseline runs in the bank, and tomorrow we'll come out and see if we can't capitalize on that.
David Spitzer (Dynagear GMC Sonoma) Our first run wasn't too bad. The weather is really good and the track is a little better than we anticipated, so we were a little light on clutch. I look for our Dynager Sonoma to pick up during the afternoon session. By the time some more cars get down it and they smooth it out a little bit more, the track's going to be as fast as it was this morning. We came here directly from Atlanta, got everything serviced and we're ready to go. We were pretty happy to get our first round win down there. It's one monkey off our backs that we don't have to worry about anymore and now we can focus on going some rounds because we know we have the ability. The key, like it is at every race, is to get in the top half of the field, get lane choice and keep lane choice. I don't know if it's going to be a big deal here, but it will definitely come into play later in the summer. We have a new motor that we hope will be ready for the next race and that should give us that extra punch to get us in the top-half.
Second Session: The run didn't look too bad, but it was spinning pretty good in second, third and even a little bit in fourth gear. Even so, I think tomorrow night's going to be the determining session and today's was more like the conditions we're going to see on race day. We improved though, and picked it up and hopefully tomorrow we can get even better. This was a good baseline session. We have enough clutch in the Dynagear Sonoma now and I think we can make a better run tomorrow night. We've been working a lot with gear ratios lately trying to figure out what this truck wants. I think the gear ratio and clutch are pretty close so that will give us time to take a look at some other things.