ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (September 7, 2000) - After a hot, muggy weekend at the "Big Go" in Indianapolis, it's back to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park to settle a little unfinished business. The Matco Tools Supernationals, originally...
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (September 7, 2000) - After a hot, muggy weekend at the "Big Go" in Indianapolis, it's back to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park to settle a little unfinished business. The Matco Tools Supernationals, originally scheduled to be completed on May 21, was postponed due to rain. Now the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series makes an abbreviated stop in the Garden State on September 8 - 9 before moving on to the tour's next event in Reading, Pa. Television coverage of the Matco Tools Supernationals can be seen on ESPN on Sunday, September 10, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern. The following are comments by Pontiac Firebird drivers making the return trip to Englishtown.
Richie Stevens (Valspar Refinish Pontiac Firebird) - "I'm fully expecting us to pick up right where we left off. We know that track well and we've proven we can do what it takes to run quick laps there and win the race. We want to win this race again, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. This is my race until someone else takes it away from me and I don't plan on letting it go. We're coming off a great race in Indy. The Valspar Refinish Pontiac Firebird qualified in the top half of the field and we won a round on Monday, which was pretty decent. Since then I've looked at the computer graph of my Round 2 run several times and I realize I could have driven the car much better. If I had, we could have won that race and then who knows what might have happened after that. I'm anxious to pick right up where we left off Monday and get back to winning laps. We'll test a few things out on Friday and then we'll be ready to go Saturday. This is a different car then the one I qualified with and I think we're actually in better shape then we were in May. I'm excited and ready to defend my title."
Dale Creasy Jr. (Mad Magazine Pontiac Firebird) - "I think the track at Englishtown is going to be awesome. I think they learned their lesson last time and got the track more even from starting line to finish line. It's going to be a good race and hopefully we can keep our Mad Magazine Pontiac Firebird competitive. The air will be good because of the time of year that we're making the return. It's going to take a good fast racecar to win this race and maybe a little luck as well."
On racing at Reading: "Reading has traditionally not been a very good racetrack, but supposedly they've fixed it. We'll see when we get there. It's a nice facility, but since they re-paved the track it hasn't been working real well so hopefully they got it fixed."
Mark Pawuk (Summit Racing Pontiac Firebird) - "It's tough going three weeks straight but I'm encouraged by our performance at Indy. We qualified the Summit Racing Firebird third at Englishtown, so hopefully we'll be able to pick up where we left off and be able to run well. Consistency, good runs and nice weather are what it will take to win in Englishtown. Keeping lane choice is always a key to success and also running fast will make for a good weekend."
On racing at Reading: "I've had good luck at Reading the past few years. I would like nothing more than to qualify well there and get to another final round. We always seem to run well there. I don't know why that is and you really never know for sure how you'll end up. But I'd like to keep the momentum going from last year's runner-up finish and do one better this year."
Del Worsham (Checker Schuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebird) - "It's exciting to go back to Englishtown because it's such a great track, and the conditions were so poor last time that it almost wasn't fair to the fans. So we're pumped up to go back in better conditions because the Checker Schuck's Kragen Firebird is running great and I'm sure the fans will get to see some better racing."
On racing at Reading: "Reading is another fast racetrack with good air. We're happy to be going to some faster tracks because we think we have a fast racecar. Hopefully these next couple of races will prove to be good for us."
Frank Pedregon (Checker Schuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebird) - "This is great because we finally get to cash in these Englishtown points we've been carrying around all year. There are a couple of cars right near us in points who didn't qualify for this race, but we've had to wait until now to pick up the points on them. Hopefully the weather will be good for us too. We won't know until we get there what it's going to take to win but if the weather cooperates then I think we will see some very fast cars. If the weather turns damp, or cools down then it will be the team that adapts to the conditions the best that prevails."
Jim Yates (Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Firebird) - "We're going there with two free runs which right now is what our team needs more than anything. We need to try and find our combination on this Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Firebird without the pressure of qualifying and Englishtown will give us the chance to do that. We've got some ideas, we just need an opportunity to run that combination against the rest of the pack without the pressure of qualifying. To win you're going to have to have good reaction times and keep lane choice. There has always been an advantage in Englishtown lane to lane, it's just a matter of getting off the starting line and running fast. As long as you have lane choice, and you can cut a .450 or better light, there's a good chance you could end up in the winner's circle. We're going to have to adapt to the track very quickly. The conditions are going to change during the course of the weekend in Englishtown quite a bit. Especially with only two practice runs, and the track is going to go through a lot of changes after those two practice runs. On Saturday it could be a constantly changing situation, so we're going to have to stay on top of it."
On racing at Reading: "Reading has always been one of my favorites. It's an excellent racetrack, and living just a couple of hours from here in Alexandria (VA), it's a hometown track for us as well. We think that our engine really likes to run in those kind of air conditions where the temperature is cool and the barometer is very good. Based on how we ran out west, if we get the car down the track smoothly we could be a big factor to win that race."