GMC SONOMA ENTERS THE PRO STOCK TRUCK BATTLE GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 1999) - One of the most often asked questions during the last two seasons on the NHRA championship tour was why the Official Truck of the series wasn't racing in the...
GMC SONOMA ENTERS THE PRO STOCK TRUCK BATTLE
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 1999) - One of the most often asked questions during the last two seasons on the NHRA championship tour was why the Official Truck of the series wasn't racing in the new Pro Stock Truck class. Now those inquiries can be put aside as GMC Sonoma will enter three teams in the 1999 Winston championship title chase with two of those teams making their debut at the 30th Annual Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.
Successful engine builder and Pontiac Firebird Pro Stock racer Steve Schmidt will field one of the race teams with former Competition Eliminator driver Dave Spitzer piloting the GMC Sonoma Pro Stock Truck. The team will be based out of Schmidt's brand new, state-of-the-art Indianapolis race shop.
Rick Jones, renowned chassis builder of Warren Johnson's Pro Stock championship Pontiac Firebird, will field another team out of his Galesburg, Ill., race shop while Metro Motorsports of Baltimore, Md., will field a GMC Sonoma team utilizing co-drivers Joe Aluise Jr. and Rob Standard starting with the Pennzoil Nationals in Richmond, Va., on April 28 - May 2.
The Pro Stock Truck series is a rapidly growing class in both fan popularity and number of competitors. Started in 1997, the trucks are much like their Pro Stock car counterparts in that they retain a close resemblance to their "showroom" production versions. They feature extensive engine modifications, sophisticated chassis and suspension development, a maximum of 358 cubic-inch engine displacement and a minimum vehicle weight of 2,300 pounds including driver.
Coming into this season, the performance record for elapsed time is 7.594 seconds and top-speed is 178.32 mph. The series will be contested at 14 events in 1999.
"This is going to be a fantastic year for the Pro Stock Truck series, and we are proud to be a part of it with the GMC Sonoma," said Pontiac-GMC Motorsports Manager Fred Simmonds. "As the Official Truck of the NHRA, we've made a commitment to the continuing expansion of the sport. Now with the entry of the Sonoma into the Pro Stock Truck division, we further extend our commitment by recognizing the dynamic growth and potential of this new series.
"We feel that we have a formidable team assembled that will be competitive right out of the box. All three programs have put in an extensive amount of time and effort to be ready for the race season, and we're looking forward to the results."
In December, GMC announced that they would continue as the Official Truck of the NHRA with a multi-year deal that secures their position in the series into the 21st century. As the official truck, GMC provides vehicles for on-site staff, administrative personnel and the "Safety Safari." The Safety Safari helps to ensure the security of thousands of spectators and competitors on the 22-event Winston championship series.