Gainesville GMC; what a difference a year makes

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 19, 2000) - It was exactly 12 months ago at this event that David Spitzer debuted the GMC Sonoma Pro Stock Truck in NHRA competition, and what a difference a year makes. After a '99 season in which the Sonoma experienced...

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 19, 2000) - It was exactly 12 months ago at this event that David Spitzer debuted the GMC Sonoma Pro Stock Truck in NHRA competition, and what a difference a year makes. After a '99 season in which the Sonoma experienced its share of growing pains against the rest of the class, the three teams that make up GMC's Pro Stock Truck program have shown a propensity this year to compete with the series' elite, and this race was no exception. David Spitzer had one of his best efforts as a professional driver this weekend qualifying the Sunnen/Dynagear Sonoma in the No. 7 position with career-best numbers in elapsed time and top speed. During Saturday qualifying, the 30-year old Spitzer drove his GMC to an elapsed time of 7.537 seconds at 178.05 mph. During Sunday eliminations Spitzer was equally as tough knocking off John Lingenfelter in round one and Bob Panella in round two before a self-admitted driver error in the third round cost him in his race with Greg Stanfield. The event was won by Randy Daniels in a Chevy S-10. "I'm going to have to look at the tape to see exactly what happened," Spitzer said. "I think I was just too ready to go. I don't know if I had my foot all the way down on the clutch, and both lights came on, but whatever the case, at that point you have to be ready. I may have had my clutch pedal all the way back down causing the truck to roll forward and then at that point you just want to go. I don't think it's anything that broke. I set the air gap just a little bit tighter but nothing that should have made it creep. That was it. "I can't complain even though right now I'm a little down. I think we could have won this race and that's disappointing, but after the year we had last season, it's pretty encouraging to be running the way we are. Sunnen, Dynagear, GMC Sonoma, Steve Schmidt, Scott Perin, everyone has contributed to make this program one of the best in the class and I'm proud to be a part of it. We're looking forward to Las Vegas. We're going back to the shop in Indy to try to find a few more ponies. It's just a matter of finding just a little bit more to be able to consistently compete at the front. We're ready." Rick Jones turned in another strong performance this weekend in the Country Motor Trailer Sales GMC Sonoma. After running his career-best elapsed time on Friday at 7.525 seconds, the Galesburg, Ill., native entered today's race in the No. 4 qualifying position. With lane choice and a fast GMC Pro Stock Truck in his arsenal, Jones knocked off Rob Slavinski in round one before losing to Jeff Gracia in round two. Summit Racing Sonoma driver John Lingenfelter came into today's race qualified in the No. 10 position and lost a first-round matchup with fellow GMC teammate David Spitzer. The rest was won by pole sitter Randy Daniels in an S-10 who defeated Greg Stanfield in the final round. "We broke a transmission," Lingenfelter said. "We had him by three and half hundredths on the light, and we had a good 60-foot time so we would have been right there. It would have been a close race, but we had a shot. David's (Spitzer) a good guy and if we can't win he's as good as anybody. "We have a lot of things we'll be doing before Las Vegas. We have some engine development we're still working on, we have some things we want to change on the Summit Racing Sonoma and we want to do some testing. That's going to be a real big race for us so we want to be ready. I definitely think we can be competitive there -- we're that close. If we can get a couple of things fixed before Las Vegas, then we'll be in a good position to win. A little luck doesn't hurt either. What goes around comes around and sooner or later that lucky pendulum will swing back our way." The next stop on the Pro Stock Truck schedule is the Inaugural Summit Racing Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nev., on April 6 - 9. It is the third race on the 14-event NHRA Pro Stock Truck tour. Television coverage of the Summit Racing Nationals can be seen on TNN on Sunday, April 9 beginning at 10:30 p.m. Eastern.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Panella , Jeff Gracia , Randy Daniels , John Lingenfelter , Greg Stanfield , Steve Schmidt