Gainesville: Pontiac Friday notes

Gainesville, Fla., (March 16, 2001) - Qualifying for the 32nd annual Mac Tools GatorNationals got underway today at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida. In Pro Stock Truck, Randy Daniels is the No.1 qualifier in an S-10 with an elapsed...

Gainesville, Fla., (March 16, 2001) - Qualifying for the 32nd annual Mac Tools GatorNationals got underway today at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida. In Pro Stock Truck, Randy Daniels is the No.1 qualifier in an S-10 with an elapsed time of 7.488 seconds at 179.09 mph. Don Smith is second in an S-10 and Jeff Gracia is qualified third in a Sonoma with a run of 7.510 seconds at 179.21 mph. Larry Seay is qualified fourth in an S-10 and Victor Cagnazzi is fifth in an S-10. Mike Corvo is 14th in a Sonoma and John Lingenfelter finished the day qualified 18th in a Sonoma.

In Pro Stock, Darrell Alderman is the No. 1 qualifier with an elapsed time of 6.874 seconds at 200.29 mph. Kurt Johnson is second in a Chevrolet Cavalier, Mark Pawuk is third in a Grand Am, Warren Johnson is fourth in a Grand Am and Ron Krisher is fifth in a Cavalier. Bruce Allen is qualified sixth, Brad Jeter is eighth, Jim Yates is ninth, Tom Martino is 11th and Richie Stevens is 15th.

In Funny Car, John Force in a Mustang is the No. 1 qualifier with an elapsed time of 4.815 seconds at 317.19 mph. Frank Pedregon and Del Worsham take second and third place respectably in their Checker Schuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebirds. Pedregon ran a career-best elapsed time of 4.860 seconds at 302.01 mph. Worsham also turned in career numbers posting a 4.887 second run at 316.08 mph. Ron Capps is qualified fourth in a Camaro, and Tommy Johnson Jr. is fifth in a Camaro. Al Hofmann is sixth in Firebird, Johnny Gray is seventh in a Firebird, Tony Bartone is ninth in a Firebird, Tim Wilkerson is 10th in a Firebird, Whit Bazemore is 12th in a Firebird, Jerry Toliver is 14th, Dale Creasy Jr. is 15th and Scotty Cannon is 16th.

In Top Fuel, Gary Scelzi is the No. 1 qualifier with an elapsed time of 4.576 at 322.58 mph. Larry Dixon and his Miller Lite/Chevrolet dragster is second with an elapsed time of 4.588 seconds at 316.38 mph, Kenny Bernstein is third, Andrew Cowin is fourth and Clay Millican is fifth. Mike Dunn and his New York Yankee's/GMC/GM Mobility dragster is sixth.


Jeff Gracia (Panella Trucking GMC Sonoma) - "In the first session we were kind of loose. We didn't learn anything, but (Bob) Panella ran well, we used the information he got, applied it to this Sonoma for this pass and made a good run. Hopefully we can work with what we've learned from that run and improve for tomorrow." No. 3 qualifier - 7.510ET/178.85mph

Mike Corvo Jr. (Motor Homes Unlimited GMC Sonoma) - "The first session was okay. Part of the problem was me. I've reverted back to my old style of driving. I also think the low gear suffered. We came back and made some changes with the clutch in this Motor Homes Unlimited GMC Sonoma and went in the right direction. Rick (Jones) is making some decisions right now and hopefully we'll come out tomorrow shooting for the front spot. It can definitely go faster. Reher-Morrison has given us real good horsepower." No. 14 qualifier - 7.561ET/178.12mph


Jim Yates (Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Grand Am) - "Well we're consistently slow right now. We've got a problem somewhere in the intake system. The motor is just shutting off in the middle of low gear and we've got to try and come up with a solution for that. We don't know if it's a fuel pressure problem, float problem, carburetor problem or even a mechanical problem. It goes out about 30-40 feet and just tumbles, and then comes back and runs well on the back half of the track. We've got to be careful when we fix it because if we fix it and it makes a lot more power we could go out and shake the tires. So we're going to be playing walking a tight rope. We've got to get this tumble out of the car. If we do we the Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Firebird should run a high 6.80 E.T." No. 9 qualifier - 6.930ET/199.11 mph

Mark Pawuk (Summit Racing Pontiac Grand Am) - "The first session wasn't real good for us but I'm not sure that it was for very many people. We made some changes and the Summit Racing Pontiac Grand Am responded to it. We're happy with being No. 3. We'd like to try and improve from there but definitely try and stay in the top three." No. 3 qualifier - 6.897ET/199.26 mph

Bruce Allen (Reher-Morrison Pontiac Grand Am) - "The day ended up better then it started. It didn't rain and that's a positive. We made some adjustments on our Reher-Morrison Pontiac Grand Am and it made some improvements. We picked up a few spots and hope that tomorrow we can pick up a few more. We're pretty optimistic about improving. The car isn't perfect yet but it's decent. It got down the track and we're pretty happy with that." No. 6 qualifier - 6.919ET/199.17 mph

Warren Johnson (GM Goodwrench Service Plus Pontiac Grand Am) - "Well we survived it. We're qualified so I guess it doesn't get much better than that. We didn't go as fast as we wanted but there's always tomorrow and Sunday is the only one that counts. We've made some changes on this GM Goodwrench Service Plus Pontiac Grand Am, mostly in the chassis and we didn't get the opportunity to test any of it because of the weather conditions. It's kind of responded but not as much as we wanted it to. I'm sure it's got at least two or three-hundredths left in it. We'll be alright." No. 4 qualifier - 6.904ET/200.00mph


Del Worsham (Checker Schuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebird) - "I tell you what, it was having a hard time with the number 8 cylinder on the burnout and backup, it was spewing raw fuel. When we lifted the body my dad and the crew took a good hard look at it and they left it up to me to make the run or shut it off at the line. There wasn't any question in my mind; if it blows up it blows up. We had to go for it. It cleaned right up and just tore down the track. I've never even been close to 316 mph before, my best before that was 310 and that's a pretty big jump. And to reset my career best for E.T. too, that's incredible. You know, even though we smoked the tires in the first run I was pretty confident, because it was faster than the first run but it just barely smoked them. I knew it would go. I'd have to say this was the best session of racing in the history of the Checker-Schuck's-Kragen Pontiac team. And we're thrilled to do it for our friends at Mac Tools. Frankie's run was awesome right in front of us, I just felt like we were going to do it too, and man are we happy." No. 3 qualifier - 4.887ET/316.08mph

Frank Pedregon (Checker Schuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebird) - "I almost can't believe it, but I actually clicked it just a little early. I was driving it around a bit down there and when I lifted I saw I was just then crossing the finish line. I don't know how much quicker it could have been, but maybe a few thousandths. Dave Fletcher is incredible. He never even looked worried after we shook the tires the first lap; he just looked at the computer, made his changes and told me to hold on. Boom, another personal best. After being teammates for a year, Del and I have each had some good days, some good races, and some good laps. But I agree with him, this has to be the best moment in our team's history. Two personal bests, the second and third spots, Del's huge speed. The only thing that could've been better would have been if Force got lost on the way to the starting line and left us in the #1 spot. Leave it to Force to be the last car down the track and knock us off the pole. Oh well, I can't even tell you how thrilled I am for this team. We've got to turn this into a big weekend now, we have to cash in on this performance." No. 2 qualifier - 4.860ET/302.01mph

Al Hofmann (Mac Tools/Mooneyes/Red Line Oil Pontiac Firebird) - "Well we're happy with how things turned out. The first session wasn't good for us but we came out strong in the second session. We're happy to be able to run well for Mac Tools and the rest of our sponsors. It's a good feeling to be able to show a strong effort in front of them and of course the fans. Hopefully tomorrow we can even step up a little more. But this Mac Tools/Mooneyes/Red Line Oil Pontiac Firebird is running well for us right now." No. 6 qualifier - 4.920ET/305.63 mph

-GM Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Clay Millican , Frank Pedregon , Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Darrell Alderman , Kenny Bernstein , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Tony Bartone , Al Hofmann , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Andrew Cowin , Ron Krisher , Jeff Gracia , Randy Daniels , John Lingenfelter , Dale Creasy Jr. , Scotty Cannon , Bruce Allen , Tom Martino , Tim Wilkerson , Johnny Gray , Mike Corvo Jr. , Jerry Toliver , Tommy Johnson Jr.