Gainesville: Team Haas final qualifying

Gainesville, Fla. - - It was a small improvement for Charlie Greco, as the final two sessions for the NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals began. In Saturday's first of two qualifying session, Greco, in a Haas prepared and owned Chevy S-10, recorded a...

Gainesville, Fla. - - It was a small improvement for Charlie Greco, as the final two sessions for the NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals began. In Saturday's first of two qualifying session, Greco, in a Haas prepared and owned Chevy S-10, recorded a pass 7.667 second at 177.42 mph. After three qualifying sessions, the 50-year-old, second year driver from St. Davids, Penn., found himself in the 32nd position on the grid.

In the second and final qualifying session today, Greco knocked off a tenth off his elapsed time when he crossed the finish line in 7.565 seconds at 178.97 mph. This was an improvement, but not enough of an improvement to get into the top 16. Greco finished in the 28th spot.

"We chased this truck all weekend. The clutch gave us fits. It wanted more clutch. We gave it more clutch. Then we would run through that set up and it would want more clutch again. It was that way all weekend. Even though it's a short week (with a race next weekend) we'll regroup and come up with a plan that we hope will make this Chevy S-10 a contender at Houston. We're out of this one, but we're not down on ourselves. We've got good power and good equipment, so we'll go to Houston and start over," said an optimistic Greco.

Rookie Matt Rhoades recorded a career best elapsed time at the NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals, during the first of Saturday's two sessions. Rhoades, from Lake Havasu City, Ariz., guided his Jerry Haas owned and prepared Chevy S-10 down the Gainesville Raceway in 7.522 seconds at 179.11 mph. This bettered his mark of 7.552 seconds set at the season-opening AutoZone Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., and placed Rhoades 19th after three qualifying sessions.

Although his elapsed time of 7.544 seconds didn't help improve Rhoades' position in the final qualifying session, his speed of 179.40 mph continued to show the power that the engine of Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins is producing. The speed is a career best and better the standard of 179.35 mph he set in Pomona. Based on his pass this morning of 7.522 seconds, Rhoades finished in 20th position but the consistency of the four passes yesterday and today will give Rhoades' team owner Jerry Haas something to build upon next weekend in Houston at the O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil.

"We never could get Rhoades' truck to live up to its full potential this weekend," said Haas. "We will review the computer data for each pass we made this weekend and make the necessary adjustments to insure that Rhoades' Chevy S-10 is the field next weekend in Houston. I don't know if it will be an easy fix, but I do know that it is fixable."

-Mickey Schultz

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Rhoades , Jerry Haas