CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES SEARS CRAFTSMAN NATIONALS GATEWAY INTL RACEWAY NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SUNDAY, JUNE 28, 1998 CHEVY CAMAROS SHINE AT GATEWAY INTL RACEWAY PRO STOCK Two of the qualified Camaros advanced to the semifinals.
CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES SEARS CRAFTSMAN NATIONALS GATEWAY INTL RACEWAY NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SUNDAY, JUNE 28, 1998
CHEVY CAMAROS SHINE AT GATEWAY INTL RACEWAY
Two of the qualified Camaros advanced to the semifinals. LARRY MORGAN, RAYBESTOS CAMARO Z28, redlighted in the semis, losing to Jeg Coughlin. Kurt Johnson's Camaro advanced to the final and won.
KURT JOHNSON, AC DELCO CAMARO Z28, won his and the Camaro's first title of the 1998 Pro Stock season, defeating Jeg Coughlin in the final round of the Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill., today (7.056/195.31 to 7.169/194.25).
This was the first win for a Camaro Z28 since 1988, when Harry Scribner defeated Don Beverley's Olds Ciera at the Autolite Nationals in Sonoma, Calif., on a holeshot.
JOHNSON: "Well, it's looking to be a pretty good week. We won the race, and my wife (Kathy) is due to give birth to our second child this Wednesday. That will make two "trophies" in three days! That's awesome!" ON WINNING THE FIRST RACE FOR CAMARO SINCE 1988: "Actually, I thought it was going to be an all-Camaro final with Larry (Morgan). I thought, I can't lose, because that would make Larry the first one to win in a Camaro. That was great. He went to the semis, we got to the final and won. It was a lot of hard work, it's just the guys back at the shop doing their jobs, and the guys here doing their jobs. I'm just the lucky guy who gets the trophy."
All three Camaros (Ron Capps, Whit Bazemore and Chuck Etchells) advanced two rounds today. Etchells then advanced to the final after defeating Whit Bazemore in the semifinals. Capps was also defeated in the semifinals, by eventual winner Frank Pedregon.
CHUCK ETCHELLS, KENDALL/MA MA ROSA'S PIZZA/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, lost to Frank Pedregon (5.295/232.07 to 5.354/259.06). Etchells is chipping away at John Force's points lead. He's only four points behind (815-811). Capps is third with 722.
ETCHELLS: "Last night if you had said we would make it to the final, I would have really doubted it. I think when the NHRA went out and scraped the whole track last night, they really evened out the lanes, which is why you saw good racing out there today. We made three great runs today with a great car, which made for a productive day. We had dropped a cylinder in the semis, so Tim (Richards, crew chief) didn't want to take a chance and decided to change the blower for the final. It dropped a cylinder, which pulled me towards the wall. I stayed with it as long as possible, but knew I'd have to backpedal it to make it to the finish line. I was off the throttle for quite a while with the wheels cut, and when I hit again, it shot right back over. It then burnt a piston downtrack, or else I might have been able to chase him down after he lost the blower belt. We would have loved to win, but we're still happy with our day here. We were able to open up some space on the guys behind us (in points), and we are heading into the West Coast swing a couple of qualifying positions away from John (Force), which I don't think has happened to him in a long time. It's exciting, the Kendall Camaro Z28 is running great, so we'll take a couple of weeks off and head to Denver."
Funny Car Pro Stock John Force 815 Warren Johnson 882 Chuck Etchells 811 Jeg Coughlin 743 Ron Capps 722 Jim Yates 711 Kurt Johnson 667