Gateway Chevy Pro Stock Truck Review

In Pro Stock Truck Debut, Tim Freeman Takes His Chevy S-10 to Winner's Circle in St. Louis MADISON, Ill.; Saturday, June 27, 1998: Tim Freeman made his Pro Stock Truck debut at the Sears Craftsman Nationals this weekend at ...

In Pro Stock Truck Debut, Tim Freeman Takes His Chevy S-10 to Winner's Circle in St. Louis

MADISON, Ill.; Saturday, June 27, 1998: Tim Freeman made his Pro Stock Truck debut at the Sears Craftsman Nationals this weekend at Gateway International Raceway outside of St. Louis and went home with the trophy and the title. Driving the Anderson Packaging Chevy S-10 campaigned by Kessinger Motorsports, Freeman, of Roan Mountain, Tenn., won his first national event of the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series by defeating the Chevy S-10 of local favorite Jerry Haas in the final.

Freeman's Chevy S-10 is the second compact pickup in this class to be powered by a Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins-built 358 cu. in. Chevy V8 engine, which has proven so effective in this inaugural season of the Pro Stock Truck Series. Points leader Larry Kopp was the first to equip his Accurate Binding/G-Force Transmissions Chevy S-10 with a Jenkins engine and has won three of the five events so far.

"It wasn't easy," said Freeman, a 17-year drag racing veteran, primarily as a Comp Eliminator competitor and crew member. "I thought with Jenkins power and the Jerry Haas chassis we could come here and run good. We wanted to qualify and make a good showing. I felt I was the underdog going in, but Haas builds a great Chevy S-10, and with Bill Jenkins power, we had the right pieces before we came to the track."

Freeman eliminated Ronnie Sox in the first round, then defeated Larry Kopp in the second on a holeshot advantage (.432 to .474). "The target is off my back now," said Kopp, who has been a dominant force this season. "I'd rather lose the way I did than to be late on the starting line and get beat."

In the semifinals Freeman defeated John Lingenfelter's Summit Racing Equipment Chevy S-10, while Jerry Haas, of Fenton, Mo., on the other side of the ladder, disposed of Bill Henderson (Dodge), Scott Tidwell (Chevy), and Todd Patterson (Dodge).

In the final round, it all came down to reaction times, as Haas' .520 was no match for Freeman's .441. Freeman took the win light .012 of a second ahead of Haas. "I'm really disappointed," said Haas, who reached the final round for the first time this season. "Losing right here in my hometown, in front of all my friends and fans, is tough. We had a fast truck all day. Every round my crew had the S-10 flawless. That made me feel good. Tim is a real good driver, and he's got a good combination. I helped put this team together for Jim Kessinger. Maybe I shouldn't do that anymore."

        In points, Kopp still leads, with 504.  Lingenfelter is second
with 360.  David Nickens is third, 342, and Randy Daniels is fourth with
309.  Jerry Haas rounds out the top five, with 296. 

The next Pro Stock Truck event is the Autolite Nationals in Sonoma, Calif., July 24-25.

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Todd Patterson , Larry Kopp , Randy Daniels , John Lingenfelter , Tim Freeman , Jerry Haas