GMC Racing - Englishtown Preview

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 15, 1999) With the arrival of spring, a young man's thoughts may turn to love and baseball, but in New Jersey it also means that NHRA Championship Drag Racing returns to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park for the 30th annual...

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 15, 1999) With the arrival of spring, a young man's thoughts may turn to love and baseball, but in New Jersey it also means that NHRA Championship Drag Racing returns to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park for the 30th annual Mopar Parts Nationals on May 20 - 23. It is the sixth race on the 14-event Winston Pro Stock Truck schedule. David Spitzer will get his first look at the fabled raceway that has hosted NHRA national events since 1970. His Dynagear Sonoma has battled hard since the team's first race in a GMC at the Gatornationals in March, and he's confident that they will be able to maintain that momentum going into an event where a large field is expected to compete. "Englishtown is one of those race tracks where we have the potential to put up some really good numbers," Spitzer said. "This is the event where the first six-second Pro Stock run was made and the air for the Friday evening qualifying session can be very, very good. That means more horsepower and more speed for the Pro Stock classes. "We've had a few races to shake this mew Sonoma down and each time we make a run down the race track, we learn something else that just makes us a little bit better. But we're getting to the point now where we just aren't going to settle for qualifying well. We want to win some rounds, and some races and make a move in the points standings." In his first race in a Sonoma at the Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., Spizter qualified in the No. 9 position, and then at Houston in one of the largest Pro Stock Truck fields in NHRA history, he qualified 13th. The 30-year-old Spitzer had his best weekend to date at the Pennzoil Nationals in Richmond, Va., where he started final eliminations from the No. 9 position and posted a career-best elapsed time of 7.562 seconds. "It's a lot of work making this truck as fast as it can be and the competition in this class is just phenomenal. But at the same time, everyone on the Steve Schmidt Racing team is having a lot of fun. It's not very often that you get to live your dream and I fell very fortunate that Steve has given me this opportunity." Rick Jones will also be making his first visit to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. After three races in a GMC Pro Stock Truck, the driver of the RJ Race Cars Sonoma continues to improve and hopes to make a big splash in New Jersey. "We've had a lot on our table moving into the new race shop and getting this truck ready to race," said Jones. "Now that we've jumped those hurdles, we are getting more time to work on our setup. We're confident that we can qualify our Sonoma in the top-half of the field at Englishtown and make a run at the front of the pack." A career-best 7.654 seconds in elapsed time at the Pennzoil Nationals in Richmond, Va., was only good enough for the No. 21 qualifying position, but was a testament to the increased competitiveness of the Pro Stock Truck class. "In Richmond, we were able to pick up the pace a little bit, and I think that the testing that we did in Louisville the week prior really helped us in that respect," Jones said. "We made some changes to the RJ Race Cars Sonoma before the final qualifying session that we felt would help us out, but unfortunately we went the wrong way. Even though we didn't make final eliminations, we were able to learn a lot in Richmond. That's what it's going to take for us to be competitive - more runs down the racetrack. "This class is starting to tighten up and this is not a division for the faint of heart. There's a lot of fast trucks out there at every race now and they actually get down the track better than a Pro Stock car. In that sense this class may be the most competitive the NHRA has at this time." Same day television coverage of final eliminations can be seen on ESPN2 on Sunday, May 23, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. Qualifying highlights can be seen on ESPN2 on Sunday, May 23, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Eastern.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Steve Schmidt