GMC Sonoma Racing Gainesville Thrusday Report

GMC SONOMA NOTES & QUOTES 30th ANNUAL MAC TOOLS GATORNATIONALS THURSDAY, MARCH 18, 1999 GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 18, 1999) - GMC made its debut today in the NHRA Winston Championship Drag Racing series with 30-year-old ...

GMC SONOMA NOTES & QUOTES 30th ANNUAL MAC TOOLS GATORNATIONALS THURSDAY, MARCH 18, 1999 GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 18, 1999) - GMC made its debut today in the NHRA Winston Championship Drag Racing series with 30-year-old Indianapolis native Dave Spitzer behind the wheel of the Steve Schmidt-owned Pro Stock Sonoma. During the first qualifying session, Spitzer busted into the16 truck field by qualifying in the No. 9 position with an elapsed time of 7.652 seconds at 175.87 mph.

Dave Spitzer - "We were pretty happy with that first run but feel like there's a lot left in this GMC Sonoma. It spun the tires hard right off the line but we feel like all of the ingredients are in place to run in the 7.50's and tomorrow morning we may have that opportunity. The key will be to get a handle on the tire spin. We've been testing a lot recently and doing pretty well but this is a whole new ball game and we knew that coming in here today. This is the debut for the GMC Sonoma in this series so we want to make a good showing, be competitive and be racing on Saturday. There was a little pressure this morning before the first qualifying session. Everyone's been scrambling and working hard to get this truck ready and I think we were successful. We have a good baseline to work off now and from here we can start fine tuning the setup on this Sonoma."

The second qualifying session, run in the warmer part of the day, saw Spitzer's performance number drop to 7.676 seconds.

Spitzer - "After the first day I can say that things are going according to plan for the GMC Sonoma Pro Stock truck program. We feel like there's a lot left in the truck. The track's pretty slippery still and on the last run we lost almost four hundredths to 60-foot. We still only ran two hundredths slower during the entire run than we did on the first run. I think tomorrow morning though will be the decisive session. We did quite a bit of dyno work to get ready and we've been working on the truck itself pretty hard to get ready for this race. We went through the truck from top to bottom and we fixed a lot of stuff in preparation for the Gatornationals. We made seven flawless runs at Bradenton so when we came here, we were pretty confident that we could maintain that level of performance. The truck feels pretty comfortable and I can feel when it shakes or if it's missing out or if we need to come back and make any adjustments. It's nice to know that you can make a run, come back and feel confident with whatever changes you have to make."

There will be two additional qualifying sessions on Friday, March 19 with final eliminations beginning on Saturday, March 20. Same day final round television coverage of the 30th Annual Mac Tools Gatornationals can be seen on Sunday, March 21 on ESPN2 beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern. ESPN2 will televise one hour of qualifying highlights beginning at 5 p.m. Eastern on Friday, March 19.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Steve Schmidt