Houston: Panella hopes to crank it up a notch

Baytown, Texas - - A red-light in the final round at last year's O'Reilly Nationals prevented Bob Panella, from Stockton, Calif., from a chance at the winner's circle. This year the reigning Winston Pro Stock Truck champion hopes to crank it...

Baytown, Texas - - A red-light in the final round at last year's O'Reilly Nationals prevented Bob Panella, from Stockton, Calif., from a chance at the winner's circle. This year the reigning Winston Pro Stock Truck champion hopes to crank it up a notch as the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series moves to Houston Raceway Park for this weekend's O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil.

At the Mac Tools Gatornationals last weekend, all elimination rounds were rained out and rescheduled for Saturday, April 21 (with a Test and Tune session on Friday, April 20). "It really doesn't bother me that we didn't get the race in. I mean who wants to go back, but we've got to do what we've got to do. We should've performed better at Gainesville. Don't get me wrong, we did run well but there's a lot left in this S-10," said Panella.

"We should have similar track conditions at Houston, at least that's how it was last year. We've got a lot of potential left and hopefully we can get the advantage back. Sometimes our team comes around on race day and we do better. But I'm looking forward to going back to racing at Houston and trying some of the stuff that I think needs to be changed in the areas we're lacking. It's getting tougher and tougher in this field and you've got to make really good runs all the time. We've got as much power as anybody, we just haven't adjusted to it properly yet and I can't wait until that happens," added Panella. "I plan to crank it up a notch and see what happens."

Panella holds the Houston Raceway Park track record for elapsed time at 7.494 seconds. The two-time NHRA Winston Pro Stock Truck champion also holds the national elapsed time record of 7.428 seconds, which he set at Memphis Motorsports Park, the first weekend of October 2000. "You know if anyone's going to set the record it's either going to be at Gainesville or Houston, and getting that extra 20 points would be nice. We kind of gave up our chance at Gainesville, so hopefully, we'll get another chance at Houston. Whether we get the record or not is irrelevant. I just want to be comfortable with my runs and if I get the record that would be a bonus. The points would help us out a lot, too."

-BPR

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Panella