Houston: Pro Stock Truck wrap up

HOUSTON, Texas (Sunday March 25) - An over night rain has provided excellent racing conditions for the Pro Stock Trucks at today's 14th Annual O'Reilly Nationals in Houston, Texas. The superb conditions produced new national ET and speed records,...

HOUSTON, Texas (Sunday March 25) - An over night rain has provided excellent racing conditions for the Pro Stock Trucks at today's 14th Annual O'Reilly Nationals in Houston, Texas. The superb conditions produced new national ET and speed records, and the first repeat winner of the year.

Today the combination of cool temperatures and sea-level altitude has produced the first Pro Stock Truck run to break the 7.30 barrier. In the first round of eliminations Greg Stanfield, driver of the DBP Enterprises Chevrolet S-10, would pilot his truck to a 7.395 at 182.08 mph to set a new Nationals ET record.

"When I got up and went outside this morning I knew I could run a .30," said Stanfield of Bossier City, La. "The conditions where right, so we changed everything on the truck and took a shot at it. We were not trying to set a record; we just wanted to win the round. I guess the record, and the 20 extra points, is a bonus."

Bob Panella, Jr., driver of the Panella Trucking / Ranger Boats Chevrolet S-10, twice this weekend reset the Pro Stock Truck National Speed record, but his semi-final pass 7.405 at 182.40 mph would top his earlier mile per hour mark and be recorded as a national record.

Randy Daniels, driver of the Bailey Trucking Chevrolet S-10, took the Pro Stock Truck title here today to win his second race of the year on a hole-shot.

Daniels met Winston Champion Bob Panella in the final round of eliminations.

Daniels won the round on a hole-shot. It was his .449 of a second light that made the difference on the top end for Daniels. Panella ran a quicker elapsed time but was unable to close the lead that Daniels took at the starting line. Daniels defeated Panella with a 7.439 / 180.94 mph to Panella's quicker 7.414 / 181.67 mph

"The whole day has been a day," said Daniels of Grantsboro, NC. "Not your typical day at the office. Our Chevy S-10 ran real fast all day long but it seemed like it wanted to come up short each round. The driver wasn't driving good, but the truck was running just good enough. Entering that last round, I felt like we were the underdog. No doubt about it. Bob (Panella) gave me enough room to squeak by on the starting line. Bob left a little bit on the table. He left the door wide open. I sure hadn't earned my keep up until that final round. Both last year and this year a starting line advantage gave me the victory."

On his way to the final round, Daniels would defeat Victor Cagnazzi, Jeff Naiser, and Jeff Gracia.

In his march to the final round, Panella met Charlie Greco, Mike Coughlin, and Greg Stanfield.

Round 1

Brain Self, Lump Cylinder Heads Chevrolet S-10

Self was defeated by Jeff Gracia in the closest race in Pro Stock Truck history. The margin of victory was .0002 of a second.

"Wow, that was a close race! I don't know what to think about loosing by that close. I didn't know who won at the top end. Someone had to tell who the winner was. The margin of victory was .0002 of a second. That is a dead heat in my book."

Joe Pigford, Full Boar Motorsports Chevrolet S-10

Pigford was defeated by Greg Stanfield. Stanfield ran a 7.395, which is the quickest run in Pro Stock Truck history and established a new National ET record for Stanfield.

"If a fella has got to get beat on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, it is good to be beat by a guy who is going to break both ends of the national records today. My hat is off to Greg (Stanfield) and his team for their outstanding performance today."

Victor Cagnazzi, Cagnazzi Motorsports, Chevrolet S-10

"I am very happy with the way we have performed here this weekend. For us to have qualified at both of our first two races is great. I would have liked to have gone a few more rounds today, but we will work a little harder and try and go a few more rounds in Las Vegas."

John Lingenfelter, Summit Racing GMC Sonoma

"We have been battling the chassis all weekend. We made changes this morning to our set up. We took a gamble and we went the wrong way. We have the horsepower to run better. We have just been unable to get the chassis right."

Don Smith, Texas Harley-Davidson Chevrolet S-10

"We just over powered the racetrack all weekend. We have the horsepower to go some rounds, but we are just not getting it to the ground. We are going to go home and get back to work and do it all over again in Las Vegas."

Charlie Greco, Jerry Haas Racing Chevrolet S-10

"I'm just happy to have the opportunity to race on Sunday. Panella is a tough first round draw. He deserves it. He won the round. We left on him slightly and were still ahead at 60-feet. Unfortunately, just after that I went toward the wall. My Chevy S-10 made a violent move to the left. At that point, I decided to save parts and pieces since there was no chance to win. We were there early but the move to the wall changed all that. We'll now move on to Las Vegas."

Craig Eaton, Dodge Motorsports, Dodge Dakota

"We really missed on the clutch set up. The truck was pretty slow at the 60-foot mark and dropped in times throughout. The air was good, but I think the right lane wasn't as good as it could have been. We had a nice weekend and I'm looking forward to Vegas. We'll do some testing and dyno work. We'll be ready."

Todd Patterson, Dodge Motorsports, Dodge Dakota RT

"I had as nice light and got out on him, but Jeff was able to drive by on the top end. We really moved around in the right lane and I thought our clutch was a little off. We're looking good for Las Vegas though."

Round 2

Scott Perin, NAPA Development Chevrolet S-10

"We lost 2 cylinders down track. This has been happening every race. We are pushing out head gaskets and don't know why. I had him at the lights (Perin had a phenomenal .407 light) and would have won if I hadn't lost cylinders. Over all this weekend we are happy with the way the truck has been running. We have been running well since Pomona. We will get them in Las Vegas."

Mike Coughlin, Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet S-10

"We lost the motor. We don't know at this point what went wrong, but we will go home and get back to work. We made changes in our set up over the last week. It seemed to have helped. Right now we are light years ahead of where we were in Pomona. We will be okay."

Mike Corvo, Motorhomes Unlimited GMC Sonoma

Corvo red lit against Greg Stanfield who is the previous round reset the national ET record.

"I was going for it. I knew that he had us cover, and that we couldn't match him ET wise. I knew I would have to win this one on the tree. I had to try. I pick a different spot on the tree and went for it. I knew I was red when I let out the clutch. The upside of the weekend is that this was a repeat of our race in Pomona. We went a couple rounds and have qualified at every race this year. We are happy about that."

Jeff Naiser, NRC Racing Chevrolet S-10

"I am real happy with the way I have done here this weekend. This was my first round win ever, and it was nice to have it come here at my home racetrack with my wife and family here to see it."

Semi-Final Round

Greg Stanfield, DBP Enterprises Chevrolet S-10

"Close but no cigar," said Stanfield of Boosier City, La. "We came up a little short on that last pass. I was out on him a little bit, but it wasn't enough. It was a close race, but I would have rather had that win light"

Jeff Gracia, Panella Trucking Chevrolet S-10

"In the semi-final, the driver should have done a better job. It's difficult to win with a .469 (second) light against the power that Randy Daniels has. We'll just take it to Vegas and give it a go there.

Final Round

Bob Panella, Jr., Panella Trucking / Ranger Boats Chevrolet S-10

"Randy Daniels did a better job than I did. The S-10 is flying but the driver didn't do the job on the starting line. I'll go home do some practicing on the tree (starting lights) and come back swinging in 10 days. I took the left lane that last round even though there's a significant bump in that lane. But it probably didn't matter what lane I was in because a .499 (second) light won't win you a race in either lane. I've got to get that part figured out, do my job better, then look out, " concluded Panella.

The next race on the Nationals Hot Rod Association's regular tour will be the 2nd Annual SummitRacing.Com Nationals April 5-8 in Las Vegas, Nev.

-Patti Miles

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Panella , Todd Patterson , Jeff Gracia , Randy Daniels , Joe Pigford , Mike Coughlin , John Lingenfelter , Greg Stanfield , Jerry Haas