Baytown, Texas - - Charlie Greco, from St. Davids, Penn., in a Jerry Haas prepared Chevy S-10, voted himself into the field for tomorrow's eliminations at the NHRA O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil. Although he didn't improve his elapsed...
Baytown, Texas - - Charlie Greco, from St. Davids, Penn., in a Jerry Haas prepared Chevy S-10, voted himself into the field for tomorrow's eliminations at the NHRA O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil. Although he didn't improve his elapsed time and speed today, he held onto the 16th and final qualified position on the strength of yesterday's second pass of 7.511 seconds at 179.23 mph
Greco will face the number one qualifier Bob Panella, who set both ends of the NHRA national record (elapsed time and speed) with a pass of 7.420 seconds at 182..11 mph, when eliminations begin tomorrow at Houston Raceway Park at 12 noon (ET).
"Well, we survived and made the field," said Greco. "We go up against Panella tomorrow. That should be interesting. We'll be there tomorrow and give it our best. After missing the field in Gainesville, it's good to be racing here in Houston on Sunday.
"It was an up and down weekend. We started off slow, picked it up on the second run, then got lost on the third session, and then, in the final session, went back to our combination that ran the 51 (7.511 seconds) yesterday. All in all we made a couple strides forward. Our 60-foot times are coming around. If you can have good 60-foot times, that usually translates in multiples on the top end. We'll just have to keep coming back at them. All in all, I'm happy for Jerry (Haas), (Bill) Jenkins, and my whole crew."
With qualifying for the NHRA O'Reilly Nationals in the history book, Matt Rhoades, from Lake Havasu City, Ariz., finished the day in the 21st position. He guided his Chevy S-10 down the Houston Raceway Park quarter-mile in 7.562 seconds at 178.85 mph in yesterday's second session but, unfortunately for Rhodes and Team Haas, it wasn't quick enough to make the field of 16 that will begin eliminations tomorrow.
"Yes, we are disappointed but I'm on a learning curve. We spent the weekend looking for the right combination but so far we haven't found one that we are happy with. The good news is that we're close. Every pass was a better pass, we're going to take our time to find the right set up and then we can race with them on Sunday, " said Rhoades.
"To even qualify our Chevy S-10 in a class like Pro Stock Truck is tough. It is arguably the tightest and closest racing out there. It's the small things that keep me going. Nothing beats seat time and I'm getting that each race. When we find the right combination, we have the best equipment and chassis out there. We're going to be there.
"Las Vegas is the next race. That's my home track and hometown. I'm ready to go. I think Jerry (Haas), and crew chiefs Jimmy Gunther and Bob Shawcross will have a combination figured out by then. I would love to make the Vegas race the first race that I qualify at."
The second annual SummitRacing.com Nationals unfolds at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, April 5-8.