U.S. NATIONALS INDIANAPOLIS RACEWAY PARK INDIANAPOLIS, IND. FRIDAY, SEPT. 4, 1998 PRO STOCK -- CAMARO Z28 LARRY MORGAN'S CAMARO Z28 SHINES ITS LIGHTS BRIGHTLY. Fans in the darkness of night qualifying at the U.S. Nationals were treated to a...
U.S. NATIONALS INDIANAPOLIS RACEWAY PARK INDIANAPOLIS, IND. FRIDAY, SEPT. 4, 1998
PRO STOCK -- CAMARO Z28
LARRY MORGAN'S CAMARO Z28 SHINES ITS LIGHTS BRIGHTLY.
Fans in the darkness of night qualifying at the U.S. Nationals were treated to a unique sight -- a Pro Stock car with its headlights shining brightly. Larry Morgan, in the Raybestos Camaro Z28, qualified No. 5 tonight, 7.005/194.84, with the headlights on!
It happens that Larry Morgan and POPULAR HOT RODDING editor Cameron Evans had a deal. Evans, son of television broadcaster Steve Evans, and Larry have been friends since Cam was 6 years old. Larry considered Cam to be his good luck charm. They were talking one day and Larry told Cam that his Camaro racer was the only one out there with the stock headlights on it that were wired. Larry said he would turn them on only at a race that Cam would be attending. Earlier this year, they decided that it would be on Friday night at the U.S. Nationals. POPULAR HOT RODDING recorded this historic event on film and fans who missed it live here in Indianapolis will have the chance to see the photos in an upcoming issue of PHR.
If you're wondering if the car lost power with the headlights on, the answer is no. A small, auxiliary battery was installed to power the lights.
KURT JOHNSON, AC DELCO CAMARO Z28, is No. 2 qualifier, 6.989/196.50, behind his dad Warren, 6.977/197.62.
"That was Mr. Toad's wild ride! I let the clutch out and it blew the tires off and then hooked instantly to the right. I yanked the steering wheel back to the left and the Camaro went into a power wheelstand and carried the front end out there quite a ways. We didn't get any computer data on that run, so we don't really know what happened. Other than that, it wasn't too bad."
TOM HAMMONDS, WINNEBAGO/MAC TOOLS/KENDALL CAMARO Z28, is not qualified right now, he's No. 18, 7.068/195.52.
"I think not only our team but a lot of teams are obviously too heavy on the clutch. They anticipated the track was a lot better. We were the same way. Other than that, I think our Winnebago Camaro ran pretty good. Initially we spun the tires real hard, we had a bad 60-ft. (time). If you don't have a good 60-ft. here you wind up at the bottom. We were 25th in 60-ft. times and that just won't cut it. We spun the tires too hard. We have to take a little clutch out of it and be ready for tomorrow morning." DO YOU THINK YOU'VE LOST YOUR CHANCE OF QUALIFYING WELL SINCE YOU'RE NOT IN THE FIELD AFTER THE COOLER, NIGHT SESSION: "I looked at the conditions last year and I think over half the field last year qualified better the next morning than they did in the Friday night session. If we take enough clutch out of it, our Winnebago Camaro will run fast and get in the show."
FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28
RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, is No. 1 qualifier, 5.023/302.21.
DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING TESTING HERE LAST WEEK?: "We thought the Camaro would run a whole lot better than it did. I thought (John) Force, especially Cruz (Pedregon) and (Chuck) Etchells were going to step up. Roland (Leong, crew chief) said it could run a 4.90, but it moved around and tried to get out of the groove about mid-track. Maybe there was a little dew coming down. I tried to get it back in the groove and finally did. It ran 300 (mph), so I don't think it blew a cylinder out until the end. I thought a lot of guys would step up behind me, but they didn't."
HAVING THE POINTS LEAD, DO YOU FEEL EVERYONE IS GUNNING FOR YOU? "I think it was Jim Head who said to me, how does the pressure feel? Leaving Brainerd it didn't hit home that I won the race. Everyone made a big deal of it. It wasn't until this week that, with all the press and stuff, talking about my not having the points lead then having it, I realized now that people in the past have choked or lost their focus. It's easy to do (that). I haven't slept the greatest this week. Usually I sleep pretty good. I can't wait for this weekend to be over."
WHIT BAZEMORE, TEAM WINSTON CAMARO Z28, is No. 7 qualifier, 5.177/292.87.
"It dropped a cylinder at the hit (of the throttle) and turned right and got out of the groove, but it didn't smoke the tires, probably because it was down on power. We had our hands full trying to fight it. We ran a .17, which was a pretty doggy run. No one ran well. It's hard to believe that all these teams, ourselves included, tested here the other day and we all did very well, and the air is not much different. We thought (John) Force would run a low 4.90 or .80, we thought we would run a low 4.90 or .80. The 5.02 that Capps ran won't last. The race for being low qualifier is still wide open."
CHUCK ETCHELLS, KENDALL/MA MA ROSA'S PIZZA/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, is No. 6 qualifier, 5.127/274.47.
Etchells had a special guest today, defensive lineman Ellis Johnson of the Indianapolis Colts. Drag racing made a definite impression on him.
JOHNSON: "This was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. In facat, I haven't flt anything like this since I first ran nto the fild during my first year at Florida. I've watched drag racing for years on television, and it was grat, but it was nothing like seeing it in person. It is incredible live, I'm really into it now!"
PRO STOCK TRUCK -- CHEVY S-10
Larry Kopp and Jerry Haas are No. 1 and 2 qualifiers. Kopp, in his Accurate Binding/Arma-Coatings/G-Force Transmissions Chevy S-10 is first, 7.721/174.04. Haas, in his Chevy Trucks S-10, is second, 7.741/174.11. Kopp's e.t. is a track record, as is Haas's speed.