CLERMONT, Ind. (September 4, 2000) - Final eliminations were held today for the 46th annual U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park. PRO STOCK Ron Krisher (Eagle One Pontiac Firebird) - "He (Jeg Coughlin Jr.) had a darn good light to...
CLERMONT, Ind. (September 4, 2000) - Final eliminations were held today for the 46th annual U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Ron Krisher (Eagle One Pontiac Firebird) - "He (Jeg Coughlin Jr.) had a darn good light to beat me and he still almost didn't beat me. Just a little late, not really late because a .414 light is hard to beat. A .459 is not a terrible light by any stretch of the imagination. I just couldn't get this Eagle One Firebird around him. We switched clutch setups today after the first round. I had a .404 reaction time last night in qualifying and a .433 this morning in the first round and then we changed the clutch setup. It picked the car up but it slowed the reaction time down. We'll try again at Englishtown. We ran fast enough to win here. I just need to keep focussed on that tree. I'm not driving bad on the tree but I'm not driving as good as I have been. We're going to have to tighten some things up with this setup and I'm sure we can do that. There's disappointment because I really wanted to win this race really, really bad. But Jeggie did a better job than I did. But I can tell you one thing, I don't have anything against Jeggie. We've been friends a long time with Sue, and Jeg Sr., and they're just good people as far as I'm concerned. There's no animosity whatsoever. There's disappointment in my own performance but not in what they did. They did a good job today. We moved back into second place in the points standings and let me tell you, we figured that out pretty quick. I think we can hang onto it but it will be a battle. There's no catching Jeggie at this point but this second-place thing is going to be fun to watch. What was kind of interesting today was when you got to the final four cars you had numbers one, two three and six in the points battle. Today's race kind of ended up a lot like the way the points race has been for some reason today. Warren Johnson (GM Goodwrench Service Plus Pontiac Firebird) - "A spring out of the fuel pump rotor got caught in the low-pressure fuel regulator. The fuel was going into the carburetors at 40 pounds per square inch pressure and flooded the engine. The emptied the fuel cell in a matter of seconds. When we took out the spark plugs every cylinder was full of gasoline."
Mark Osborne (Pontiac Firebird) - "We did have a good weekend. I was tickled to be No. 1 qualifier at the U.S. Nationals but I wish we could have won a couple of more rounds - at least one or two. But maybe we can do that at Reading. I'm hoping to get my confidence level up a little bit, bounce back and maybe get a win. During the last two years me and Jeggie (Coughlin) have battled it racing each other. In '98 I beat him five times and this year he's beat me twice. I finally qualify good and he takes me out in the first round. Those guys are good racers and they're not going to lay down just because they didn't qualify good."
Mark Pawuk (Summit Racing Pontiac Firebird) - "The Summit Racing Pontiac Firebird was consistent all weekend and that was the key. We ran really good in the first round, had a good second round and got a break with a red light, but we missed the tune up in the semifinals and that hurt us. This is the place to win. Everyone is working real hard and as long we keep making consistent runs when we come back to the east coast we should be okay. The car's running better again and that's encouraging. This weekend was very tough with the heat and it kind of took it out of us. I'll get back to work and get caught up there and get ready to go racing again."
Terry Adams (Crew Chief -- Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Firebird) - "Basically we came here and dug ourselves in a big hole. Yesterday afternoon we hit on a combination that looked like it was going to work. This morning we tuned on that combination and ran the quickest numbers out of the right lane. We were the second fastest car overall for speed so we're pretty excited about going to the make up race in Englishtown. I think if we leave this Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Firebird alone and keep this combination in the car we'll be pretty good. Overall we're pretty confident that we'll have a good racecar next weekend." Bruce Allen (Reher-Morrison Pontiac Firebird) - "We wish the weekend had turned out a little different. We ran into some problems with the oil leak on Saturday and then got further behind. We changed engines this morning and didn't make a good run out of that lane. But that's what happens when you don't have lane choice and you're in the worst of the two lanes. That's just part of it, and why you need to run well in qualifying so that you do secure lane choice because that gives you more control of the situation. We didn't do that and we paid the price in round one."
Brad Jeter (Dynagear Pontiac Firebird) - "I learned that we've got some bad luck right now and I wish we could get some good luck going our way. All in all I think we're gaining on it. This is only the second race where I've done this new clutch deal and I think we're getting there. I think we'll be all right for Englishtown and a good opportunity for us to win a race. We're dog-gone sure going to be trying. We have good power in this Dynagear Firebird and if I can just get the clutch right we'll win a race."
Cruz Pedregon (Teller Quick Pontiac Firebird) - "We had good day and overall it was a good weekend for us. We did what we wanted to do and after we started going rounds it became very evident that we could win this race. My intentions were to bring enough equipment to the event that we got past the first couple of rounds. We had a little bit of bad luck in the first round against Cristen (Powell). We had a fuel lever vibrate, it halfway closed and the Teller Quick Firebird only ran a 5.12. In the second round it picked up to a 5.01, which was our best time of the weekend, and then it getting ready to run at least five flat or a 4.99 when the engine just quit. We don't know why yet. I'm proud of all the guys on my team because they made a tremendous showing. It's the biggest race of the year and I feel good about what we were able to accomplish. My goal was to make a good showing and maybe get that big sponsor who will sign that check so that we can race full time. I really feel that I'm doing the right thing as an owner and a driver. I've proven that I can drive and still concentrate on running the team. I had really good reaction times today. It's kind of like Force. When you put that helmet on everything else is put on the backburner. When it's on you're a racecar driver, when you take it off you're a businessman. I can separate the two. From here we'll run a very limited schedule. I know that next week we'll run the Englishtown race to fulfill our commitment to Pontiac and Mac Tools." Tommy Johnson Jr. (Hofmann Racing Pontiac Firebird) - "It shook the tires like crazy and I had to pedal it. Actually we were probably lucky to run a 5.09. We missed the tune up just a touch because of the weather change but we weren't too far off. For as bad as the run was the final numbers weren't too bad. All in all, putting the Hofmann Racing Pontiac Firebird on the pole and coming out here today we didn't do too bad this weekend."
Tim Wilkerson (Levi Ray & Shoup Pontiac Firebird) - "We had a hole in the airline running from the air tank to the main system so it had no air during the run. Plus the cam didn't move, the fuel system didn't work, nothing worked. So as soon as we got out there we ran out of clutch. We knew this Firebird would come around we just ran out of qualifying runs. We're pleased with the weekend and the old car acts like she's back anyway. We'll go to the next race, put all of our junk in a pile and see if we can't prevent these kind of problems. We have a lot of nice parts and a lot of good help so we'll be ready for Reading."
Del Worsham (Checker Schuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebird) -- "I am stunned. I really don't know what the deal is. Why is this stuff happening? We work hard, we do the right things, and we get no breaks. This year must be the year we learn how to be champions, because if we run this well next year, and get a few breaks, we'll win a lot of rounds and a lot of races. I think what we're supposed to learn this year is how to never give up. If we're supposed to be learning how not to be mad and frustrated, we're failing the course. I've never been so upside down in my life."
Frank Pedregon (Checker Schuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebird) -- "It felt solid. The guys did a great job fixing the chassis. It went straight and felt fine, but something sounded off with the motor and it didn't surprise me when it dropped a hole. When it did, it pulled straight for the center line and that was it. I'm pleased with how we qualified here, but I'm ready to get to Englishtown."
Bruce Sarver (e-moola.com Pontiac Firebird) - It started out as a frustrating weekend and then we found out we had ignition problems. We tested well here last week and felt like we had a 4.90 racecar and possibly a 4.80 car. But we got behind and never were able to get after it. We didn't get to run hard until today. In the first round the e-moola.com Pontiac Firebird ran a 5.06. Then in the second against Ronnie, we stepped it way up and ran a 4.95. e knew they were going to run hard but we didn't expect them to run that good. It was a good drag race. We have some data from the last two runs and we'll be heading to some racetracks with good starting lines. We just have to get our car to run a little quicker in the first 300 feet and we'll be in the hunt with the rest of them. Capps car is by far faster than anybody to 300 feet. It's just an animal. But we ran him down there at the end and made it look good."