Joliet: Chevrolet qualifying notes

JOLIET, Ill., June 2, 2001 - After intermittent showers throughout the day, the field is set for the 4th annual Lucas Oil Products Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. In Pro Stock Truck, Scott Perin is the No. 1 qualifier for the first time this...

JOLIET, Ill., June 2, 2001 - After intermittent showers throughout the day, the field is set for the 4th annual Lucas Oil Products Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. In Pro Stock Truck, Scott Perin is the No. 1 qualifier for the first time this season in an S-10 with a track-record elapsed time of 7.423 seconds at 181.08 mph. Bob Panella set a speed track record running 181.67 mph with an elapsed time of 7.442 for the second spot in the Panella Chevy S-10. Don Smith is third in an S-10, Todd Patterson is fourth in a Dodge Dakota and Jeff Gracia rounds out the top five in a Sonoma. Randy Daniels drove the Bailey Trucking Chevy S-10 to the eighth spot and John Coughlin is 14th. Mike Coughlin finished the day 18th.

Mike Edwards drove the Young Life Chevy Cavalier to his third Pro Stock pole position of the season with a track-record elapsed time of 6.842 seconds at 200.50 mph. Teammate Ron Krisher in the Eagle One Chevy Cavalier is third, Jim Yates is second in a Grand Am, Mark Pawuk is fourth in a Grand Am and Troy Coughlin rounds out the top five in the Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier. Jeg Coughlin is qualified 13th.

For the eighth time in ten races, the quickest Funny Car field was set with a bump of 4.900 seconds. Ron Capps set a career-best elapsed time of 4.808 seconds at 306.95 mph to take the No. 4 qualifying position and lead all Chevy Camaros. John Force set a national-record elapsed time of 4.763 seconds at a track-record speed of 320.05 mph to lead the field. Dean Skuza is second in a Dodge RT, Tony Pedregon is third in a Mustang and Scotty Cannon is fifth in a Firebird. Jim Epler rounded out the Camaros in the 15th position.

In Top Fuel, team Chevrolet driver, Larry Dixon, drove the Miller Lite dragster to the No. 2 position with an elapsed time of 4.504 seconds at a career-best speed of 326.00 mph. Kenny Bernstein is the No. 1 qualifier with a national-record elapsed time of 4.477 seconds at 330.88 mph.

The Lucas Oil Products Nationals is the tenth race on the 24-event NHRA Winston championship tour. Same-day coverage of final elimination's can be seen on ESPN on Sunday, June 3, starting at 7 p.m. Eastern.


Scott Perin (Napa Development Chevy S-10) - "The conditions were great out there today. Our Chevy S-10 ran great. It impressed us on how well it ran. We've found a lot more power and it showed today. It feels great to be No. 1. It's the first time ever that we've been number one so it feels pretty good. We never thought it would come this early. Now we know we can do it, and hopefully we'll do it again before the season is up. The team has really worked hard and they are the reason I'm here. They've been working hard and working together. I'm very pleased with how things are going for us right now. Tomorrow will probably be different then today as far as the weather is concerned. Lane choice is going to be a big factor tomorrow. We're going to try and keep lane choice and try and win this thing tomorrow. That would top the weekend off." No. 1 qualifier - 7.423ET/181.08MPH

Bob Panella (Panella Trucking Chevy S-10) - "First of all I'm really happy for my teammate Jeff Gracia on winning the Holley Dominator Duel, on the other hand I hate to lose anytime, but to lose to my teammate makes it a semi-sweet situation. I've been having trouble in that left lane all weekend. The truck wants to launch toward the left wall. I need to get that straightened out before tomorrow or it could be a long day. I'm happy that Jeff got his first win in a prestigious event like the Holley Dominator Duel. It's the first of many for him." No. 2 qualifier - 7.442ET/181.67MPH

John Coughlin (Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet S-10) - "I knew that it was going to be close at the finish line. We just needed a little but more under the hood of the Jeg's machine. We knew what we had to do coming into the final session and Team Jeg's got it done. We will be ready in the morning to make some noise in the Jeg's Chevy S-10." No. 14 qualifier - 7.499ET/179.18MPH


Mike Edwards (Young Life Chevrolet Cavalier) - "That was probably one of the best Pro Stock sessions ever this year. The conditions changed a lot over the day and they changed for the better. That Pro Stock class is tough. It's so hard to compete in this class. I tell you what that Young Life Chevy Cavalier made two really good runs today. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. It's thanks to the good Lord that I kept the No. 1 qualifying spot. We had about 12 kids from the Young Life organization in the stands today and I'm glad we could do so well for them. Just to get qualified in this field is an accomplishment. Even though I'm number one, I've got Darrell Alderman in the first round tomorrow. That's not an easy match-up. If you can get off the starting line, anyone could win the race. No. 1 qualifier - 6.842ET/200.50MPH

Ron Krisher (Eagle One Chevrolet Cavalier) - "We're having trouble getting the car to the 60-foot line. It's the same problem we've been having. We are starting to sneak up on it but it's slow going. We moved some things around and spent Tuesday and Wednesday at Bickel's. We were hoping to get some testing in but it rained. We're out running everyone but Mike (Edwards). Both cars are running really well and I'm happy with that. Every round we are improving and that's what we want. Hopefully we can get one of our cars in the winner circle tomorrow." No. 3 qualifier - 6.851ET/200.11MPH

Jeg Coughlin (Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier) - "The car moved around a little through the top of second gear and then settled down quickly. From that point the Jeg's Chevy Cavalier rocketed down to the big end. We are moving in the right direction. We need to work on the first 60-feet of the track and everything else will fall into place. Tomorrow will be a new day and we will be ready." No. 13 qualifier - 6.881ET/199.58mph

Troy Coughlin (Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier) - "We made a clean run from start to finish in the third session. The Jeg's machine went straight from start to finish. We were a little aggressive through the top of low gear and we know that we could have made a better run. This is the best string of runs that we have put together on my Jeg's Chevrolet Cavalier since we got it. The guys are doing a great job and everyone is focused on making the best possible run every chance we get." No. 5 qualifier - 6.857ET/200.17MPH


Ron Capps (Skoal Racing Chevrolet Camaro) - "It's kind of funny, we run our career best, 4.80 and we're fourth. It did some weird things on that last run, some things I've never felt before in the car, and I had to lift early. It just quit running at the end. I think we could've run even better. It's been a pretty good weekend overall. We've been on an emotional roller coaster because it would rain then stop and so forth. It's hard for our team to get excited when our teammate is struggling. On the other hand the field is the quickest again and we're apart of it. It's pretty neat. Although I don't think we'll see that again for a while after this race. But it is cool for the category. As for tomorrow, we're just going to try and go rounds and catch (John) Force. We've got to stop him from running away with the championship again. He's a great driver and has an awesome program but we're going to try and stay close to him this year. He's got a great team and Austin Coil, his crew chief knows what he's doing. But on the other hand our team is good too, and we are just going to stay focused and keep working hard." No. 4 qualifier - 4.808ET/306.95MPH

Bob Gilbertson (FMTV Chevy Camaro) - "We're getting our kicks on Route 66. I swear it's awesome. To think we would snub a 4.87 hoping it would be a 4.80 or 4.82 is impressive. It reminds me when we would be disappointed at the moment our car would run a 5.03 time thinking how can we go any quicker. We've very proud to be a part of the quickest field ever and I'm totally happy. It's very rare to get a day like this. This kind of weather comes along just once in a blue moon. We hope to run well tomorrow against Wilkerson and there are no guarantees and anything can happen. It will be a true battle of the crew chiefs and we're excited to have Paul Smith as ours. The great guys on our TEAM FMTV have proven their talents this weekend and we'll roll the dice and see what happens."


Larry Dixon (Miller Lite Dragster) - "Well, the way everyone was firing off those times in that last session it was like being in Houston in the winter time testing. It's great for our team to be this close to Milwaukee, Miller Lite's home, and to be able to be running well. The runs have felt strong through the middle. It felt real strong through the middle. We're creeping back up into the 4.40's where we were a few years ago. Running my career-best speed is great too. The team is working real hard. I give all the credit to Dick Lahaie and the crew. Hopefully we can go some rounds tomorrow and try and catch Kenny (Bernstein) in the points battle. We'll just take it one round at a time." No. 2 qualifier - 4.504ET/326.00MPH

-GM Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Troy Coughlin , Bob Panella , Larry Dixon , Darrell Alderman , Kenny Bernstein , Mark Pawuk , Bob Gilbertson , Jim Epler , Tony Pedregon , Dean Skuza , Ron Capps , John Force , Ron Krisher , Todd Patterson , Jeff Gracia , Randy Daniels , Mike Coughlin , Austin Coil , Mike Edwards , Paul Smith