Joliet: Chevy race wrap-up

Mike Edwards Puts Cavalier In Winner's Circle Scott Perin Gets First Career Win In S-10 JOLIET, Ill., June 3, 2001 - Last week, Mike Edwards turned the wrenches on teammate Ron Krisher's Eagle One Chevy Cavalier as it marched to the winner's ...

Mike Edwards Puts Cavalier In Winner's Circle
Scott Perin Gets First Career Win In S-10

JOLIET, Ill., June 3, 2001 - Last week, Mike Edwards turned the wrenches on teammate Ron Krisher's Eagle One Chevy Cavalier as it marched to the winner's circle at Topeka's Heartland Park. This weekend, Edwards drove the Young Life Chevy Cavalier to his first Pro Stock victory of the season at the Lucas Oil Products NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.

"This feels awesome," exclaimed Edwards. "I guess it's been about a year and eight months since I last had this experience (Memphis '99). We qualified really well at the beginning of the year but we just couldn't get it done on Sunday. (Teammate) Ron (Krisher) put it together last week and won Topeka, and then for us to back it up with a win today is just great for the team."

The 43-year-old Oklahoma native dominated during qualifying getting his third pole of the season and didn't look back when eliminations began this morning. He defeated Darrell Alderman in round one, Larry Morgan in round two, and Warren Johnson in round, running consistent elapsed times all afternoon. Edwards turned a 6.819 e.t. in the first session, a 6.829 e.t. in round two and a 6.827 e.t in the semifinals. The championship round against Jim Yates proved to be more of the same with the Young Life Chevy Cavalier sprinting to the finish line in 6.848 seconds at 200.23 mph. Yates' Grand Am crossed the strip in 6.888 seconds at 200.11 mph.

"There's nothing like winning, said Edwards. "It's been a great weekend for Mike Edwards, Lisa Edwards and this whole Young Life team. This Chevy Cavalier was just flawless. We made eight runs this weekend, and out of all eight runs I don't think we had but maybe one that was a little off. My hat's off to my entire team, and I want to give a special thanks to my longtime friend - she's been like a mom to me - Mary Lou Kite. Most of all I want to thank the Lord; without him this wouldn't be possible. I also want to thank Young Life and all the kids that support us, they've been a real blessing."

This is Edwards ninth career win in 17 final-round appearances, and his first trip this year to a championship heat. After 10 races Edwards moves all the way up to fifth in the Winston points standings.

In Pro Stock Truck, Scott Perin demonstrated a little high-performance dominance of his own by getting his first career win in the Napa Development Chevy S-10. Perin defeated Greg Stanfield who fouled at the starting line with a red light. Perin took the Pro Stock Truck victory with an 8.117 elapsed time in the title session. The last time Perin had raced in a national-event final was at the U.S. Nationals in 1999.

"It really hasn't hit yet, said Perin. "I'm sure when it does we'll be ecstatic and we'll be doing some celebrating back at the trailer tonight. We certainly never expected to win here and stay in the top half of the field, but we did it."

Perin had the truck to beat all weekend getting another first in his career - becoming the number one qualifier with an elapsed time of 7.423 seconds. In final eliminations he battled his way by Scott Tidwell, Taylor Lastor and Todd Patterson before matching up against Stanfield.

"There are a lot of tough competitors in this class, and you really have to be consistent, explained Perin. "I made a mistake last week just pushing too hard to win and it cost me. I'm just glad to have the opportunity to compete against the likes of Patterson and Stanfield and be the No. 1 qualifier."

Jim Epler drove the Racing Champions Chevy Camaro Funny Car to his first semifinal appearance of the season defeating Dean Skuza in round one and Tim Wilkerson in round two before falling to Del Worsham in round three.

"The biggest reason that today was a great day for the Etchells Racing Team was that I think we may have finally turned the corner on performance," said Epler. "Even though we lost that semifinal race to Del, we were ahead at a thousand-feet; the car was running really well. Our Chevy Camaro was smooth and did everything we wanted it to do. It was in the groove the whole time, and we just had a little too much spoiler on it, which hurt our speed. Fortunately, that's an easy fix. I believe we're really close to being able to run in the low 4.80s and 4.70s, which is what you have to do to be competitive in Funny Car."

The final round was a rematch from Houston with Del Worsham and John Force. The outcome was the same with Worsham winning on a hole shot (.482) with an elapsed time of 4.811 seconds at 314.39 mph to Force's (.494) elapsed time of 4.805 seconds at 321.19 mph.

Team Chevrolet driver Larry Dixon went to his eighth semifinal of the season going head to head with Gary Scelzi. Dixon ran an elapsed time of 4.533 seconds at 320.55 mph but it wasn't enough, as Scelzi went on to get the win light with an elapsed time of 4.503 seconds at 318.02 mph.

"That was an all out good drag race, said Dixon. "We obviously wished that we were the ones that won but we're happy with how the dragster is running. We ran consistent all weekend and were hoping to get another win and try and catch Bernstein in the points race. But as it turned out he was unstoppable again this week. He is running very strong. (Gary) Scelzi, (Mike) Dunn, and (Doug) Kalitta are running well too. The competition is great. We will try again in Columbus. We're happy that we're in the thick of the points race. As long as the Miller Lite dragster keeps performing the way it has, then we should stay in the hunt for the championship. (Crew Chief) Dick Lahaie and the whole team have worked really hard all weekend. I give them a lot of credit, especially with the weather conditions changing so much this weekend. We'll be ready to go again in Columbus."

Dixon defeated Bobby Baldwin in round one and Rhonda Hartman-Smith in round two before losing to Scelzi. Kenny Bernstein defeated Scelzi in the finals with an elapsed time of 4.546 seconds at 322.81 mph to get his fourth victory of the season. Scelzi smoked the tires and coasted to a 7.197 elapsed time at 109.25 mph. Dixon stays second in the Winston points standings behind Bernstein.

In the Sportsman categories it was Lynn Ellison taking the win in Super Stock in a 1967 Camaro defeating Bill Rowe Jr. Bryan Robinson won in Super Gas in a '63 Corvette beating out Scott Fitzgibbon.

The next stop on the NHRA Winston Drag Racing tour is the Pontiac Excitement Nationals presented by Summit Racing at National Trail Raceway in Kirkersville, Ohio on June 14-17. <pre> Pro Stock Truck Race Winner: Scott Perin (Chevy S-10) 8.117ET/121.65MPH Pro Stock Truck Runner-Up: Greg Stanfield (Chevy S-10) 8.642ET/115.17MPH Chevy Pro Stock Truck semifinalist: Scott Perin, Greg Stanfield, Victor Cagnazzi Pro Stock Truck Top Qualifier: Scott Perin (Chevy S-10) 7.423ET (track record)/181.08MPH

Pro Stock Truck Top 10: 1. Greg Stanfield (Chevy S-10) 2. Bob Panella (Chevy S-10) 3. Randy Daniels (Chevy S-10) 4. Jeff Gracia (Sonoma) 5. Scott Perin (Chevy S-10) 6. Don Smith (Chevy S-10) 7. Todd Patterson (Dodge) 8. Jeff Naiser (Chevy S-10) 9. Mike Coughlin (Chevy S-10) 10. Victor Cagnazzi (Chevy S-10)

Pro Stock Race Winner: Mike Edwards (Chevy Cavalier) 6.848ET/200.23MPH Pro Stock Runner-Up: Jim Yates (Pontiac Grand Am) 6.888ET/200.11MPH Chevy Pro Stock semifinalist: Mike Edwards Pro Stock Top Qualifier: Mike Edwards (Chevy Cavalier) 6.842ET /200.50MPH

Pro Stock Top 10: 1. Jim Yates (Grand Am) 2. Mark Pawuk (Grand Am) 3. Warren Johnson (Grand Am) 4. Jeg Coughlin (Cavalier) 5. Mike Edwards 6. Kurt Johnson (Cavalier) 7. Ron Krisher 8. Mark Osborne (Dodge) 9. Bruce Allen (Grand Am) 10. Richie Stevens (Firebird)

Funny Car Winner: Del Worsham (Pontiac Firebird)- 4.811ET/314.39MPH (holeshot) Funny Car Runner-Up: John Force (Mustang) - 4.805ET/321.19MPH Chevy Funny Car semifinalist: Jim Epler Funny Car Top Qualifier: John Force (Mustang) 4.763ET (national record)/320.05MPH

Funny Car Top 10: 1.John Force (Mustang) 2. Ron Capps (Chevy Camaro) 3. Bruce Sarver (Pontiac Firebird) 4. Del Worsham (Pontiac Firebird) 5. Whit Bazemore (Pontiac Firebird) 6. Frank Pedregon (Pontiac Firebird) 7. Tony Pedregon (Mustang) 8. Gary Densham (Mustang) 9. Dean Skuza (Dodge R/T) 10. Tommy Johnson Jr. (Chevy Camaro)

Top Fuel Winner: Kenny Bernstein 4.546ET/322.81MPH Top Fuel Runner-Up: Gary Scelzi 7.197ET/109.25MPH Chevy Top Fuel semifinalist: Larry Dixon Top Fuel Top Qualifier: Kenny Bernstein 4.477ET (national record)/330.88MPH

Top Fuel Top 10: 1. Kenny Bernstein 2. Larry Dixon 3. Mike Dunn  4. Doug Kalitta 5. Gary Scelzi
6. Darrell Russell  7. Tony Schumacher  8. Doug Herbert  9. David Grubnic  10. Rhonda-Hartman-Smith

-GM Racing-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Bruce Sarver , Frank Pedregon , Jeg Coughlin , Bob Panella , Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Darrell Alderman , Kenny Bernstein , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Jim Epler , Tony Pedregon , Dean Skuza , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Rhonda Hartman-Smith , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Ron Krisher , Larry Morgan , Todd Patterson , Jeff Gracia , Randy Daniels , Mike Coughlin , David Grubnic , Gary Densham , Greg Stanfield , Bruce Allen , Mike Edwards , Tommy Johnson Jr.