Joliet: GM Racing Friday qualifying

JOLIET, Ill., June 1, 2001 - Qualifying for the 4thannual Lucas Oil Products NHRA Nationals got underway today at Route 66 Raceway. Mike Dunn in Top Fuel qualified No. 1 in the Gwynn/Steinbrenner/Yankee GMC Dragster at 4.559 seconds and a new...

JOLIET, Ill., June 1, 2001 - Qualifying for the 4thannual Lucas Oil Products NHRA Nationals got underway today at Route 66 Raceway. Mike Dunn in Top Fuel qualified No. 1 in the Gwynn/Steinbrenner/Yankee GMC Dragster at 4.559 seconds and a new NHRA speed record of 330.55 mph.

In Pro Stock Truck, Don Smith set a track record for elapsed time in his Chevy S-10 to claim the top qualifying position. Smith had an elapsed time of 7.446 seconds at 180.91 mph. Rounding out the top five in qualifying was Scott Perin, Bob Panella, Randy Daniels and Victor Cagnazzi, all driving Chevy S-10s. Jeff Gracia qualified the Panella Trucking GMC Sonoma No. 11 with an elapsed time of 7.517 seconds at 179.90 mph and John Lingenfelter in the Summit Racing GMC Sonoma qualified in the 15th position.

In Pro Stock, Mike Edwards qualified No. 1 in his Chevrolet Cavalier with an elapsed time of 6.876 seconds at 199.40 mph. Ron Krisher is second in a Cavalier, Bruce Allen and Jim Yates are third and fourth, respectively, in their Grand Ams, and Kurt Johnson rounds out the top five in a Cavalier. Allen in the Rehrer-Morrison Pontiac Grand Am had an elapsed time of 6.886 seconds at 199.35 mph. Points leader Mark Pawuk is sixth in qualifying after two sessions in his Grand Am and Warren Johnson has his Grand Am in the No. 8 position.

In Funny Car, Del Worsham, who is making a one-race-only appearance in the colorful Mountain Dew/Checker-Schuck's-Kragen Pontiac Firebird, held down the No. 1 qualifying spot with an elapsed time of 4.843 seconds at 310.98 mph. Tim Wilkerson is qualified second in a Firebird, Bob Gilbertson is third and Ron Capps is fourth, both in Camaros, and Bruce Sarver is fifth in a Firebird.

The Lucas Oil Products NHRA Nationals is the 10th race on the 24-event NHRA Winston championship tour. Television coverage of qualifying highlights can be seen on ESPN2 on Saturday, June 2, beginning at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. ESPN2 will broadcast three hours of final eliminations on Sunday, June 3, starting at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.


Jeff Gracia (Panella Trucking GMC Sonoma) - "We went a little soft on that second run just to make sure we got down the track and had some sort of baseline for tomorrow's (Holly Dominator) Shootout, and we made a decent run, not great. Considering we were the first pair down the track, it was okay." No. 11 qualifier - 7.517ET/179.90MPH


Bruce Allen (Rehrer-Morrison Pontiac Grand Am) - "That's not a bad place to start. We've struggled a little bit here lately. We got off to a decent start at the beginning of the year, so hopefully this will get us heading back in that direction." No. 3 - 6.886ET/199.35MPH


Del Worsham (Mountain Dew/Checker-Schuck's-Kragen Pontiac Firebird) - "Do the Dew, man! That was not only the first run with the new Mountain Dew/Checker-Schuck's-Kragen Pontiac body on the car, it was the first run for that body period. It's a brand new Firebird body, and it's first pant job was this wild Mountain Dew design that is so cool. So, with a new body on the car, even though you set everything up the same way, you just never know. Plus, there has to be some worries about the weather here so we really wanted to safely get down the track on this pass. I knew it was running hard as soon as it left and knew it was a good pass. But to hold the No. 1 spot after one session, well that's the icing on the cake. I don't know how low the No. 1 e.t. is going to go, but we plan to go quicker so I think it will be lower than that." No. 1 qualifier - 4.831ET/315.19MPH

Second session: "We qualified great last week and then made a mistake in the first round and didn't make the right call, but we came in here and there it was, a great run. It was a great run for us, and we've got a new sponsor for this weekend, Mountain Dew, so they should be plenty excited. There's more in it, I'm sure there is, so we've just got to go dig it out."


Mike Dunn (Gwynn/Steinbrenner/Yankees GMC Dragster) - "We set the car up to run soft down low and then tried to get after it when we hit the asphalt. It worked out perfect. You always try to do that, but a lot of times it doesn't work out that way, but this time it did. So it was a good run. Anytime this car runs on all eight cylinders to the other end it runs a big speed, and that time it kept all the cylinders lit. I feel good this week the way the weather conditions look, if we can get at least two more sessions in and if it doesn't rain, hopefully three, we have probably our best chance this year of being able to back that speed up. All the other times we've run the big speed, one session was cool and then we'd come in the next day and it would be hot and totally different conditions. But we're just going to try and run quicker the next and obviously if it stays with us it will still run the big speed." No. 1 qualifier - 4.559ET/330.55MPH

-GM Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Sarver , Bob Panella , Mike Dunn , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Bob Gilbertson , Del Worsham , Ron Capps , Ron Krisher , Jeff Gracia , Randy Daniels , John Lingenfelter , Bruce Allen , Tim Wilkerson , Mike Edwards