Las Vegas: Chevy Racing Friday notes and quotes

LAS VEGAS, April 6, 2001 - Qualifying for the 2nd Annual Summit Racing.com Nationals got underway today at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In Pro Stock Truck, Bob Panella in the Panella Trucking Chevy S-10 set a track record with an elapsed time of...

LAS VEGAS, April 6, 2001 - Qualifying for the 2nd Annual Summit Racing.com Nationals got underway today at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In Pro Stock Truck, Bob Panella in the Panella Trucking Chevy S-10 set a track record with an elapsed time of 7.597 seconds at 178.59 mph to take the No. 1 position. Greg Stanfield set a track record in speed with a pass of 178.87 mph and an elapsed time of 7.604 seconds. He is qualified second in an S-10. Winston points leader Randy Daniels has the Bailey Trucking Chevy S-10 qualified third, Jeff Gracia is fourth in a GMC Sonoma and Mike Corvo Jr. is fifth in a Sonoma.

In Pro Stock, Ron Krisher has the Eagle One Chevy Cavalier qualified in the No. 3 position with an elapsed time of 6.985 seconds at 198.03 mph. Darrell Alderman is the No. 1 qualifier with a run of 6.976 seconds at 197.42 mph. Jim Yates is second in a Grand Am, Bruce Allen is fourth in a Grand Am and Richie Stevens Jr. is fifth in a Grand Am. Jeg Coughlin Jr. is ninth in the Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier, Mike Edwards is 12th in a Cavalier, Troy Coughlin is 15th and Kurt Johnson is 24th.

In Funny Car, Tommy Johnson Jr. has the Skoal Racing Chevy Camaro in the No. 3 position with a lap of 4.838 seconds at 318.24 mph. The No. 1 qualifier is Bruce Sarver in a Pontiac Firebird track-record and career-best elapsed time of 4.822 seconds at 318.02 mph. John Force is second in a Mustang, Frank Pedregon is fourth in a Firebird and Ron Capps rounds out the top five in a Camaro positing a run of 4.841 seconds at 316.52 mph. Jim Epler finished the day 14th in a Camaro and Chuck Etchells is 19th.

In Top Fuel, Kenny Bernstein is the No. 1 qualifier with a track record elapsed time and speed of 4.524 seconds at 325.61 mph. Gary Scelzi is second, Doug Kalitta is third, Mike Dunn is fourth and Doug Herbert is fifth. Larry Dixon took the Miller Lite/Chevy dragster to the 8th spot after two rounds of qualifying.

The 2nd annual Summit Racing.com Nationals is the fifth race on the 24-event NHRA Winston championship tour. Qualifying highlights of the Summit Racing.com Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 on Saturday, April 7, beginning at 9:30 p.m. Eastern. Same-day coverage of final elimination's can be seen on ESPN2 on Sunday, April 8, starting at 8 p.m. Eastern.

PRO STOCK TRUCK

Bob Panella (Panella Trucking Chevy S-10) - "We've got a little bit different horsepower than we did last year but that's about it. We ran exceptionally well last year and we're hoping that we can repeat that this year. The track is a lot bumpier than the last time we were here. We shift at half-track and that's where the bumps are. You just have to deal with it and adjust to it. Other then the bump the track is great. We're happy with today's performance. Now the goal is to get my teammate to move up in the ladder. I don't like to think about the points race right now. I don't need the added pressure. I try and block it out for now. I'm happy with where we are, I just need to work on my reaction time. Besides that everything is going pretty good for us, The Panella Trucking Chevy S-10 is proving itself again."

Mike Coughlin (Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet S-10) - "We made a solid run in both of the Jeg's Chevy S-10's right out of the trailer. We have a baseline to tune from and that should help us all weekend. I am looking forward to improving tomorrow and moving this Jeg's S-10 closer to the top of the page."

John Coughlin (Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet S-10) - "It feels great to get back behind the wheel again. I am really excited to have a solid weekend and we are off to a good start. We need to focus on the first 60-feet and the rest will improve. We are making a lot of progress. Both of our Jeg's Chevy S-10's have been very predictable.

Randy Daniels (Bailey Trucking Chevrolet S-10) - "We missed it during that first session but we kind of found it in the second session. If we get a chance to run tomorrow, hopefully we'll be able to step up a little more. The track seems to be pretty good. It's a little loose in the middle but the wind is what's really the problem. We're just trying to do the best we can with the Bailey Trucking Chevy S-10. Everybody's got to run in the same conditions. The second run felt a lot better then the first one. It picked up in performance for sure. But we're going to try and step up even more tomorrow when we'll probably see four or five trucks running in the low 7.50s."

PRO STOCK

Kurt Johnson (AcDelco Chevrolet Cavalier) - "The first round we were light on the clutch. During the second round I was backing up after the burnout and it starting making a funny noise - ended up with an ignition problem and was running on seven cylinders. We're going to hope for sun tomorrow and get this ACDelco Chevy Cavalier in the show. I'm not worried, I know my team will work hard and we'll be ready tomorrow."

Ron Krisher (Eagle One Chevrolet Cavalier) - "The first gear is slow. We're having trouble at the 60-foot line. The back half of the track is great. We've got a lot of power with this Eagle One Chevy Cavalier. We just got to get the 60-foot time better. We're starting to move in the right direction. We are happy about that and overall we're happy with third. We'll try to improve more tomorrow if the weather will let us."

Mike Edwards (Young Life Chevrolet Cavalier) - "We missed the set up a little bit. We slipped the clutch, and I underestimated the track but I'm happy for (Ron) Krisher. He ran really well. We're finally starting to get these Cavalier's how we want them. The left lane is the better of the two for sure. Tomorrow we're just going to try and move up the ladder and keep working hard with this Young Life Chevy."

Jeg Coughlin (Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier) - "When these Chevy Cavaliers leave the starting line and go straight they feel great. Running strong right out of the trailer is always a good sign. I believe that we are going to make some noise this weekend. The most important thing for us right now is keeping these Cavaliers going straight. We are still learning the personalities of our new cars.

Troy Coughlin (Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier) - "One of our biggest goals going into the first qualifying session was to make a straight run. We went straight as an arrow. We have more left in this new Chevy Cavalier and we are off to a good start. We are continuing to move in the right direction. The small measurable changes that we have been making to our Jeg's Chevy Cavaliers are starting to show

FUNNY CAR

Tommy Johnson Jr. (Skoal Racing Chevrolet Camaro) - "We were too soft during that first session. We've had that problem the last few races, so we felt it was time to just go for it. That is what we did in that second session. We stepped it up a notch and it proved to be successful for us. I'm really excited. Tomorrow we're going to try and step up more. The weather shouldn't be much different then today. I'm excited for the team and Skoal Racing. This Camaro really stepped up for us today. I think we'll see high 4.70s tomorrow. At least that's what we're shooting for. I want to be the first in the 4.70s. That is my goal.

Jim Epler (Motley Crue Chevy Camaro) -- "Fortunately, we had a solid first run, which gave us the confidence to tune it up for the evening session.. Unfortunately, it broke the input shaft at half track, which is a freakish thing. That let the motor over rev, and we were lucky it didn't throw the rods out and cause an even bigger problem. We'll freshen it up and get after it tomorrow. We'll have to run a 4.80 right away and then really stand on it for the last session. "It was great to have Vince on the starting line and to do well with him there. This is his first drag race in nearly twenty years (Note: Vince Neil did visit the team in Dallas last October, but that event was postponed by rain.), so it was really cool to see his expression when his car went over 315 mph. That was very satisfying."

Chuck Etchells (Kendall/Matco Tools Chevy Camaro) -- "It dropped the No. 7 cylinder right at the hit on both runs, and then worked the other cylinders so hard that it blew the (blower) belt off. Obviously, you're not going to go anywhere under those conditions. This Funny Car deal is major league hardball right now. You have to run in the 80s to win, and that's what we're trying to do. We had a good test after Houston, but then we come here and the car doesn't want to run at all. The conditions are completely different, and it's obvious that we're not catching up with something. What's truly puzzling is that Jim's car didn't drop a cylinder in tonight's run, and was still slower than we were to sixty feet. Even though this has us all scratching our heads, we've got to work together to figure out the problem and fix it. "I think it's going to be another record bump tomorrow, and you'll have to run a .93 or better to get in. That's a stout field. All I can hope is that the Kendall/Matco Camaro steps up and gets qualified in a good position."

-Chevy Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Bruce Sarver , Frank Pedregon , Jeg Coughlin , Troy Coughlin , Bob Panella , Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Richie Stevens Jr. , Kenny Bernstein , Kurt Johnson , Jim Epler , Ron Capps , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Ron Krisher , Jeff Gracia , Randy Daniels , Mike Coughlin , Chuck Etchells , Greg Stanfield , Bruce Allen , Mike Edwards , Tommy Johnson Jr.