Las Vegas: GM Racing eliminations notes and quotes

LAS VEGAS, April 7, 2002 - The 3rd annual Nationals was completed today at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Ron Krisher, driving the Eagle One Chevy Cavalier picked up his first victory of the season. Krisher, 54, defeated Darrell...

LAS VEGAS, April 7, 2002 - The 3rd annual Nationals was completed today at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Ron Krisher, driving the Eagle One Chevy Cavalier picked up his first victory of the season. Krisher, 54, defeated Darrell Alderman in the final round after taking out JR Carr in round one, Jeg Coughlin Jr. in round two and Jim Yates in round three. In the final, Krisher's Chevy Cavalier, the No. 1 qualifier for this event, ran 7.016 seconds at 197.83 mph to Alderman's 7.026 e.t. at 197.54 mph.

Kurt Johnson (ACDelco Chevy Cavalier):

"It's tough. We miss by just a few thousandths of a second and end up 17th. The Friday night session really hurt us. At the top of low gear it shut off, and at the top of second gear it shut off and we still ran a 7.01. There were 12-hundredths right there and we only missed making the field by thousandths of a second - that was the gremlin that got us. We came out on Saturday, the track was 30 degrees hotter and we ran a 7.02. We felt there was something left in it for the last session, but the car didn't like that right lane - it spun pretty hard and was all over the racetrack. We're going to take this Bickel car out and get it ready for Houston - 90 percent of the teams out here are running it. We ran it in Atlanta testing, and felt that it was off a couple of hundredths of a second, but we know if we can run 6.99 or 7-flat testing here tomorrow at noon time then we'll have a good baseline. We haven't tested the car where everybody else has - we've basically run it by ourselves. The window to tune on the Ness car is too small. When you hit it right and make a good run, then it's really fast. As the track changes and the air changes you have to make huge swings as far as adjusting the car. You need to have a car where you can make small adjustments as the conditions change and it will still get up and down the racetrack. Winning in Pro Stock is a matter of being consistent and getting a handle on your racecar. The cars and the power are all pretty close out here. We keep running motors on the dyno trying to stay ahead, but that's part of it. Plus we have to stay ahead of the curve as far as getting the car up and down the racetrack consistently - we're going to have to keep all the bases covered."

Warren Johnson (GM Performance Parts Pontiac Grand Am):

"We just didn't get a hold of the track in that second round. We found something this weekend in our tune-up that was really kind of hurting us a little bit and we were able to move closer to the guys who've been fastest in the early part of the season. We've closed that performance gap up now, it's just a matter of fine tuning it to the track - I think we have a little bit more in there. I would look at it from here on out having a much more competitive package overall, there won't be one car qualifying No. 1 anymore.

"Houston can be a pretty fast racetrack depending on how hot it gets there. That track right now is kind of bumpy and not too forgiving so we'll have to take a good look at it when we get there. At the same time, everybody has the same track to deal with. We'll have to see if we can do a better job adjusting the car and right now we're pretty optimistic."

"From starting with our first run on Friday, and using our correction factor based on the atmospheric conditions, we picked up every round, so we're headed in the right direction. We'll be competitive the rest of the year."

George Marnell (Matco Tools Pontiac Grand Am):

"Sure we're disappointed but I feel like we did our job this weekend and I'm hoping we represented Matco Tools and Pontiac well. We had a pretty good racecar for the conditions, and really everybody did their job as well as could be expected. It's just that Darrell (Alderman) did a little bit better job than we did in that last round. As far being disappointed, yeah, sure we are, we want to win them all, but that's not reality either. Reality is we're the points leader leaving this race going into Houston. There's something to be said about being in first place after three of the first four races. It's outstanding and we're doing it racing smart-we're consistent, and we're making good passes round after round after round. Hopefully that will take us a long way towards winning the championship."

Jim Yates (Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Grand Am):

"I don't feel like we ever got a handle on this racetrack compared to the way George Marnell and some of the other guys who have tested up here did. We didn't test up here at all this winter and I think that put us behind the curve a little. Every time I thought we were going to catch up, we didn't. We tried some stuff with the engine tune up today and our Splitfire Pontiac Grand Am seemed to run better, but not significantly better compared to some of the other guys. Our biggest short coming in was in our 60-foot times which we have had good success all year. I think it's a matter of getting the right gear ratios for this racetrack. I'm kind of happy to leave here with a semifinal finish if the truth be told. If I had to do it over again, I'd of come up here and tested just to get a better handle on this place. The way we started the weekend off, and the way it ended after qualifying, I'm glad to leave here with a semifinal finish. I don't think we have a strong enough car right now because of our weakness at 60-foot. I'll be much happier to get back to seal-level in Houston, but if we're going to run here again in the fall we're going to have to test and find a really good combination for 60-foot."

How does testing here tomorrow help? "Everything we ran here when we came off the trailer was exactly like it was when we won the pole last fall. Obviously things have changed since then and we have to figure it out. The best time to test is the day after a national event because it gives you the conditions that are similar to a national event - maybe not what you'll see on Friday night, but definitely what you'll see on Sunday. Truthfully we were running well enough to win, but we didn't get exotic trying to change things on the car. If we'd been further back we may have swung for the fences a little more. We were right there within a hundredth of Krisher all day so I thought we had an opportunity to win the round. Tomorrow we'll have an opportunity to make some big adjustments and see if we can't pick that 60-foot number up a little."


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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Darrell Alderman , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Ron Krisher , George Marnell