Memphis Pontiac Sunday Notes and Quotes

PONTIAC NOTES & QUOTES 1998 PENNZOIL NATIONALS PRESENTED BY AUTOZONE SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11, 1998 MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE PRO STOCK Jim Yates (Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Firebird) "I think this Splitfire/Peak Firebird is a real fast race car. We got...

PONTIAC NOTES & QUOTES 1998 PENNZOIL NATIONALS PRESENTED BY AUTOZONE SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11, 1998 MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE

PRO STOCK

Jim Yates (Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Firebird) "I think this Splitfire/Peak Firebird is a real fast race car. We got a good engine, we just tuned it a little too hard and knocked the head gasket off second round. In the third round it just laid down a little bit on us and we let Kurt get around us. We got a lot of potential though. We're going to take it home, fix it up a little and get ready for Topeka." Lost in round three

Mike Thomas (Pennzoil Pontiac Firebird) "I can't believe the tires let go that far down track. The Pennzoil Firebird had that race won. Everyone knows that we usually win races down track, not lose them. Maybe I should have picked the other (right) lane. I know a lot of the fuel cars oiled the (left) lane down before us and there might have been some residue left on the track. Or maybe something's wrong with the car. I just don't know right now. We are really disappointed. If I had won just one round today, I would have moved up one spot in the points standings. Plus I know the Pennzoil folks are here and I'm sure they would have loved for a Pennzoil car to be in Victory Circle. It just wasn't the right weekend for us I guess. But mark my words, we will finish this season fighting for everything we can get." Lost in round one

George Marnell (Tenneco Pontiac Firebird) "We're working on it. We just have to put everything together to be competitive on race day. The crew chief did his job. I was just a little late that's the only way to tell it. We just have to put the whole package together. We have to get the Tenneco Firebird to leave better, and the driver has to tune up a little bit. If we get those two factors straightened out, along with the way we're running we'll be competitive. That's what we're shooting for. I wish I could get back in the car right now. It's going to be tough waiting a whole week for Topeka to roll around. It can't come soon enough for me. I want to jump right back in the car and show what I can do." Lost in round one

FUNNY CAR

Tim Wilkerson (JCIT Pontiac Firebird) "Today didn't turn out like we wanted but we're actually happy with the progress of the JCIT Firebird. We have a new clutch scenario again, and we hate to keep using that excuse, but we have enough of that stuff to last until the end of the year and we're making progress with it. We're finding out what it likes and what it doesn't like and we think in a couple of runs we're going to be right back where we need to be. I think in Topeka we'll probably struggle that first session trying to find the right combination. I hope by the first round on Saturday we're running in the 4.90s again." Lost in round one

Al Hofmann (GM Performance Parts Pontiac Firebird) "The engine was weak first round but we jazzed it up for that run against Force. It was better but it wasn't where it should have been. When this GM Performance Parts Firebird is right, it will run better than a 4.95. We've obviously had our troubles this year and hopefully we're past a lot of them now. We have some horsepower and a little bit of confidence, but Skuza is going to be tough. They've been running 5-flat about every run and that's going to be hard to beat. We'll just try and run a 4.95 again and if it does that we'll get this thing in the final. It's getting hot here in the middle of the day and that means you have to sink some more nitro in it. That will bring it up to compensate for the lack of air. That was a pretty big win for us though. That about makes my year instead of my day beating that guy. The car ran really good and my whole team did a heck of a job. I kind of felt like I won the first round, but that second round against Force was because of the crew chief. It was mixing it up down towards the finish line and was nosing over some. It was out of spark plugs, but it was a good run and I'll take it. I didn't see the win light and I was trying to find somebody to tell me if we had won or lost. Force was right beside me. That's good drag racing and that's what the people come to see. It's an even better drag race when my win light's on."

Pre Final round - "There's been a combination all year for this GM Performance Parts Firebird. We've had clutch discs problems that seems to have adversely affected our car. Especially when we're a high horsepower car. We've got a handle on it and if we can get the horsepower to the ground, it runs good numbers. It's too bad because it's definitely a top-three car. We didn't hurt anything on that last run and we'll be ready for the finals."

Del Worsham (Checker's/Schucks/Kragen Pontiac Firebird) "That stinks! When Hofmann smoked the tires we went another 50 feet or so before tire shake busted our car loose. Then, when it was a tire smoke duel, I never considered that we'd lose. But it started to drift right on me, and on the third punch of the pedal I had to wait to settle it or it would have crossed the centerline. That would have been it. We had the right idea, we knew that being seventh pair we'd be sitting in the staging lanes for a long time, watching the clean ups from Top Fuel. Every second we sat, the track got hotter, and we were ready for that. But as much as we anticipated, we waited even longer and it got even hotter. The Checker's'/Schucks/Kragen Firebird shook the tires first, I pedaled it once, then it blew the tires off and Al and I were just hanging on out there. I'm glad we have to go back to Topeka now. I want to get right back out there. If we'd would've had 10 days off, I'd have gone nuts." Lost in round one

Dale Creasy (Creasy Racing Pontiac Firebird) "We don't know why the Creasy Racing Firebird shook. It left the line good and I had him on the line, but it just shook. I pedaled it, saw him smoke the tires and thought sure I could catch him. I stayed with it to the end, and he beat me, but on race day, you have to do everything you can to win. I broke the clutch. When I pedal it, it uses a lot more clutch and it ate the clutch pack up. It wasn't for lack of trying. You hate to sacrifice parts, but on race day you leave nothing on the table. We'll go back home and put the clutch back together. I don't think we hurt the motor, so if everything looks good when we get home, we'll be in Dallas. We'll race Dallas and Houston and maybe even Pomona. I think we're getting better at what we're doing and I'm learning how to drive more and more with each run we make down the track. That's what held us back a little bit at the beginning of the season. We were learning a new combination and now the two are starting to come together. I think things are going to work out fine." Lost in round one

TOP FUEL

Shelly Anderson (Parts America Pontiac) "It was my own fault why we lost. The boots are a little big and I just got hung up. It's frustrating, but I'm glad the Parts America Pontiac got as far as it did. I almost forgot what it felt like to win a round. I remember now. It feels great! The whole team has been working so hard. This is a lot of fun. There's not much left of the season, but I'd like to finish strong. Hopefully this will be the start of good things for us...finally!" Lost in round two

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas , Al Hofmann , Del Worsham , Tim Wilkerson , George Marnell , Shelly Anderson