Memphis: Team Haas final qualifying

Millington, Tenn. - - It was like the St. Louis race all over again as Jerry Haas, from Fenton, Mo., didn^Ã’t begin the NHRA AutoZone Nationals presented by Pennzoil the way he wanted. An engine skip prevented Haas from making a full pass in the...

Millington, Tenn. - - It was like the St. Louis race all over again as Jerry Haas, from Fenton, Mo., didn^Òt begin the NHRA AutoZone Nationals presented by Pennzoil the way he wanted. An engine skip prevented Haas from making a full pass in the first session on Friday although he ran it through to the finish line in 7.678 seconds at 177.23 mph.

Between the two sessions, Haas and co-crew chiefs Jimmy Gunther and Bob Shawcross spent the majority of time chasing the problem that developed on the first pass. The effort paid off with a run of 7.566 seconds at 178.50 mph. It put Haas into the field at the time of the run but he was subsequently ^Óbumped^Ô when quicker times knocked him from the top 16.

Haas ended the first day of qualifying in the 19th position.

Reflecting on the Friday runs, Haas had this to say, ^ÓThe first run we had carburetor trouble and lost a couple of cylinders. Between sessions we changed a bunch of things. We changed about everything but the paint. The only thing that I think we didn^Òt change was the transmission ratio and that probably prevented us from making the field. It tugged on the motor pretty hard in first gear. Now we must get this Chevy S-10 tuned up for tomorrow and go out and put this truck in the show. We got the stuff to do it with.^Ô

On Saturday, after a pass of 7.546 seconds at 178.78 mph in the day^Òs first session, Haas found himself not qualified and in 19th position on the qualifying ladder. With the Memphis Motorsports Park quarter mile hot and slippery, Haas faced a difficult challenge in the final session. But he and his team were up to the challenge, when he took advantage of the opportunity and ran an elapsed time of 7.523 seconds at a speed of 178.90 mph, good for the 16th and final position in the qualified field.

^ÓIt^Òs awesome,^Ô said Haas as the final session of qualifying ended on Saturday. ^ÓThis is my first time to qualify since taking over the seat in Columbus. Race by race I^Òve been trying to figure out what this Chevy S-10 wants. Race by race we^Òve been creeping up on the field. I can^Òt say enough good things about my crew - - Jimmy Gunther and Bob Shawcross. We improved session by session. If it wasn^Òt for them, I couldn^Òt do anything here. Now we^Òve got to do our homework and prepare for tomorrow.^Ô

Haas will face number one qualifier Mike Coughlin, from Delaware, Ohio, in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday. Coughlin recorded an elapsed time of 7.422 seconds at 181.81 mph to take the top spot.

-Team Haas-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Coughlin , Jerry Haas