PONTIAC NOTES & QUOTES 1998 FRAM ROUTE 66 NATIONALS SUNDAY, MAY 31, 1998 JOLIET, ILLINOIS PRO STOCK Mike Thomas (Pennzoil Pontiac Firebird) This was a big win for us. My guys have put together the best car available and it continues to ...
PONTIAC NOTES & QUOTES 1998 FRAM ROUTE 66 NATIONALS SUNDAY, MAY 31, 1998 JOLIET, ILLINOIS
Mike Thomas (Pennzoil Pontiac Firebird) This was a big win for us. My guys have put together the best car available and it continues to get better all the time. It would have been nice to get lane choice, but I’m still encouraged by the fact that the Pennzoil Pontiac Firebird made a good run in the right lane yesterday. It’s cooling off a little and maybe that will help the right lane come around. Either way, if I cut a good light, I’ll win this race. My car is every bit as good as W.J.’s. Advanced to final round
Bruce Allen (Outlaw Pontiac Firebird) If I had a good light, I could have beaten him (Mike Thomas). The Outlaw Pontiac Firebird has run well throughout the weekend and we couldn’t be happier. To rebound like this after Englishtown is huge for us. This has been a great weekend all the way around. I’ve got no complaints. Of course, you always want a little more, but that’s the nature of racing. I’m very encouraged by everything that has happened in the last two weeks. I think we’ll probably be back in the top 10 of the points race which is another great sign. I’m already looking forward to Columbus.
Mark Pawuk (Summit Racing Pontiac Firebird) The Summit Racing Pontiac Firebird ran pretty well this weekend. We ran real well at Englishtown too but broke a motor in the first round. This thing is showing a little bit of potential now because the block’s brand new and once we rebuild it, hopefully it will be as good or better than before. It’s an encouraging time for us since we seem to be making better runs. We have to figure out why the car won’t stay settled down on the race track in fourth and fifth gear. When we do that, it’s going to be faster because we lost some ET that time by the way it bounced in those gears. It just doesn’t like bumps. As soon as it gets upset downtrack, it won’t settle back down. All we can hope for is that we can go into Columbus and be a contender at the Pontiac Excitement Nationals by Summit Racing. I thought we were here. Lost in round two
Al Hofmann (GM Performance Parts Pontiac Firebird) We’re going to change the clutch combination a little bit on the GM Performance Parts Pontiac Firebird for Columbus, but that’s not what bit us here. The engine was dropping cylinders that we’ve traced down to some magneto parts. It’s real hard to make it run on through there when it’s only running on seven cylinders. This air was strange here, and we probably didn’t get the motor tuned up enough. We got enough parts here and we’re going to stay and run this Firebird until it goes down the track three or four times in a row. We have to do something to get ready for Columbus. It’s Pontiac’s race and we want to go in there and try and win that thing. We just have a few glitches we have to get ironed out. This car makes good power, we know how to race and win, we just have to get this car to go down the track a few times in a row, and we’ll be OK.
Del Worsham (Checker/Schuck’s/Kragens Pontiac Firebird) We came to this race on the heels of the DNQ in Englishtown, but for some reason, I think we all felt some good karma or something, because since the day we got here, we’ve just had a great attitude in the pit area. We’ve been real positive. We went out there that time to run a 5.0 and we did. Now, we’ve got Whit (Basemore) in the finals, so we’re going to step on it to win this thing. It’s really cool. It’s been since Rockingham last year that we’ve been in the finals, so it sure feels good to be back. We’ve got the Pontiac Firebird, we’ve got the team, and we’ve got good karma…Let’s go race! We’ve changed motors here after the first two runs, and may have to for the finals, but we’re ready. We’ve gotten some help from the Al Hofmann team, they helped us prep a fourth motor in case we need it. Advanced to final round
Randy Anderson (Parts America Pontiac Firebird) We are really struggling. We just can’t seem to find a clean run. I had hoped to come to Joliet and race well, particularly since we were debuting our new Blues Brothers 2000 Pontiac Firebird. Obviously, I’m disappointed, but we don’t have any time to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. We’re going to stay and test tomorrow and figure this thing out for Columbus. The car dropped the same cylinder on four straight runs. We keep adjusting it and it continues to drop the cylinder every time I hit the throttle. We want to make some big moves and try and make something happen. Hopefully we can learn a few things testing here tomorrow. The car ran well in Columbus last year and that’s the level we need to get back too. Lost in round one
Tim Wilkerson (JCIT Pontiac Firebird) My own performance today didn’t meet my own personal standards. We had some trouble on the starting line and I just flat screwed up--I just missed it. I still don’t know how I did it but that doesn’t matter now. The key is to not do it again. I’ve had plenty of people deep stage on me and that doesn’t bother me a bit. I thought I hit the gas peddle when I was supposed to. Then we got down to about 500 feet, started smoking the tires and I had to peddle it again. We ended up getting beat by a hundredth when we shouldn’t have. It just goes to show you that sometimes it’s your day and sometimes it’s not. We have a wonderful and confident team with the JCIT Pontiac Firebird, they’ll take it apart and we’ll take it to Columbus and be competitive. It will be comparable there to the conditions that we raced under today. We didn’t expect to have tire smoke in the middle of the race track and that kind of threw us for a loop. That’s OK though, we’re going to put our thinking caps on and get ready to whip somebody again. Lost in round one
Shelly Anderson (Parts America Pontiac) We broke a piston, but that just happens from time to time. I’m leaving here with a lot of optimism. Last night, my guys found something on the car, and changed a few things, and I believe it’s going to make a big difference in the rest of the season. What happened today in the second round was just a glitch, I think we’re really back on track, and I can’t wait until the next race. Lost in round two
Cory McClenathan (McDonald’s Pontiac) I guess the one nice thing about today is that we leave here still in first place. Our McDonald’s Pontiac has been so strong lately, and I feel very good about the way it’s going. We all know that the first step is to get qualified. We did that pretty well and Mike Green and Jim Brissette made some changes on the car so that we wouldn’t have to fight getting horsepower all the time. Now that we have the horsepower, we’re trying to make it all work with the clutch. I think it’s just one of those deals where we have to try and get the combination to work together. We’re real close to making it an even faster hot rod than it is right now. It’s just going to take some time like everything else does. It surprised me just as it did anybody to see us smoke the tires there. I know the conditions have been up and down a little bit this weekend, but we just set the car up the wrong way and were too aggressive. You hate to back it off anytime, but it does happen. We’ll just have to pick up, go to the next race and I’m sure we’ll be fine. Lost in round one
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