POMONA, Calif., Feb. 9, 2002 - The Pro Stock field is set for the running of the 42nd annual Winternationals. Ron Krisher's Chevy Cavalier will start the Sunday eliminator from the No. 1 qualifying spot after fending off challengers through the...
POMONA, Calif., Feb. 9, 2002 - The Pro Stock field is set for the running of the 42nd annual Winternationals. Ron Krisher's Chevy Cavalier will start the Sunday eliminator from the No. 1 qualifying spot after fending off challengers through the two final sessions of time trials.
"The Eagle One Cavalier has performed a little better than it has in the past," said Krisher. "We have a new car coming but we have a lot of power and that's what has saved us.
"Whoever does their job on the tree tomorrow will win the race. Lane choice here can be crucial, and the left side seems to have a lot more cars that have qualified in it but we haven't been able to run as well over there."
Krisher came into the final day firmly planted in the point position after setting both ends of the Pomona track record with a qualifying run of 6.815 seconds at 202.94 mph. The weather conditions warmed considerably during the Saturday sessions which prevented the rest of the field from making a strong run at the top spot.
"We decided coming into today that no one was going to better our lap from Friday. We got off and tried a lot of different things today, none of which seemed to work. We'll go back to our baseline in the morning."
One of the sharpest runs of the day came in the morning session when Tom Hammonds drove the Winnebago Chevy Cavalier to a career-best No. 4 qualifying spot. Hammonds was outside the 16-car field looking in when he made the pressure-packed run but was able to post the quickest e.t. of the round at 6.829 seconds.
"I think we have a pretty good baseline on this Chevy Cavalier going into tomorrow morning," said Hammonds. "We've made some good runs, but during the first two sessions the car kept hooking to the left every time I let the clutch out. We came back and adjusted for that and made a good run this morning.
"I like our chances on Sunday. I'll take this team over anybody. We're in this game to win and hopefully we can repeat some of the success we had last season and carry that all the way to the end."
Jim Yates is the No. 2 qualifier in a Grand Am, Mark Osborne is third, Bruce Allen is fourth and Kurt Johnson is sixth in a Cavalier. Johnson posted a qualifying run of 6.833 seconds at 202.88 mph.
"This ACDelco Cavalier is running like clockwork," said Johnson. "We ran two 6.83s, a 6.84 and a 6.85, and it went straight down the track on every run. It looks like we've got a player for tomorrow. Looking at the numbers, we've got one of the top four cars going into eliminations even if our qualifying position doesn't reflect it.
"The first round against Martino is going to be like a final-round anyway. Heck, every round is a final round now with as close these cars are running. Tommy's tough, and we always drive our best when we race each other. If we're going to win this race, we're going to have to beat him sooner or later, so it might as well be in the first round.
"We're making some big changes on the car, which makes me nervous. But the car is still going down the track from one extreme to the other, so that's a big improvement over last year. We thought we made a good run in the final session, but we just can't seem to slip the clutch. The car's not shaking, it's running consistently 6.83 to 6.85, so we're not going to get greedy and shoot ourselves in the foot in the first round."
Mike Edwards (Young Life Chevy Cavalier) "Honestly, today I think we slowed the car down. We need to go back to the baseline that gave us that 6.84 and start there tomorrow. We made a lot of changes on the Young Life Chevy but unfortunately they took us the wrong way. Now we'll take it the other way. At least we know what we have to do. We came here with the car pretty close to where we left last November. We ran the first two laps with that setup and did okay. We were fast on Friday. We came out here today, the sun was out and we changed the car around but it just didn't work for us. What we want to do this weekend is get back into the racing mindset - get everybody's feet wet again. We'd like to be running better but we'll see what happens tomorrow."