Pomona Chevy Eliminations Notes

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES AUTOZONE WINTERNATIONALS POMONA RACEWAY NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SUNDAY, FEB. 6, 2000 FUNNY CAR, CAMARO Z28, ELIMINATIONS JERRY TOLIVER TAKES HIS SECOND STRAIGHT POMONA WIN JERRY TOLIVER, WWF CAMARO, claimed...

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES AUTOZONE WINTERNATIONALS POMONA RACEWAY NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SUNDAY, FEB. 6, 2000

FUNNY CAR, CAMARO Z28, ELIMINATIONS

JERRY TOLIVER TAKES HIS SECOND STRAIGHT POMONA WIN

JERRY TOLIVER, WWF CAMARO, claimed his second straight title in Pomona. Toliver won the NHRA Finals in November in a Corvette-bodied Funny Car, and he won today in a 2000 Camaro-bodied Funny Car. He defeated Tony Pedregon on a holeshot advantage in a Ford-vs.-Chevy challenge with a 4.970-second elapsed time, just the last of a string of excellent laps in every round today (4.949, 4.950, 4.934 and finally the 4.970 at 309.06 mph). Pedregon's elapsed time was 4.929 seconds at 308.35 mph. Great pass, but not good enough to beat Toliver, whose reaction time was a .456 to Pedregon's .507.

RON CAPPS, U.S. TOBACCO CO. CAMARO Z28, was eliminated in the first round by Gary Densham in perhaps the closest side-by-side match-up of the day. Capps' 5.163/278.40, .510 R/T lost to Densham's 5.166/292.46, .500 R/T by a margin of .007 of a second.

CAPPS: "We tested so well in Phoenix. We were pretty excited about coming here. We got stuck behind the 8-ball. We used the new Goodyear tires in the first round, and the Camaro didn't get down the track, so we were one run behind, so Ace had to make a full-bore change after we made the 5.01 run. That changed a lot of things. He was chasing the car on Saturday. In the first round it smoked the tires real hard, the second round it had more or less a weak shake and I lifted. Ace did a wonderful job to get it ready, going from being a bit lost on Saturday with the fuel pump to get it ready for the first round. When I stepped on the throttle it got through the spot where it shakes a little bit and it rattled pretty good and it cleared right up and went through there and I said OK we're on our way. It got out much further than it ever gets in trouble, then immediately struck the tires real hard. I gave it a quick pedal. I heard Densham pull up next to me. I could hear his pipes. It started to take off, he pulled up next to me and I saw his nose through the side window. I knew it would go down to the wire. I ended up on the wrong side of the fiinish line. Hopefully we will get this out of the way and head for Phoenix for the next race, where we tested well." DID IT GO TO THE CENTERLINE? Somebody said it may have moved a little bit in that direction, but it wasn't that close, I don't think it got out of the groove." HOW CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR VIEW OUT OF THE CAMARO AND HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO SEE THE CAR NEXT TO YOU? "A lot of times with the funny car with the body over you and being tucked back into the Camaro body as you are, it's like being in the back seat of a production Camaro. You don't have good peripheral vision out of the side window. If you see the car through your outside window odds are he's a tad bit ahead of you or you're dead even. I knew when I saw his nose through the side window I knew he had me by a little bit. To put it into perspective, if you take one of the new production Camaros and put a case of oil in the middle of the dashboard, then crawl into the back seat and sit on the hump of the back seat, that will give you a view of what I look at out of my Camaro Funny Car. Just picture yourself going down the track at 300 mph looking at the case of oil on the dashboard."

WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/MATCO TOOLS CAMARO Z28, defeated Phil Burkart in the first round, 5.052/306.33 for Bazemore, 5.059/305.84 for Burkart. In the second round Bazemore was matched up with Jerry Toliver, with lane choice going to Toliver. In what would be one of the closest races of the day, Bazemore powered down the track with his best run of the weekend at 4.962 seconds at 309.98 mph. It was not enough to prevent Toliver from gaining the victory with a 4.950-second pass of his own. (Courtesty of Jon Knapp.)

BAZEMORE: "It's frustrating to lose such a close race. You live by the sword, and sometimes you die by the same sword, which is what happened today. But I don't want to take away from the Etchells crew's effort. The team did an outstanding job today making the 75-minute deadline between rounds. It was really unbelievable; they changed complete motors in about 10 minutes. But I was even more impressed by how we stepped up our on-track performance. It was no secret that we were plenty frustrated after qualifying. The way we saw it, today was going to be an unknown day. After gaining a close victory in the first round, the General (crew chief Tim Richards) worked his magic. He got the Kendall Camaro pointed in the right direction in the second round, and we gave those guys a heck of a fight. They had been the pacesetters for most of the weekend, and we were able to step up on very short notice and stay right with them. Even though we lost, I feel pretty good about what we did today."

PRO STOCK CAMARO Z28

KURT JOHNSON AVERTS DISASTER IN CLOSE CALL (courtesy of Rick Voegelin/TMG Sports Marketing)

Kurt Johnson avoided disaster in the first round of Pro Stock eliminations at the Winternationals when he narrowly missed colliding with Ron Krisher's careening race car. Krisher lost control and his car crossed the centerline, sliding from the right lane into Johnson's side of the track where it flipped and struck the guard wall. Johnson locked up his brakes to avoid hitting Krisher and contacated the right-side wall.

"The accident looked pretty spectactular form where I was sitting!" Kurt recalled. "All of a sudden he was right in front of me. I turned the wheel to the right as I saw him come across the track, and I got on the brakes hard to get away from his car.

"I thought he'd ricochet of the wall," K.J. continued. "I closed my eyes at one point and ducked behind the steering wheel, because I knew it was going to be close. My car just nosed into the wall and got the right front suspension and frame rail.

"It could have been worse, but we'll come back to race another day," Kurt laughed.

Johnson's crew hastily repaired the damage and Kurt brought his bandaged "Blue Tape Special" to the starting line for his second-round match with George Marnell. Kurt staged and then drove slowly down the track.

"We were able to patch the car together, but the frame was bent and the car wasn't really driveable at high speed," Kurt explained.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Gary Densham , Phil Burkart , George Marnell , Tim Richards , Jerry Toliver