Pomona: GM Racing Friday notes

PRO STOCK TRUCK Bob Panella (Panella Trucking Chevy S-10) - Yesterday we knew we left a little bit on the table. Honestly I thought we could come back today and run what we did yesterday if the conditions were as good and we actually went a...


Bob Panella (Panella Trucking Chevy S-10) - Yesterday we knew we left a little bit on the table. Honestly I thought we could come back today and run what we did yesterday if the conditions were as good and we actually went a couple of hundredths faster. Believe it or not I think this Chevy S-10 has a little bit more, so we'll keep finessing it - we're sneaking up on it. We've made two good runs now and the truck responded to what we did. Now tomorrow we have to go a little bit more in that direction. Hopefully we'll run a little earlier, get some better air and maybe take that No. 1 spot -- that's what we're here for. I like having the two-truck team. Last year we had two different manufacturer's chassis and we couldn't learn as much as we would've liked from one to the other. Now they're both the same - both built by Jerry Haas, both have similar horsepower and we can learn a lot more. We tried something in Jeff's (Gracia) truck today and that hurt us so we definitely won't put that in my truck. We know what I tried worked so that should help him. It's not an exact science, but it's closer than we've ever had. It'll mean a lot because now we can make double the runs." No. 2 qualifier - 7.467ET/181.42MPH (national record)

Randy Daniels (Bailey Trucking Chevy S-10) - "We made some changes on our Chevy S-10 and they didn't work out as well as we would've liked. We're just trying to learn the racetrack. It changed on us and we went the wrong way. The truck left a little too hard and that slowed it down. We're going back to try and get ready for tomorrow morning - I think that's when everyone will be making their best pass of the weekend. We're trying to get ready for race day. Sooner or later we're going to have to run that right lane during the race so we'd better be ready when we do. The gameplan is to try and get back to what we started with on Thursday, and then tomorrow afternoon we'll play again to see if we can figure out what we need for Sunday. No. 1 qualifier - 7.461ET (track record)/180.16MPH

Jeff Gracia (Panella Trucking GMC Sonoma) - "We came out of the trailer strong yesterday and put up a good number. We tried to back it up today but for whatever reason something in the transmission broke in third gear. The incremental times we got off the computer tell us that this GMC Sonoma was on another good pass. We're pretty happy with that. The truck went towards the centerline before the transmission broke but it wasn't that bad. I was still glued to the racetrack and I was slowly bringing it back over. We're a little disappointed that we lost that run but at least we have a good starting line data going into tomorrow." No. 4 qualifier - 7.504ET/179.14MPH


Bruce Allen (Reher-Morrison Pontiac Grand Am) - "Part of the learning curve with the new Grand Am is learning how aggressive you can be and what kind of adjustments you need to make as the track changes. Today we decided this would be a good time to do that to see if the track would take it in the condition it's in. Tomorrow we feel the track will give us our best two shots at going faster. Today we used this as a gauge and we found out that we were a little too aggressive. We had a good 60-foot time but like I said earlier, it was a false 60-foot because the car began to shake and didn't run good to the 330. The good side of that is that the car still made a good run, went right down Broadway and put up a 6.87, which I felt was good for us at the time."

Warren Johnson (GM Goodwrench Service Plus Pontiac Grand Am) - "That's about the 35th pass on that car. We've started to get a feel for what it wants in the last ten runs. It's coming around, but there is still a lot left in it. This car runs down the track as straight as a string - it's almost getting boring. I'm going to have to do something to bring back the excitement - maybe a chicane in the middle of the track for the long wheelbase cars." No. 2 qualifier -- 6.836ET/201.91MPH

Kurt Johnson (ACDelco Chevrolet Cavalier) - "The run was smooth and straight, and there wasn't much going on in the driver's seat. Today the car hooked to the left when it left the starting line, but it made it through the rest of the run. I'm satisfied with a 6.86. I think that will be good enough to keep me in the show even with the improvement I expect to see in Saturday's first session. We're still going to have to pick up the pace - I think we might see a 6.81 tomorrow, and I'll be in the left lane, which is usually the better side. The car's been consistent, and we're learning something on every run." No. 5 qualifier - 6.866ET/201.88MPH


Tommy Johnson Jr. (Skoal Racing Chevrolet Camaro Z28) - "That was probably one of the smoothest passes I've ever made in a Funny Car. This is a new McKinney chassis, so it's a little different from what I've driven in the past as far as the design, but I had no idea it ran a 4.83. Usually a driver can tell you within about a hundredth what he ran, but if had to guess when I got out of the car I would've said a 5.05 or a low five-oh. This Skoal Racing Camaro Z28 is making these runs so smoothly, and so soft that to me it feels like there may be a tenth of a second left in it. That was a pretty easy drive and a nice reward for a team that has worked very hard to get this two-car program up and running. To assemble a team that quickly, be able to run my career best and get No. 1 qualifier, you have to hand it to Don Prudhomme and Ed McCulloch. Today's Ed's birthday so we'll have a little celebration tonight." No. 1 qualifier - 4.838ET/310.98MPH

Jerry Toliver (WWF/XFL Pontiac Firebird) - "We smoked the tires real hard on the top end. When the clutch locked up, it shocked the tires and blew them off. Our early numbers on this WWF Firebird were very good so that's encouraging. We just had too much for the racetrack at that part of it and it just didn't work. If she'd stuck, it would easily have been an eighty-something. Being No. 1 qualifier is fun and it's great, but you've got to have a raceday game and a raceday setup, and we want to get a car that will runs eighties down the track all day long. To us that's the most important thing we can do. Consistency wins races." No. 2 qualifier - 4.878ET/314.09MPH

Bruce Sarver (e-moola.com Pontiac Firebird) - "We just went up there with the idea of getting this e-moola.com Firebird down the racetrack. We thought it would hold more last night and it was on a good run to the halfway tonight, but we slowed everything down to make sure it got thought there. It definitely has more in it. Richard (Hogan) said it would run a 4.92 and that's what it did. This was the first full pass on the new car. In testing when we ran the 4.83, we took it to 1100 feet and shut it off. Everything was smooth and good. I'm pretty stoked. We left here in November on a good note, we tested well and our team is loaded and motivated to go after the championship." No. 3 qualifier - 4.924ET/304.94MPH

Chuck Etchells (Kendall/Matco Tools Chevrolet Camaro Z28) - "The run was really good. Terry (Manzer) and the guys put a really good tune up in it, and it was smooth as a baby carriage. It's exciting to get to the finish line after two year, and it has a lot left in it. But what was really exciting came when I stepped off the throttle and the car kept going. We found out later from a spectator that the blow off hatch in the hood had a bolt shear, which sent it inside the injector. Knowing how short and bumpy the shut off area is here, I pulled the parachutes, and was reaching over to shut the fuel off when it popped the blower. We're lucky that happened, because it was a very minor explosion and without it, we could have ended up in the sand trap upside down. The bottom line is that we made a good run, it didn't damage the car bearly as much as we could have , and we can look forward to trying to improve tomorrow - the Kendall/Matco Camaro has a lot left." No. 5 qualifier - 4.952ET/309.56MPH

GM Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Sarver , Bob Panella , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Jeff Gracia , Randy Daniels , Chuck Etchells , Bruce Allen , Jerry Toliver , Tommy Johnson Jr.