CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES AUTOZONE WINTERNATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES POMONA RACEWAY, POMONA, CALIF. SUNDAY, FEB. 7, 1999 FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28 RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, defending Winternationals Champion, was defeated...
CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES AUTOZONE WINTERNATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES POMONA RACEWAY, POMONA, CALIF. SUNDAY, FEB. 7, 1999
FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28
RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, defending Winternationals Champion, was defeated in the first round by Gary Densham. Densham literally coasted to the finish out of power, while Capps smoked the tires early, then tried to pedal it to the line to beat Densham, but failed.
CAPPS: "This Camaro rarely smokes the tires that early in the run. When that happens you have to be able to get your momentum back up. When it does strike the tires early, you have to wait a little bit to let the rear end come back down to be able to get back on the throttle. At that point I looked out of the window and saw him do a wheelstand. I said, ok I'm all right, so I got back on the throttle. I really thought I could catch him. I'm a pro at this wheelstand stuff. So I know when it comes down it does a lot of damage especially when it's that high. I knew he'd be unable to get back on the throttle. I knew I had my work cut out for me, but I ran out of room. We've got to keep testing and do what it takes, that's the bottom line. We will be more than ready in Phoenix. We fought this problem all through testing at Tucson. We thought we had it geared when we came here, but obviously we didn't. We will drive the wheels off this thing until we get it back on track." ON JOHN FORCE'S '99 MUSTANG BODY: "They obviously did their homework on the body. We still feel like the Camaro is the best body out there, even though they (Force's team) did what they did with the Mustang to make this Funny Car body. We're running the '98 Camaro we ran last year. Wait until everyone sees the '99 Camaro body that will show up in a few races." DOES IT LOOK LIKE A MUSTANG TO YOU? "I don't know WHAT it looks like."
WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL CAMARO Z28, eliminated Al Hofmann in the first round, then was defeated by Tony Pedregon in the second round when his Kendall Camaro lost traction almost immediately (14.518/63.15 for Whit, 5.041/308.28 for Pedregon). Whit's reaction time, .463, was the quickest reaction time of the day in Funny Car to that point.
BAZEMORE: "It's obviously disappointing, because we're still getting used to this car, and it has a very touchy fuel system. The driver may have helped to smoke the tires, but it was simply one of those things. It was still a good weekend for this Chuck Etchells Racing team. It's been a very big change for Chuck, myself and the entire crew to have me come over and drive, but everyone has maintained a very positive outlook, and the transition has been very smooth. I think this Kendall Camaro team has an incredibly bright future, and I'm excited to be a part of it." CHUCK ETCHELLS (team owner), ON HIS FIRST WEEKEND AS TEAM OWNER: "For the first time in my career I actually felt relaxed at a race track. When we lost our major associate sponsor at the end of last year, I made the decision to temporarily step out of the car, and I'm very glad we did. Putting Whit in the Kendall Oil/Superwinch Camaro has allowed me to concentrate on growing our racing business, and we've already made some progress in the few weeks since we made the announcement. To be quite honest, I find the prospect of working on cementing the future of the Chuck Etchells Racing team quite exciting. Whit did a great job in the car over the weekend, but unfortunately we fell victim to a mechanical problem in the second round. We'll just take what we did here and build on it in Phoenix."
PRO STOCK -- CAMARO Z28
KURT JOHNSON, AC DELCO CAMARO Z28, eliminated Ray Franks in the first round, and John Nobile in round 2. In the semi-final Kurt was eliminated by Jeg Coughlin (6.919/198.99 for Coughlin, 11.719/76.02 for Kurt) after encountering severe tire shake.
KURT: "It surprised me because we didn't have any tire shake in the first two rounds. I shifted into second gear and the tires started bouncing like basketballs. He was already gone, so I shut off. We lowered the wheelie bars because the track was cooling down, but apparently this car doesn't like low wheelie bars. We learned a lot today. Starting out with a semi-final finish isn't too bad; it's better than the first-round loss we had last year at the Winternationals. They definitely know we're here."
MIKE EDWARDS, DEWCO SALES CAMARO Z28, struggled to make it in time to compete in this event, passed tech, then was called back to tech and asked to make some modifications to the rear fender contours before it would officially pass tech. The modifications were made, the new Camaro passed tech, but Mike did not qualify.
THE FINALS HAVE BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL MONDAY DUE TO RAIN.