FUNNY CAR: FIVE CAMAROS QUALIFY; BAZEMORE DNQs WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/MATCO TOOLS CAMARO Z28, failed to qualify for the first time this season, as his final attempt to make the 16-car field was aborted when the aluminum studs that hold the...
FUNNY CAR: FIVE CAMAROS QUALIFY; BAZEMORE DNQs
WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/MATCO TOOLS CAMARO Z28, failed to qualify for the first time this season, as his final attempt to make the 16-car field was aborted when the aluminum studs that hold the supercharger onto the manifold broke, slowing Whit to a 5.631/178.50 pass. It was his best lap of the weekend, but not good enough to qualify.
BAZEMORE: "That's what makes this so disappointing because it's a big priority for me to leave Chuck Etchells Racing on a winning note. We have five races left. It's just really important because Chuck has been really good to me and we want to move on in a very positive way and not have the struggles that we have had this year on the race track. We're fighting the car and we have been fighting the car since early summer. We either run really well or not at all and we got it right for the final run (today). Terry (Manzer, crew chief) and the team did a good job, but we broke blower studs, so the blower basically came off about 100 feet before half-track. The problem is we have been living dangerously by not qualifying until the last run. When you are in that position you leave yourself open to freak breakages; that's what happened today. At Denver we did well, we qualified in the last run, got the pole (and won). At Indy we got in on the last run (into 16th). Sooner or later you are going to have a belt break or something out of the ordinary happen and that's going to bite you, and that's what got us today. It's so important to get down the track every run. I firmly believe that's how championships are won -- by doing full laps on the car, and that's what we have struggled to do of late; we just have to work on that."
ON CRISTEN POWELL QUALIFYING NO. 8 IN THE BAZEMORE RACING NITROFISH ENTRY: "The other team's doing really well and I'm really proud of that; it's still a source of frustration because there's a rivalry with those guys obviously and right now they look better than we do. While a part of me feels good about that a large part of me doesn't like it. I'm glad they're doing well and Wayne Dupuy's (crew chief) stock is going up considerably in the last month or so; I'm happy for him. I am going to come out tomorrow and watch Cristen and hopefully we can have a good day over there with the NitroFish/Matco Tools Camaro. Hopefully she can have a good day."
RON CAPPS, U.S. TOBACCO CO. CAMARO Z28, qualified No. 10, with a 5.002-second pass at 282.36, posted in the final qualifying session. He was on a good run, but clicked it off early.
CAPPS: "We've had something wrong with the Camaro that the guys have been chasing since Englishtown. A lot of people probably would have given up over what these guys have been through. To fight through it and fix the cause of the fires is a tribute to how hard the guys work on this team. We ran the five flat and I shut off the car before the finish line. It could have been a better e.t. It turned out to be perfect. We run (Jim) Epler in the first round. He's behind us in points. Jerry Toliver running Tony Pedregon (in the first round) should be a good run. Tony is directly behind us in fourth and Jerry is in front of us. Our goal is to catch Toliver at the end of the season. If we play our cards right and do everything we should we could make up ground in points and hopefully get into the winner's circle tomorrow."
WHY ARE SO MANY CARS HAVING PROBLEMS HERE TODAY? "It has to do with the atmospheric conditions here because you have a valley with a lot of trees. I remember before I started driving growing up in California I never got a chance to come out to the East Coast. I always read about the records falling in Maple Grove Raceway and how good the air was here. The cars would get over centered on their tune-ups and blow up. And now with the work that the Lewis Family has done here and how good they made the track, it's funny how good the Dragsters and Funny Cars run here. These motors automatically make a lot of horsepower here because of how good the air is. When you have a case of people not wanting to back the cars down you are going to have a lot of oildowns. When you have this good of air and this much good oxygen in the air it automatically leans the fuel mixture. You have to get the air/fuel mixture as close to perfect as possible. When you have more oxygen you have to add more fuel. If the crew chief is not on the ball and doesn't match the fuel with the oxygen, the engine will get lean. There won't be enough fuel in the motor. That's when you see the motors get the weird flames out of the exhaust and they tend to blow up."
CRISTEN POWELL, BAZEMORE RACING NITROFISH CAMARO Z28, is No. 8 qualifier, 4.977/296.57. She skipped the third round of qualifying. Her quick time was clocked in last night's session. In the final round she slowed to an 8.061/92.23 pass with a broken pushrod.
POWELL: "We broke a pushrod. It caused the Camaro to go over towards the centerline, so I just lifted because it wasn't going anywhere. We could have used the other run; anyone could have, but that's one of those things. Wayne (Dupuy, crew chief) said he'd rather have it happen in qualifying than tomorrow in the race. I think we will be just fine. Fortunately we had the .97 to qualify with, so that's no problem."
ON TEAM OWNER BAZEMORE NOT QUALIFYING: "That's a disappointment; that really is. I feel bad for him. That's no way to end the year. Luckily he has a chance (to win) with us."
ON THE TRACK CONDITIONS: "I think that the weather conditions and the tune-up on this Camaro that Wayne and Chris Cunningham (came up with) is a good combination. We have the possibility to run well, if the weather is similar to today's. We will probably tune it down a little bit. We think the car can run .80s. They might not try that hard. I think we have the right combination, if the weather holds up."
OTHER QUALIFIED CAMAROS:
5. (highest qualifying Camaro), SCOTTY CANNON, MAD SCIENTIST CAMARO Z28,
7. JIM EPLER, WWF RACING 'BIG RED MACHINE' CAMARO Z28, 4.973/283.25.
13. BOB GILBERTSON, TRICK TANK CAMARO Z28, 5.053/265.17.
PRO STOCK: KJ NO. 9, HAMMONDS DNQ
KURT JOHNSON, ACDELCO CAMARO Z28, is the highest qualifying Camaro in Pro Stock. He's No. 9, 6.884/200.44. Only one other Camaro made the field: RICKIE SMITH, in the BUCKS COUNTY KAWASAKI CAMARO Z28, is No. 13, 6.889/299.85.
TOM HAMMONDS, WINNEBAGO/GM PERFORMANCE PARTS CAMARO Z28, did not qualify. Although he recorded his career second-best elapsed time of 6.948 at 198.26 mph, it was good only for 26th place. In the third qualifying session today, his Camaro veered to the left at the start and Tom shut it off. This evening's session's slower 6.950-second pass at 198.26 mph did not get him into the show.
HAMMONDS: "We didn't make a run in the third session this morning. I think that kind of hurt us a little bit. We have been fighting this Camaro pretty much all year as far as the chassis is concerned and just never got a handle on what it takes to make it run with the rest of the pack. I think one of our problems here and why I was a little skeptical as far as having a good performance was the fact that the air was so good, and the track was so good. Normally we don't run very good under those conditions. And that's because we didn't have much weight in our car that we could move to the front of our nose. Every time at the starting line I had a pretty good shot of the moon. I could see the moon every time we moved because it stayed up on the back tires and the wheelie bars and never really charged down the track like it's supposed to, like the other cars are. We didn't have any more weight that we could move from the back of the car to the front of the car so we could tame it down. And that's key as far as running well under good track conditions and good atmospheric conditions."
WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR THE NEXT RACE? "We hope it's not 60 degrees and the track's not as good as it was here in Reading. If we have worse conditions we should run better."