Rockingham Sunday Winston Invtl Chevy Notes

SUNDAY, APRIL 5, 1998 FUNNY CAR RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, advanced to the finals after defeating Tim Wilkerson and Tony Pedregon. Capps then faced Cruz Pedregon, who had lane choice, in a race for the big bucks -- $100,000 to be...

SUNDAY, APRIL 5, 1998

FUNNY CAR

RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, advanced to the finals after defeating Tim Wilkerson and Tony Pedregon. Capps then faced Cruz Pedregon, who had lane choice, in a race for the big bucks -- $100,000 to be exact. Capps left him at the light with a .458 reaction time to Cruz's .492. As Pedregon cruised to the win, Capps found himself struggling to keep his Camaro on course after losing traction. He coasted to the quarter mile in 9.792 seconds at an excrutiatingly slow speed of 86.65 mph (Cruz: 4.927/312.06).

CAPPS: "I thought the right lane was coming around after the first and second rounds, everyone matched up pretty evenly. It's unfortunate when you get a track that maybe has a one-lane advantage, but we knew he was going to run a .90 flat or a high .80. We knew we had it cut out for us. Where there's only two cars left at the end of the day and you're one of them, you're having a good weekend."

"The car went out and basically shook where it did on the run where we had to abort in the right lane during Friday night qualifying. This time it didn't give me any warning and when I went to pedal the Camaro it was already in trouble, it was already smoking the tires. At that point I got back on the throttle real quick and smoked the tires again and I saw the green car in the corner of my eye going by me. There was no use getting back into it. I wasn't going to catch him. We'll just load this Chevy Camaro up and go to Atlanta. Well, we got to run both the '98 Camaro bodies today."

CHUCK ETCHELLS, KENDALL/MA MA ROSA'S PIZZA/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, upset defending champion John Force in the first round. This set up a semi-final confrontation with No. 1 qualifier Cruz Pedregon. Etchells had more than a one-hundredth of a second advantage at the start (.500 to .513), but was slowed by a dropped cylinder, allowing Pedregon to win (5.030/300.30 to 4.979/298.30).

ETCHELLS: "That was tough. We had over a hundredth on Cruz, and our Camaro was on a great run. Our computer said it was on a 4.92 or 4.93 pace. It left hard and never spun the tires at all. But then we dropped a cylinder on the 2-4-6-8 side. My guess is that we had too much fuel volume. I saw Cruz go by, and open up a two-car length lead. Then the cylinder kicked back in around 1000 feet, the car took off again and I was able to cut it to one. But I couldn't catch him. You're not going to win many races on seven cylinders."

PRO STOCK

KURT JOHNSON, ACDELCO CAMARO Z28, reached the final today after eliminating Jim Yates, Mark Pawuk and Steve Schmidt. Kurt had lane choice and selected the left lane in the final against Mark Osborne. Kurt took off on an excellent reaction time, .442 to Osborne's .466, but the engine bogged halfway and Kurt had to settle for runner-up position (7.470/166.11) as Osborne sailed to victory (7.025/196.89).

KURT: ON THE PUFF OF SMOKE COMING FROM HIS CAMARO ON THE PREVIOUS RUN: "Yes, I heard about that. I think it was just some oil out of the breather, it had nothing to do with what happened in the final." ON THE FINAL RUN: "For some reason the transmission malfunctioned and went from first gear to third gear. We had 'mechanical difficulties.' It just bogged the motor down, the car just shut off. I put it in fourth (gear), but it was shaking real bad. It's like it broke something, it was vibrating the run before. I thought it was just shaking the tires, then it started to do the same thing in this run." ON THE GOOD REACTION TIMES: "I was real good on the tree today, three .440s and a .450. We were very consistent."

ON HIS 'TEAMMATE' DALE EARNHARDT JR.'S WIN IN BUSCH GRAND NATIONAL YESTERDAY: "My teammate won, so I was trying to keep up with him and keep that ACDelco banner flying."

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Mark Pawuk , Tony Pedregon , John Force , Cruz Pedregon , Tim Wilkerson , Steve Schmidt