Eagle One Pontiac Firebird (August 3, 2000) - Eagle One Pontiac Firebird Ron Krisher is having a career season this year in NHRA's Pro Stock division. After crashing and totaling his racecar at the season-opening Winternationals in Pomona,...
Eagle One Pontiac Firebird
(August 3, 2000) - Eagle One Pontiac Firebird Ron Krisher is having a career season this year in NHRA's Pro Stock division. After crashing and totaling his racecar at the season-opening Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., Krisher came back three weeks later at the Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals in Phoenix, Ariz., ready to race. At the inaugural Summitracing.com Nationals in Las Vegas, the Warren, Ohio native scored his first career No. 1 qualifying spot. But his best stretch during the 2000 campaign came during the month of June when he won his first career Pro Stock race at the Fram Route 66 Nationals in Chicago, was runner-up two weeks later at the Pontiac Excitement Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, and then won again less than a week later at the Sears Craftsman Nationals in Madison, Ill. After the completion of 13 events on the 23-event Winston championship tour, Krisher is second in the points standings.
Ron Krisher was a guest on the NHRA Teleconference on August 1, held in conjunction with the 13th annual Autolite Nationals in Sonoma, Calif., on August 4 - 6, and the 19th annual Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., on August 17 - 20.
When you were kicking around the idea of making a serious run at winning a championship, did it ever occur to you that it would be this good, this quick? "I don't think the season really took us by surprise. We started out testing and we were pretty quick. The thing that took us by surprise was when we lost the first car and then how quickly we made the second car come back. It's been very good for us. We struggled a little bit with it, but we certainly made an incredible showing after we had it out for three or four races. "
Which driver has you more concerned in the points race? "I guess I have mixed emotions about that. I keep looking at Jeg (Coughlin), and it's kind of a far away glimmer of hope to overtake him with the number of races we have left, as long as he performs well. Even if we perform well it's going to be very difficult. So I guess to look backwards is the major concern. We're trying to nail down this position (2nd Place). We're probably the most worried about Warren (Johnson) out of everybody because he certainly has the best performance capability. It will be an interesting year going into the final race, I can say that for sure."
How do you account for becoming the No. 1 qualifier at races that are distinctly tricky? "The way you would account for that is a very good crew that is very capable of analyzing the track conditions. Also, the fact that these guys have raced on these racetracks, and have a feel for what they are and what they've been. They don't normally change dramatically from year to year unless the track has been resurfaced or major construction has been done."
What are you feelings going into Brainerd? "My feelings going into Brainerd are that even with our weakest motors, the Eagle One Pontiac Firebird has been capable of running really fast and we've been very fast at the last two races. Brainerd is somewhat of an easier track, although it's almost an altitude track and we seem to do very well in those kind of conditions. Our motor seems to have a heck of a lot of power in adverse conditions. When you get into real good air some other things start to catch up with it, so actually we feel pretty comfortable about the next several races."
How do you balance being too aggressive or not enough aggressive enough when the field is so close? "I don't know because I didn't do a very good job of it in Denver. We started out too close on the lights and I knew we would be in trouble before the end of the weekend. That kind of affected my Seattle race because I was a little bit worried about what I was capable of doing with the clutch pedal. I've got to be very aggressive because my team is. They go for all of it, and if we miss, we miss. But, they don't normally miss."
What's your feeling on the Seattle Racetrack? "I would say it's pretty bad and it hasn't changed since I've been racing there. That's what is tough about it. We know what we're walking into every time we're there. It's rough and that's dangerous for the Pro Stock cars. I think there is some real concern about that racetrack. If you watched from second round on, people were having some serious problems out there and it became very dangerous. You can get in serious trouble in either lane at that racetrack."
What do you do to regroup after Denver and Seattle to start winning races again and to get back into the points battle? "The biggest thing is to get my Christmas tree situation worked out. We've run fast enough to win every round for the last six races. Two of them I had trouble getting out of the lane. I don't think that will happen again because we just got too aggressive. One of the problems with Seattle is the background sunlight and that made it hard to see the tree. Normally I don't look for lights during time trials because I focus on getting down the center of the lane, shifting correctly and getting the best elapsed time. But I'm going to have to start working on my reaction time this time during the time trials to see what it's going to take to get those back up."
How has the transition been for you from struggling to qualify last year to looking to win a championship this year? "The difference is it's a lot easier to drive. The confidence in my crew chief (Mike Edwards) and what goes on when I leave the pits helps my transition. I know I can make a good run. Also, during the time trials if I got in trouble I used to push it and try to run it down to get qualified. Now I know that if I get in trouble that I can just shut if off because I will have a good run the next time."
What are your comments on the new spec fuel? "I think it has done an awful lot to equalize this season. You've certainly seen a lot more winners this year than any others in the past in Pro Stock. It's tightened the field up and increased the winners. I think that's good for the sport, the fans, and the racers."