Lingenfelter Wins His First Pro Stock Truck Title; It's Five In a Row For Chevy S-10 In Sonoma SONOMA, Calif.; Saturday, July 25, 1998: John Lingenfelter, driver of the Summit Racing Equipment Chevy S-10 compact pickup truck, won his...
Lingenfelter Wins His First Pro Stock Truck Title; It's Five In a Row For Chevy S-10 In Sonoma
SONOMA, Calif.; Saturday, July 25, 1998: John Lingenfelter, driver of the Summit Racing Equipment Chevy S-10 compact pickup truck, won his first Pro Stock Truck title of the season at the Autolite Nationals at Sears Point Raceway, round six of the 12-event series sanctioned by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). Larry Kopp, driver of the Accurate Binding/Arma Coatings/G-Force Transmissions Chevy S-10, was eliminated in the semifinals by Todd Patterson, but maintains the championship points lead with 527 points, followed by Lingenfelter, with 400.
Lingenfelter defeated Patterson in the final in a close match that saw the nose of Lingenfelter's Chevy S-10 cross the finish line just three feet ahead of Patterson's Dodge. The reaction times at the starting lights were nearly identical, with Patterson launching off the line with a two-thousandth of a second advantage (.467 to .469). But it was Chevy power at the finish line as the 358 cu. in. Chevy V8 Vortec motor built by Lingenfelter Engines carried the Chevy S-10 first to the line with a 7.805-second pass at 174.24 mph. Patterson's elapsed time was 7.819 seconds at 171.78 mph.
"It was pretty close," said Lingenfelter, of Decatur, Ind. "We had just a slightly quicker truck, but not by much. We won by only a few feet, it was close. The competition level is really escalating race to race. Performance-wise there are probably eight trucks that could have won this race."
Lingenfelter captured his second No. 1 qualifying spot here with a track record 7.684-second elapsed time at 175.64 mph, then defeated Mike Mahon (Ford), Brad Jeter (Chevy) and Tim Freeman (Chevy) to advance to the final. No. 5 qualifier Jerry Haas, in the Chevy Trucks Chevy S-10, established a track record speed of 175.74 mph. Haas, who continues to hold the national speed record of 176.70 mph, was eliminated in the second round by St. Louis winner Tim Freeman.
This was Lingenfelter's third final-round appearance, and his win marks the fifth straight victory by a Chevy S-10. No. 2 qualifier Kopp, winner of three of the six events, lost on a holeshot advantage in the semifinals to Todd Patterson. "It's my own fault," he said. "I was late at the starting line and I had no really good reason for it. I can't say it was any mechanical failure, it was nothing I did, it just happened. We qualified good, made a good showing for Chevrolet, but we didn't win. But going three rounds is better than no rounds. We will just keep collecting those Winston points."
The next Pro Stock Truck race on the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series schedule is the Prolong Super Lubricants Northwest Nationals presented by Al's Auto Supply next weekend in Seattle.