CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES AUTOLITE NATIONALS SEARS POINT RACEWAY NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SUNDAY, JULY 26, 1998 PRO STOCK -- CAMARO Z28 TOM HAMMONDS, WINNEBAGO/MAC TOOLS/KENDALL CAMARO Z28, advanced to the second round by defeating...
CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES AUTOLITE NATIONALS SEARS POINT RACEWAY NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SUNDAY, JULY 26, 1998
PRO STOCK -- CAMARO Z28
TOM HAMMONDS, WINNEBAGO/MAC TOOLS/KENDALL CAMARO Z28, advanced to the second round by defeating Mark Osborne with a 7.084-second pass at 197.23 mph, to Osborne's 8.952/109.15. He then faced George Marnell in the second round and was defeated: 15.160/54.59 to 7.312/191.81. This is the second time in four races that Hammonds has advanced to the second round. Hammonds, power forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves' basketball team, debuted his Camaro in Columbus on June 12, qualified and won the first round.
HAMMONDS: "We tried to overcompensate for the track conditions which are not ideal. In the first round we didn't have enough car speed so we had to add weight to the rear of the Camaro. We didn't compensate to the right height for the wheelie bars with the weight that we added. As soon as I let the clutch out it drilled the car to the centerline right off the line. There was nothing I could do but lift. I didn't want to scratch my new Winnebago Camaro and do more damage to it than we had already done. The proper thing was to lift and come back and race another day."
ON THE FIRST ROUND: "The first run was a good run for us. No one was getting down the right lane. We were put in the right lane by Mark Osborne and made a good run. We did a 7.08 in that lane. What more could you ask for going to the second round? At the same time it's a learning process for us and we don't have near as many runs as the other guys, but I think our team is heading in the right direction."
KURT JOHNSON, AC DELCO CAMARO Z28, was eliminated in the first round by Steve Schmidt (7.088/195.60 to 7.571/187.07). Johnson experienced severe tire shake in the left lane.
KURT: "We've been trying to get the Camaro calmed down in low gear trying to get the 60-ft. (time) better, which is where we've been lacking all weeknd. It's been shaking the tires really bad in low gear, spinning and shaking. We finally got that fixed, and it really pushed me back in the seat, but when I put it in second, I guess the tires were so distorted that it just spun 'em, shook 'em violently in second, third and fourth gears. I pedaled it and got back in it, and a 7.57 at 187 mph was about all it was going to give. It was just out of control from second gear to the finish line. It's the first time we've run this new Camaro under these type of conditions, so the next couple of days we're going to be testing up at Woodburn (Oregon), so we should be able to learn a lot and get this thing calmed down. Maybe we won't worry so much about low gear, a 6.99 like I ran yesterday would have won the race today, so..."
FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28
RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, advanced to the second round after defeating Don Sosenka in the first with a 5.200-second pass at 267.53 mph (8.299/94.22 for Sosenka). Al Hofmann then eliminated Capps in the second round with a 5.076-second pass at 304.25 mph. Capps: 5.172/282.39.
CAPPS: "The Camaro left great (in the second round). In fact, it had good early numbers. We didn't have lane choice, so Roland (Leong, crew chief) did what he had to do to get the car down the right lane. I didn't see Al until half-track when we put a cylinder out and I watched him drive away from me. The car has been doing weird things the last few rounds. The first round today it did some weird things; we should have run a 5.05 or 5.06. But, just to have this Camaro going to the second round and having (Chuck) Etchells going out and (John) Force going out, and gaining points, we're leaving here with a positive attitude. There's no reason to hang our heads. We had low e.t. in Seattle (next weekend's race) last year and I have a lot of faith in the Camaro."
ON THE POINTS CHASE: "We're behind Force maybe less than two rounds. And with Etchells in the points lead it's good to see the Camaro on top, but there's a lot of season left."
CHUCK ETCHELLS, KENDALL/MA MA ROSA'S PIZZA/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, lost the first round to Tony Pedregon, 5.629/260.34 to 5.268/287.17. John Force was also eliminated in the first round, allowing Etchells to hold on to his one-point lead over Force in the Winston Championship.
ETCHELLS: "To say the least, today's run was very disappointing. Initially it was a decent leave, but for some reason it drove itself to the right, and felt very weak. I had to pedal it to keep it away from the centerline. It then dropped a cylinder, and threw one of the electronic distributors right out of the Camaro at the same time. This gave me no chance of running Tony (Pedregon) down. Actually, we're pretty fortunate to be leaving here in the lead. We've been able to gain a big five points on John (Force) over the last two races, but Ron (Capps), Tony and Cruz (Pedregon) have moved up on us. I'll tell you one thing, we're going to have to do better next weekend, or we won't be leaving there with the points lead. But I have a lot of faith in this Kendall Camaro crew, they have responded to every challenge this season, and I'm pretty confident we'll be strong in Seattle!"
FUNNY CAR POINT STANDINGS:
Chuck Etchells (Chevy) 902 John Force (Ford) 901 Ron Capps (Chevy) 875