CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES AUTOLITE NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SEARS POINT INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY SONOMA, CA. SATURDAY, AUG. 7, 1999 FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28 -- FINAL QUALIFYING CAMAROS NO. 1 IN FUNNY CAR AND PRO STOCK WHIT ...
CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES AUTOLITE NATIONALS NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SEARS POINT INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY SONOMA, CA. SATURDAY, AUG. 7, 1999
FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28 -- FINAL QUALIFYING
CAMAROS NO. 1 IN FUNNY CAR AND PRO STOCK
WHIT BAZEMORE, KENDALL OIL/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, is No. 1 qualifier for the second time this season, with his 4.931-second pass at 305.77 mph in today's first session, when he faced John Force. Force won the "race," but Whit snatched the No. 1 spot from him in that pass. In the second session, Whit made a 5.176-second pass at 233.88 mph, but held on to the top spot."
BAZEMORE: "Coming into this race we certainly didn't expect to run that quick. Historically this track has been difficult to run on, and we expected it to be hot, like it usually is, and the track would be marginal. The two tracks we just came from, Denver and Seattle, both were very tricky. We knew after the first day, that with the overcast and cool weather conditions the track was actually a lot better than we thought. We ran 5 flat twice yesterday. We knew on the basis of the second 5.0 if we adjusted the car accordingly and fixed a few problems that we saw in that run that we potentially could run a low 4.90. We certainly expected the Force team was going to do it. What happened was we were paired up with them (Force). It was neat the way it worked out. We both ran well side by side, and we snuck by and got No. 1 by a hundredth or so." ANY GAME PLAN, STRATEGY? "It's going to be a different day tomorrow. We saw the conditions change here this afternoon. It got a lot hotter. It's a fairly tricky place when the sun's out. We have to see what the weather is going to be tomorrow. If it's overcast in the first round a handful of cars will run a 4.95 and maybe some will run better. If it's hot look for 5.0s. Even though you are No. 1 it doesn't mean anything except we may have a good first round draw. In this cse we run Cruz, so tht will be tough. The '99 Camaro body, that we jukst came out with two races ago and tht Chevrolet developed the body in response to the rules change NHRA announced late last year. It's kind of evened up the playing field, it appears. It's working for us, and the car is working well and the team has pulled together and we feel confident." DOES HAVING FORCE IN THE LANE NEXT TO YOU MOTIVATE YOU MORE? "No, not really. I was late. I told everyone it's like Pro Stock, you let them go and you get a couple of hundred feet difference. I don't know why they do it. I saw John out there, I knew we ran a little quicker than he did. He never saw me, he probably thought he ran real well and was No. 1 qualifier. I'm motivated by everybody. Force and Pedregon in particular, they're good for extra motivation. The first round is going to be exciting. Whether it's Tony or Cruz, both are good racers. We don't speak much, they don't speak much, it's kind of a war when we run those guys."
RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, is No. 8 qualifier, 5.045/285.29.
PRO STOCK -- CAMARO Z28
KURT JOHNSON, ACDELCO CAMARO Z28, qualified No. 1, with a track record e.t. of 6.898 seconds at 199.91 mph, which he posted in today's first session, for his fourth No. 1 of the 1999 season. In the second session, he recorded an e.t. of 6.929 seconds at 199.58 mph. His dad Warren had been unqualified until the final session, then pulled off a 6.925-second pass at a track record speed of 200.77 mph, placing him in second place.
KURT: "My run on Friday night was absolutely flawless in first and second gear, but we were having a problem with traction at mid-track. This morning we stood up the spoiler and put another 50 pounds of downforce on the rear tires, and that was really the only change we made. We left one or two hundredths on the table because the clutch was still a little too soft, but the track and atmospheric conditions were better today than yesterday. You want to make clean, straight runs here because the groove is pretty narrow. I'd like to make four runs like that tomorrow."
MIKE EDWARDS, DEWCO SALES CAMARO Z28, is No. 7, 6.947/199.40.
TOM HAMMONDS, WINNEBAGO/MATCO TOOLS/KENDALL CAMARO Z28, did not qualify. His. 7.036/194.77 pass put him 25th in the field.
HAMMONDS: "The most interesting thing I have done today is watch WCW wrestling on my satellite T.V. We just never got a handle on the race track. We would blow the tires off in one run and in another run we wouldn't have enough clutch. It tells you something, when Warren Johnson goes out and has to qualify on the very last attempt, about what kind of conditions we are facing this weekend. There's nothing to complain about, everyone else is facing the same conditions, but they had the right setup and went fast. We didn't do that. Other than my basketball rookie year in 1989, this is definitely the toughest thing I have ever done."