Sonoma Saturday Funny Car Chevy notes

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES AUTOLITE NATIONALS SEARS POINT RACEWAY NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SATURDAY, JULY 25, 1998 IT'S A SUPER CHEVY SATURDAY AT SONOMA'S CHEVY TRACK: * Capps, Bazemore Qualify on "Front Row" * Etchells Takes Over...

CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES AUTOLITE NATIONALS SEARS POINT RACEWAY NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SATURDAY, JULY 25, 1998

IT'S A SUPER CHEVY SATURDAY AT SONOMA'S CHEVY TRACK:

* Capps, Bazemore Qualify on "Front Row"

* Etchells Takes Over Championship Points Lead

* John Lingenfelter Wins Pro Stock Truck in Chevy S-10

It's an all-Camaro "front row" for the second straight race this season, with No. 1 qualifier RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, leading the way with an e.t. of 5.130/290.69. No. 2 qualifier is WHIT BAZEMORE, TEAM WINSTON CAMARO Z28, 5.141/289.01. Capps is the defending champion here, having won the title last year.

CHUCK ETCHELLS, KENDALL/MA MA ROSA'S PIZZA/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, is No. 4, 5.206/300.10. Etchells outqualified John Force (Force is No. 9), earning four points. With Force earning two points, Etchells takes over the Winston Championship points lead by one point over Force as they prepare to run final eliminations tomorrow.

CAPPS: "One of the benefits of having Roland (Leong, crew chief) is that he's beEn around for many yEars. We went out last night (in qualifying) and did what we were supposed to do in the cold air. In the day in the second round we threw a little more at it to see if the track could take it. It didn't, now we know what our limits are here."

DID YOU EXPECT YOUR E.T. TO HOLD? "I wasn't too sure. There are a couple of tough cars out here. In the last run when the sun came down it was starting to cool off and I was getting nervous. Those were pretty good runs for Etchells (5.206) and Bazemore (5.253). I know (Tom) Wilkerson (No. 3, 5.153) can run good in the heat, Etchells and Bazemore are two tough guys in the heat. I wasn't counting my chickens."

ON SEARS POINT RACEWAY: "I love this track. I lived in Cupertino for awhile and I met my wife (Shelley) here, and the only thing more special than that is my daughter Taylor's birthday is today. She was born in Palo Alto two days before I ran Top Fuel here in 1995. After she was born I jumped into the car and drove up here to qualify in Roger Primm's Top Fuel Dragster. My wife's family and my family came up today and we had Taylor's birthday party here."

ON THE CAMAROS DOING SO WELL: "My Camaro is really planted. You see the Funny Cars and the Top Fuel cars are sometimes hazing their tires at the top end. But this Camaro just drives down the middle, and any move I make it just reacts. It's a great car."

ON STRATEGY FOR TOMORROW: "I feel pretty good about what we've got going. Roland has a great baseline for this track. Looking at his record and winning here last year and how we've been running this weekend are testament to that. It will probably be a little warmer tomorrow. You will see some races where the cars are shaking and you might see some races where there are upsets. You aren't going to see big numbers. You'll have to race smart tomorrow."

ETCHELLS: "I've been saying all along that I'm not even going to look at the points situation until after we complete the West Coast swing because so many things could happen in these three weeks. I'm not going to get excited about it at this point, because Ron (Capps, who presently sits third) coud leave here with the lead. I think our team has no pressure, because we're just having fun, and we're not expected to be in front of John Force. But, looking at tomorrow's ladder, it's going to be a war. There are a lot of heavy hitters on the one side, which should make things very interesting. I'm sure that as we speak there is a big meeting going on in the Force camp, with the instructions being given for Tony (Pedregon, Force's teammate) to beat us at all costs in the first round."

PRO STOCK TRUCK: John Lingenfelter wins his first race of the season in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy S-10 (See PST note).

PRO STOCK

KURT JOHNSON, AC DELCO CAMARO Z28, is No. 3 qualifier, 6.999/199.60.

KURT: "We're pretty happy with our performance. To get in the show nowadays is the biggest thing. It takes a little luck, you know. The "good" session was last night, but we were fortunate enough to get in this morning, with that 6.99. We were the quickest car out there and still there was four or five hundredths left in it, because it was shakin' and spinnin' and out of control."

WERE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT MAKING THE SHOW AFTER NOT MAKING IT LAST NIGHT? "You're always a little bit concerned, but I've been here in the past and qualified No. 1 on Saturday morning. I knew it would take a 7.06 to get in. I knew that if I could at least get it from point A to point B a little bit better than last night, when it shook in all three gears, we'd make it. I had a shot of making it in the show somewhere in the top 16. I really wasn't concerned performancewise, it was just getting it hooked up to the race track. We did our job and got the tires hooked up."

TOM HAMMONDS, WINNEBAGO/MAC TOOLS/KENDALL CAMARO Z28, is No. 12, 7.033/197.54.

LARRY MORGAN, RAYBESTOS CAMARO Z28, failed to qualify.

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , John Lingenfelter