St. Louis Bob Panella Finals Report

Bob Panella Jr. Wins Another One From Pole to Winner's Circle in His Chevy S-10 MADISON, Ill.; June 27, 1999: Bob Panella Jr., driving the Panella Motorsports Chevy S-10 Pickup, won his second Pro Stock Truck title of his career and...

Bob Panella Jr. Wins Another One From Pole to Winner's Circle in His Chevy S-10

MADISON, Ill.; June 27, 1999: Bob Panella Jr., driving the Panella Motorsports Chevy S-10 Pickup, won his second Pro Stock Truck title of his career and the season in four final-round appearances, at the Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. This was the ninth event of the 14-race category for compact pickup trucks, part of the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series, and was held under the lights Saturday night. Following a three-and-a-half-hour rain delay, final eliminations took place after 2 a.m. Sunday morning. Panella, of Stockton, Calif., led the way from No. 1 qualifying position directly into winner's circle, dominating every round in eliminations, with his slowest e.t. a 7.663-second pass in the first round. He defeated points leader Mark Osborne, in the RCL Components Chevy S-10, in the final with his track record elapsed time of 7.623 seconds and track record top speed of 176.28 mph. Panella launched first with a .478 reaction time to Osborne's .579, but Osborne's Chevy S-10 quit at the starting line. "I'm happy that all our hard work back at the shop has been paying off," said Panella, winner and polesitter also at the Fram Nationals on Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., this year. "We haven't plateaued, we're still going to try to get better and, of course, everyone else will be too. The guys and the transporter have been on the road since Gainesville (Fla.). Fortunately now that we've won a couple of these things we can go home with a good taste in our mouth before the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis." "There was a malfunction on the 2-step switch on the S-10," explained Osborne, of Abingdon, Va., who drives for Kessinger Motorsports. "It's what keeps it from revving higher on the starting line. It just loaded up on fuel when I let the clutch out and it made a big pop and the motor died, and Panella was off to the races." "Honestly, I probably shouldn't have done it, but in fifth gear I looked at Winston Vision and saw Mark way back there, so I knew something had happened to him and it was probably terminal," added Panella. "I didn't want to celebrate and do something stupid and forget to finish the run. I was happy, definitely happy. Tired, but happy. I wish it would have been a real race. At this point we are running strong, we have a little bit of an advantage, and we stayed in the good lane (left) or what we thought was the good lane all night long and that probably made the difference." Panella defeated Dave McConnell, John Coughlin and Tim Freeman to reach the final. Osborne dismissed Randy Daniels, Brad Jeter and Mike Coughlin en route to his matchup with Panella. Chevy S-10 drivers lead the point standings, with Osborne holding on to first place with 738 points, followed by Panella with 719, and fellow Chevy S-10 drivers Brad Jeter with 687, Randy Daniels with 522, and Mike Coughlin in fifth with 513 points. Chevy S-10s have won each of the nine events so far. Next on the Pro Stock Truck schedule is the Winston Showdown in Bristol, Tenn., a non-points special event July 8-10. The regular series starts up again at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis Sept. 1-6.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Panella , Brad Jeter , Randy Daniels , Mike Coughlin , Tim Freeman