Topeka Chevrolet Finals Report

PRO STOCK TRUCK -- CHEVY S-10 -- FINAL ELIMINATIONS JOHN LINGENFELTER, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVY S-10, was defeated in the final round today by Craig Eaton, 7.747/172.24 for Eaton, 7.808/172.54 for Lingenfelter. Lingenfelter moves within...

PRO STOCK TRUCK -- CHEVY S-10 -- FINAL ELIMINATIONS

JOHN LINGENFELTER, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVY S-10, was defeated in the final round today by Craig Eaton, 7.747/172.24 for Eaton, 7.808/172.54 for Lingenfelter. Lingenfelter moves within 47 points of the lead in the Pro Stock Truck Winston Championship, as leader Larry Kopp didn't qualify (747-700).

LINGENFELTER: "There was nothing unusual about that run, the S-10 was just loose all the way down. It was spinning bad even in fifth gear. Lane choice was everything. If we would have run quicker the previous round and had lane choice we would have had a better chance of winning. I think Eaton's advantage is that his truck is really working well, and Craig really did a good job driving it. He had a better light (reaction time), I had a .441, he had a .424. That might have made a difference, but the lane was the major difference. The big thing was giving up lane choice. The round before we were quicker than he was. We made a change trying to improve and went backwards and ended up losing lane choice." ON EATON AND OTHER DRIVERS CATCHING UP IN THIS CLASS: "There are a lot of guys who are running good, and you see a lot of new guys who have bursts of brilliance -- they have one or two good rounds, so you know it's there. They just can't quite grasp the complete combination. The information is out there, all the vendors that help us also help the new customers, so the information we have learned initially filters down a lot faster than we have been able to learn it. ON THE POINTS CHASE: "We gained 84 points on Larry. One race could make the difference now. It's less than three rounds of eliminations." WILL YOU DO ANYTHING DIFFERENT NOW THAT YOU'VE CLOSED IN ON THE POINTS?: "We'll do the same thing, we'll just keep doing the best we can, keep trying to do better. I think it puts more pressure on him than it does on us."

FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28

CHUCK ETCHELLS, KENDALL/MA MA ROSA'S PIZZA/SUPERWINCH CAMARO Z28, is No. 2 qualifier, 4.951/306.74. Etchells set this e.t. in the final qualifying round.

ETCHELLS: "The good news is that we made two solid runs today. Ironically, we shut off early in both. On the first one (5.040/290.60) I thought it was going to get the centerline cone at about 1000 feet. The lane was terrible, and the car wasn't steering back, so I shut off to avoid hitting it. Tonight, it was flying, it ran 244 mph at the one-eighth-mile mark. It was on a huge run, but when it got down around 900 feet or so, it was starting to hurt itself, so I clicked it off early. If that hadn't happened, I think it might have been good enough to grab the No. 1 spot. Obviously we learned something from yesterday's run to use today. Looking at tomorrow, we have about as good a ladder as you can get. I mean, every one is tough on race day. But this is the best we've qualified in a while, and therefore we should get a better draw than we have of late. It's nice to see that (John) Force and Cruz (Pedregon) could meet each other on the other side in the second round. You know what they say, it's not over 'til the fat lady sings."

RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, is No. 3 qualifier, 4.986/303.84, set in today's first qualifying session. In the final qualifying round he spun the tires immediately on takeoff.

CAPPS: "We just tried to get aggressive. We hadn't been in the right lane all weekend, and by the looks of how everybody ran in the right lane it was clearly not the better lane. We went down the left lane twice and Roland (Leong, crew chief) decided to see if we could go for low e.t. in the right lane and it didn't hold, it smoked the tires." ON THE RECENT WIND TUNNEL TEST: "We went to the GM wind tunnel last weekend and tried some things and when we tried to have it teched yesterday the NHRA didn't qite agree with what we tried, so we weren't able to run that body. We pulled out 'old trusty', which is the '98 Camaro that we won our races with this year that has no work done to it. It's just like it showed up from Hairy Glass. But it's been real good to us. It ran 303 mph the first lap, it's a very stable car and I'm very close with this Camaro body. I feel very good when I get into this car. We will continue to run this body and bring the other Camaro body out next year." ON THE RECONFIGURED BODY: "The Camaro body we made the changes to is the one we ran in Indy. We made some changes to it before Indy in the spoiler area. We made these new changes to that body and it's unfortunate we can't run it because the guys worked so hard to get the car ready, they had sleepless nights and the body didn't get here until Friday morning. But you have to respect the NHRA and the decisions they have to make. They're trying to get this series as even as possible." WOULD THIS NEW BODY BE CONSIDERED A '99 BODY IN ANY WAY, RELATING TO NHRA'S NOT ALLOWING JOHN FORCE TO RUN A '99 BODY? "The big difference is that Force wanted to run a '99 body and we made changes to our '98 body. To be honest with you, the changes that we made to our '98 body won't even be legal for '99, the NHRA told us. You have to respect the decision they made and you have to go forward. I think they're doing a great job trying to get everything as even as possible. You have a Mustang down there that holds the national record for speed. The racing is very good right now. The NHRA has to keep it that way."

WHIT BAZEMORE, TEAM WINSTON CAMARO Z28, is No. 6 qualifier, 5.117/303.84.

PRO STOCK -- CAMARO Z28

KURT JOHNSON, AC DELCO CAMARO Z28, is No. 6 qualifier, 6.962/197.67.

LARRY MORGAN, RAYBESTOS CAMARO, is No. 16 qualifier, 7.004/195.77.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Kopp