Topeka: Chevrolet Racing qualifying notes

TOPEKA, Kan., May 25, 2001 -Qualifying for the 13th annual Advance Auto Parts Nationals got underway today at Heartland Park. In Pro Stock Truck, Bob Panella drove the Panella Racing Chevrolet S-10 to the No. 1 qualifying spot with an elapsed...

TOPEKA, Kan., May 25, 2001 -Qualifying for the 13th annual Advance Auto Parts Nationals got underway today at Heartland Park. In Pro Stock Truck, Bob Panella drove the Panella Racing Chevrolet S-10 to the No. 1 qualifying spot with an elapsed time of 7.475 seconds at 180.96 mph. Scott Perin is second in an S-10, Don Smith is third in an S-10, Todd Patterson is fourth in a Dodge, and Jeff Gracia is fifth in a GMC Sonoma. Randy Daniels drove the Bailey Trucking Chevy S-10 to the No. 6 position.

In Pro Stock, Young Life Pro Stock Grand Am driver, Mike Edwards ran an elapsed time of 6.876 seconds at 199.52 mph to take the No. 2 position and to lead all Cavaliers. Warren Johnson is the No. 1 qualifier in a Grand Am with an elapsed time of 6.868 seconds at 200.92 mph (track record). Allen Johnson is third in a Dodge, Jim Yates is fourth in a Grand Am and Jeg Coughlin Jr. drove the Jeg's Mail Order Chevy Cavalier to the fifth spot. Ron Krisher is 10th, Kurt Johnson finished the day 16th and Troy Coughlin ended the day 20th, all in Cavaliers.

In Funny Car, Tommy Johnson Jr. is fourth in the Skoal Racing Chevy Camaro with an elapsed time of 4.824 seconds at 312.71 mph.. John Force is the No. 1 qualifier with an elapsed time of 4.809 seconds at 316.82 mph. Tony Pedregon is second, Del Worsham is third in a Firebird and Dean Skuza is fifth. Ron Capps drove his Camaro to the ninth spot, Jim Epler is 12th and Chuck Etchell's is 16th.

In Top Fuel, Team Chevrolet driver Larry Dixon drove the Miller Lite dragster to the No. 7 qualifying spot with an elapsed time of 4.630 seconds at 317.72 mph. Mike Dunn took the top spot with the quickest run under the 90-percent and the fourth quickest run in NHRA history with an elapsed time for 4.495 seconds. Plus, he ran the second fastest speed in NHRA history at 331.53 mph. Doug Kalitta is second, Gary Scelzi is third, Darrell Russell is fourth and Kenny Bernstein is fifth.

The Advance Auto Parts Nationals is the ninth race on the 24-event NHRA Winston championship tour. Qualifying highlights of the can be seen on ESPN2 on Saturday, May 26, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. Same-day coverage of final elimination's can be seen on ESPN on Sunday, May 27, starting at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.

PRO STOCK TRUCK

Bob Panella (Panella Motorsports Chevrolet S-10) - "We honestly just missed it that last session. We misjudged the racetrack. The track was good during that first session and it got even better for that second session and we just missed it. It got better then we thought it would. Both of our trucks have the tendency to go left when they're not up on the tire and that's what happened. We managed to squeeze a 7.47 out of it which surprised me. We're happy though. We made two good runs, and know that when the sun's down and the track's like this, what we got to do. I'm looking forward to staying consistent and getting a good race set-up. Sometimes I struggle on good racetracks and this seems to be one of the one's I can figure out a little better. When we used to go to Richmond I had terrible luck and it's a good racetrack. Houston I used to struggle and I think I've kind of got that figured out. Here I do pretty well. I'm mainly happy that our Chevy S-10 ran as consistent as it did. Tomorrow we're going to work on getting race day setup." No. 1 qualifier - 7.475ET/180.96MPH

John Coughlin (Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet S-10) - "We made a solid run right out of the trailer and that is the best way to start any weekend. After reviewing the data from our first it is clear to everyone that we can improve significantly and move the Jeg's machine closer to the top of the qualifying order. The engine was making a totally different sound after I made my burnout. I got on the radio and asked the guys if they could hear anything odd. I cleaned out the engine a couple of times and started to sound better. I felt the engine start to go away at about the 1000-foot mark and knew that it was hurt." No. 10 qualifier - 7.526ET/179.18MPH

Mike Coughlin (Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet S-10) - "We were really expecting to run stronger then we did in the first session after seeing my brother John's run. There is more left in this bow tie and we will work on improving our qualifying position. With the air temperature expected to increase as the weekend goes on it was important for us to make a solid run in the Jeg's Chevy S-10 during the second session. The run felt great all the way down the track and we are ready to spend the rest of the weekend fine tuning for race day." No. 13 qualifier - 7.538ET/178.24MPH

PRO STOCK

Ron Krisher (Eagle One Chevrolet Cavalier) - "We changed the hood scoop but we don't know if that's going to help it or not. Our last car ran really well with this hood scoop. We've got the motor running really fast but it won't accelerate - it's got too much fuel in it. But we put a lot of fuel in it trying to save the motor to see if we could get it to run, and when you're dumping 50 more pounds of fuel per hour, what you normally see is the right number. Normally we run 450-pounds of fuel and we've got it jacked up on the dyno now to 500-pounds of fuel which is 10-percent over what we usually run. We'll fix it in the morning. If we burn the motor up, we burn it up, but we're going to go fast. It's frustrating though that we can't figure out what on earth is different in these cars and why it does what it does. I've burnt this motor up three times this year already, but we'll work on it and be ready for tomorrow." No. 10 qualifier - 6.901ET/199.73MPH

Mike Edwards (Young Life Chevrolet Cavalier) - "We made some adjustments from the first session. We changed a lot of transmission ratio; it just didn't have enough transmission in that first run. We put some more gear into it and changed the clutch a little bit and got closer on the tune up. I feel really good about the car. Ron's (Krisher) car didn't run as well but we're going to work on that tomorrow. We're going to have an early session tomorrow so it could be even better then tonight especially if the track is still good. I don't know if it will be though. The air will probably be better. We're going to make a few adjustments and see what happens." No. 2 qualifier - 6.876ET/199.52MPH

Jeg Coughlin (Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier)- "That was not the way that we wanted to start the weekend in the Jeg's Chevy Cavalier. We will focus on improving from here. We needed to make a good run in the second session and we did. We left a little on the table and we could have been a little more aggressive with the Jeg's machine. I think that we are back on track and we expect big things out of the yellow and black this weekend." No. 5 qualifier - 6.885ET/199.88MPH

Troy Coughlin (Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier) - "We have been fitting this same problem off of the starting line for a couple of races. The important things is that we made a solid run during the first session and we can use that data to help us improve our qualifying position tomorrow." No. 20 qualifier - 6.938ET/199.37MPH

FUNNY CAR

Tommy Johnson Jr. (Skoal Racing Chevrolet Camaro)- "We're happy that we're not blowing up anymore. We were really getting frustrated. Our team really came together and stayed focused. We needed that run. Hopefully our little slump is over with. Those are much fun. We are ready to start racing again and running strong. The Skoal Camaro felt really good in that last session. It was nice and smooth and we finally got good data and a run down the track without hurting to much. We're going to try and improve from that run during tomorrow's sessions. But to say the least we're happy with that run and getting solidly in the field." No. 4 qualifier - 4.824ET/312.71MPH

TOP FUEL

Larry Dixon (Miller Lite/GM Dragster) - "I shut off around half-track in the first session because I could tell the car wasn't running right. The clutch cannon broke again just like it did in Englishtown. There was no reason for me to stay with the run while we were having the clutch malfunction. We had to replace the whole clutch system for the second session, including timers, cannon, clutch and hydraulics." "We used a standard, baseline setup just to get some numbers and we weren't looking for any hero tune-up. As it turned out, we didn't have any troubles with the clutch system during the run and we ran a 4.63. For Saturday, now that we have solved the clutch problems, we need to start working on the overall performance of the car. Can we run a 4.49 like Dunn? - I don't think so, but we can go out and run 4.55's like we did last week. I think this car has the potential to do that and if we can qualify in the top four or five cars, that's where we want to be." No. 7 qualifier - 4.630ET/317.72MPH

-GM Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Troy Coughlin , Bob Panella , Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Kenny Bernstein , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Jim Epler , Dean Skuza , Del Worsham , Ron Capps , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Ron Krisher , Todd Patterson , Jeff Gracia , Randy Daniels , Mike Coughlin , Allen Johnson , Mike Edwards , Tommy Johnson Jr.