ETCHELLS ANXIOUS TO TEND TO UNFINISHED BUSINESS IN TOPEKA Putnam, Conn., October 15, 1998 - So far this season, the participants in the NHRA's Winston Drag Racing Series have competed in eighteen points events in all four corners of the United...
ETCHELLS ANXIOUS TO TEND TO UNFINISHED BUSINESS IN TOPEKA
Putnam, Conn., October 15, 1998 - So far this season, the participants in the NHRA's Winston Drag Racing Series have competed in eighteen points events in all four corners of the United States. This weekend will mark the midpoint of a grueling five-week stretch of consecutive races. Besides the pressure to perform at every national event, there is the added stress of the chase for the championship. Therefore, the question that begs to asked is why are Chuck Etchells and the Kendall Oil/MaMa Rosa's Pizza/Superwinch Camaro Z28 Racing team chomping at the bit to return to Topeka for the completion of the rain-delayed Parts America Nationals?
The answer is quite simple, and can be found nestled comfortably in the Etchells hauler - a lightning-fast racecar. In the last qualifying session held two weeks ago, Etchells' 4.951-second, 306.74 miles-per-hour effort was the quickest pass of the day, and placed him second in the qualifying order, equaling his time trial successes from Phoenix and Denver earlier this season. Starting with a first-round match-up against number 15 qualifier Jack Wyatt, Etchells is looking for a long stay during Saturday's final eliminations.
"Tim and Kim (Richards, Etchells' veteran crew chiefs) really have our Camaro Z28 flying right now," stated Etchells, "and it's our goal to take full advantage of it. Although I think we're on the good side of the ladder, every competitor is tough on race day. We're at a point in the season where every race is vital to our championship hopes. Even though we are cautiously optimistic about our chances, for this weekend to be a success, everything must be perfect, and that is our game plan going in."
But prior to the first round on Saturday, there is an all-important test session scheduled for Friday afternoon. Even though it will have no impact on qualifying, and no points will be awarded, this solitary run could be the bellwether for Saturday's eliminations. The pressure will be on to have a productive run, as it will provide the most up-to-date information on track conditions and will be the basis for setting the car up for competition. Rest assured, the Etchells crew will be prepared.
"Friday's test run could be crucial to success on Saturday," explained Etchells. "Not only will it provide the crew chiefs with vital data, it will set the tone for eliminations. I believe the team that does well in that session will have a leg up on the competition. We're looking to pick right up where we left off two weeks ago. With the combination of a fast car, a talented crew, and our history of past successes at Heartland Park Topeka, this Kendall Oil/MaMa Rosa's Pizza/Superwinch Camaro Z28 team is ready to make our return trip to Topeka include a visit to the winner's circle!"