Topeka, Kan. (Sept. 30) - Today at the 12th Annual Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, the Pro Stock Truck class would find a new face in the final round, but would see an old favorite take the win light. For the fifth time this year Winston ...
Topeka, Kan. (Sept. 30) - Today at the 12th Annual Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, the Pro Stock Truck class would find a new face in the final round, but would see an old favorite take the win light.
For the fifth time this year Winston Champion Bob Panella, Jr., driver of the Panella Trucking Chevrolet S-10, would plow through the field on his way to the winner's circle. He defeated David Spitzer, driver of the Sunnen / Dynagear GMC Sonoma in the final. To Spitzer's credit this would mark his first ever Pro Stock Truck final round appearance.
Panella took the win light with a 7.672 / 175.16 mph to Spitzer's 7.698 / 174.37 mph.
"It feels great to get this win," said Panella, "especially since I made a couple of mistakes that could have cost me the race, but I guess it worked out for me. I kind of lucked out a couple of times today. There were times when I though I had given it away.
"I was really great to see David in the final. Not only that, it's good to see so many other guys picking up and running better. That makes this into a drivers race, instead of and ET race. Right now you can't ignore anyone who qualifies. It feels great to get past such stiff competition and get to the final. To win against these even feels better."
On his way to the final Panella defeated Jeff Naiser, Mike Coughlin and Randy Daniels.
This weekend, Spitzer wowed the field, when in the third round of qualifying he placed his truck in the sixth position on the eliminations ladders. Today Spitzer used a combination of quick reaction times and consistent ET to make his way to the final round. On his way there, Spitzer would defeat Mark Whisnant, Brian Self and John Coughlin.=20
"What a day!," said Spitzer. "The Sunnen / Dynagear GMC Sonoma felt great all day. Lane choice was a big deal today. The first couple rounds we had lane choice and that proved to help us a lot. It feels really good to go rounds especially in this class. Once we got to the finals we decided to just let whatever happens, happen and give it our best shot. It was really fun. I am glad we are finally getting consistent and making good runs."
The next stop on the NHRA Pro Stock Truck schedule is the 13th Annual AutoZone Nationals in Memphis, Tenn. Oct. 5 -8.