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NHRA: Houston NHRA Friday Chevy Notes

21 March 1998


LARRY KOPP, ACCURATE BINDING/G-FORCE TRANSMISSIONS CHEVY S-10, made history today as the first No. 1 qualifier for the new NHRA pro category, Pro Stock Truck (7.648/173.24), both good for track and national records.

HOW MUCH MORE SPEED DO YOU HAVE LEFT? "We really don't know. We figured it would go .68 in that run. We made a few minor changes today and it responded better than we thought."

ARE YOU GOING TO BE REAL AGGRESSIVE IN TOMORROW'S ELIMINATIONS? "I'm going to be aggressive. I want to race and I want to win. I'm going to do whatever it takes to win."

DO YOU FIND THERE'S A PRETTY GOOD RANGE OF EXPERIENCE IN THE FIELD? "There's more experience than no experience. You've got David Nickens, (John) Lingenfelter, (Jerry) Haas, Randy Daniels. They're top racers and they're going to be hard to contend with down the road. We are really faster than any of them right now. In time they will catch up. We just hit the right combination first."IS IT CHASSIS OR HORSEPOWER? "50-50 maybe. We have a seriously good motor in the car thanks to Grumpy (Jenkins), and a very good chassis from Jerry Haas. It's just a combination of things we've got that are working." HOW CLOSE WAS THIS TO A PERFECT RUN? "It was not nearly perfect. The Chevy S-10 moved far over to the left wall, probably about the 100-ft. mark. I was about ready to lift, then it started going straight. It wasn't out of shape, wasn't out of control. It shocked me when it went .64."

JERRY HAAS, CHEVY S-10, No. 9 qualifier, 7.838/172.21: "We have such an air/fuel problem, it's unreal. We're going to try to fix it somehow."

There are eight Chevy S-10s in a field of 13. Randy Daniels is No. 4, Brad Jeter No. 5, Bob Panella Jr. is No. 7, John Lingenfelter is No. 8, Larry Pritchett is No.. 10, and Clint Sallee is No. 13.

RON CAPPS, COPENHAGEN CAMARO Z28, is No. 1 qualifier with a track record e.t. of 4.889, and a top speed of 300.60 mph. "To be honest with you, I know it sounds corny, but we're trying to get qualified for Sunday. The Camaro's wanted to go this fast all year long. Roland (Leong, crew chief) has been fighting a problem. The car wasn't reacting to the changes he made last year. He found it Saturday morning at Gainesville. It was a leaky fuel system valve. That was fixed then I had a broken throttle cable bracket in the second round and lost. So Roland says we'll just service it and go to Houston and it'll run a 4.90, and we turned a 4.88. It reacted as it did last year and everything is good again. On this run it knocked the burst panel out in the manifold. It's one of those parts you don't know they're bad until they expire. The car is going to be good tomorrow. In fact, it's really hard to get down these tracks when they cool down and the dew gets on the track. I look for better runs tomorrow." ON THE HEAD WIND, DOES IT AFFECT THE CAR?: "Common sense would say that it does, but we ran an .88. We did 300 mph. It would have run better, but it got out of the groove. It might hurt a couple of mile an hour, but I don't think it will affect th e.t.s. ON SETTLING IN WITH THE '98 CAMARO BODY: "I love that body. It's the first time at night with that body. It's so much easier to see, the way the windshield is on the body. I have one at home that Chevrolet gave me, the '98. It's our only car. I have a 2-year-old daughter. It's like a family car and a sports car. That body is the same, very stable."


KURT JOHNSON, ACDELCO CAMARO Z28, is No. 4 qualifier, 6.918/197.93. In today's first run, Kurt stalled at the start. "(It was) some kind of electrical gremlins. I let the clutch out and the Camaro just shut off. A half a second later it came back to life. It was like somebody turned the key off. Tonight we changed the whole electrical system and it just did what it was supposed to and ran right down the left lane. Now we have a baseline so we can tune it."