NHRA: Chevy S-10, Larry Kopp Win Two in a Row
19 May 1998Englishtown, N.J.; Larry Kopp made it two in a row for him and the Chevy S-10 in the National Hot Rod Association's (NHRA) new Pro Stock Truck category today by winning the third round of the 12-event 1998 series for compact pickup trucks at the NHRA Nationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway. Kopp won the previous event in Atlanta.
Kopp, in his Accurate Binding/G-Force Transmissions Chevy S-10, defeated John Lingenfelter's Summit Racing Equipment Chevy S-10 for the second straight event, propelling him into a 102-point lead in the championship over David Nickens (332-230). Lingenfelter, who qualified fourth, moves into third with 225 points. Kopp won with a 7.707-second elapsed time down the quarter mile at a top speed of 175.30 mph to Lingenfelter's 7.883/150.46.
A full field of 16 trucks qualified for this event, including 10 Chevy S-10s, five Dodges and two Fords. Kopp, for the first time, was not No. 1 qualifier, instead taking the No. 3 spot with an elapsed time of 7.682 seconds and a top speed of 175.30 mph. No. 2 qualifier Jerry Haas, in the Chevy Trucks-backed S-10, set a national speed record during qualifying of 176.70 mph, with a 7.678-second pass. David Nickens was No. 1. Haas was eliminated in the second round by Grant Lewis.
"I have been racing a long while," said Kopp, of Baltimore, Md. "You have to learn that being on top is not the only way to win. I've won from 30th place and 40th place, and today we won from third place. I'd sacrifice the pole any day to win."
Kopp beat Dave McConnell (S-10), Craig Eaton (Dodge) and Grant Lewis (S-10) to make it into the final. Lingenfelter disposed of Brad Jeter (S-10), Randy Daniels (S-10) and David Nickens (Dodge) to advance to the final round.
"We can't get too confident right now," added Kopp. "We still have nine races to go, and as long as we maintain our momentum we'll be good. Our goal is to win the championship for the Chevy S-10."
The next Pro Stock Truck event on the NHRA schedule is the Fram Route 66 Nationals in Joliet, Ill., May 28-31.
Kurt Johnson Collects $50,000 for Pro Stock Challenge Win
Englishtown, N.J.; Saturday, May 17, 1998: Kurt Johnson won his second Pro Stock Challenge of his career today, when he defeated Steve Schmidt in the final round, collecting $50,000 for his efforts. Kurt won with an elapsed time of 6.970 seconds and a top speed of 198.00 mph, driving his ACDelco Camaro Z28 for the first time in his five appearances in this special NHRA event since its inception in 1985. Schmidt's numbers were 7.001/198.41.
Johnson, of Sugar Hill, Ga., won this event in 1994 against Mark Osborne, the same year he went into the history books when he became the first driver to break the 7-second mark with his 6.98-second pass here in the NHRA national event the same weekend.
Chevy Camaros have won twice here before, in 1985 and '86, when Bruce Allen drove the model to back-to-back victories.
The Pro Stock Challenge showcases the eight best Pro Stock qualifiers during a 21-race span between the 1997 Parts America Nationals and 1998 Castrol Lone Star Nationals. Drivers accumulate points during those events. Kurt Johnson was third in the final standings.