Chevy Racing-NHRA–Bandimere Post Race

JULY 26, 2015

Larry Morgan Takes Chevrolet Camaro SS to NHRA Pro Stock Winner’s Circle at Bandimere Speedway

MORRISON, Colo (July 26, 2015) – Larry Morgan, FireAde Chevrolet Camaro SS, scored a stunning victory in NHRA Pro Stock at Bandimere Speedway defeating Allen Johnson. Morgan’s run of 6.944 seconds/199.02 mph bested the four-time Mile-High Nationals winner by seven one-thousandths of a second to collect his 12th career NHRA Pro Stock National win and second at the track dubbed Thunder Mountain.

Much to the delight of the capacity crowd, the veteran drivers waged a staging “stand-off” waiting over one minute and 30 seconds before Johnson finally staged his race car to signal the start of race. Morgan’s .014 reaction time for the holeshot was a major key to his victory as Johnson posted a .035 reaction time off the line.

John Force led the Team Chevy/John Force Racing contingent in Funny Car. After setting a track record in qualifying, the 16-time champion was the favorite heading into Sunday’s final eliminations. After besting John Hale in round one, Cruz Pedregon in round two and Tony Pedrgon in round three, the stage was set for the final round against Jack Beckman.

After posting identical reaction times, the pair waged a side-by-side battle down the entire 1,000-foot strip before Force had to settle for the runner-up spot by just over one-tenth of a second.

Force now sits third in the Funny Car standings with four races remaining until the start of the Countdown to the Championship begins following the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Team Chevy’s Greg Anderson continues to lead the Pro Stock Championship battle with a 37-point gap over second-place Erica Enders, fellow Chevrolet driver and defending champion.

In Stock Eliminator, Ryan Montford, Patterson Racing/Omaha Track COPO Camaro collected his first NHRA Wally to give the COPO Camaro three of the last four series’ wins.

Next on NHRA Mello Yello Drag Race Series schedule is the NHRA Sonoma Nationals July 31 – August 2 at Sonoma Raceway.

JOHN FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, BLUE DEF/PEAK CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: Winner over John Hale in round one final eliminations; Winner over Cruz Pedregon in round two final eliminations; Winner over Tony Pedregon in round three of final eliminations; Defeated by Jack Beckman in final round:

YOU GUYS RAN GOOD ALL WEEKEND AND CAME UP JUST A LITTLE SHORT: “Hey, we are a new team, except for me. But for Blue Def, we showed them that we could give them a race car that could run as well as all of our sponsors including Chevrolet. We will just move on to the next one. It’s the Western swing and we have always done pretty well on it. But right now my race cars are still in a building stage and I have one car right now that I have got to make the move, and that’s Traxxas, but we will get her done.”

ROBERT HIGHT, JOHN FORCE RACING, AUTO CLUB CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: Defeated by Tony Pedregon in round one of final eliminations:
ON THE WEEKEND: “We were just too aggressive. We create a lot of power with this Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro Funny Car. The key is transferring it to the track without overpowering it. We are learning every run and we ran well in qualifying. You look at the stands here and they were packed all weekend. The Bandimere family and NHRA did a great job selling this event. I was glad to see John get his Camaro to the final round again and move up in the points. We will be right back at it in Sonoma.”

COURTNEY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING , TRAXXAS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: Defeated by Alexis DeJoria in round one of final eliminations:
ON HER WEEKEND: “We had a tough weekend out here in Denver. My team gave me a great race car in round one. It was a big round for us, but unfortunately my foot wanted to leave before the tree came down. It happens as a driver, but it’s definitely one of the toughest parts of the job; making a mistake when you’re team has done their job. The worst part is letting my team down, so from this weekend forward I’m going to be ultra-focused. We’re going to leave this weekend in the past and move on to Sonoma. We still have four races before the Countdown to the championship starts and we’re going to be pushing hard. We definitely like a challenge and that’s exactly what we have right now,”


BRITTANY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING-MONSTER ENERGY TOP FUEL DRAGSTER: Winner over Terry McMillen in round one of final eliminations; Winner over Shawn Langdon in round two of final eliminations; Defeated by Tony Schumacher in round three of final eliminations:

YOU MOVED UP TO SEVENTH PLACE IN POINTS TODAY: “Yeah, that’s definitely a big deal. Right now with only a few races left before the Countdown begins we want to make sure we stay in there. We just have to keep going rounds. So I wasn’t even expecting it today but we bumped up from the eighth spot and moved around Langdon and moved up to the number seven spot. I am very proud of my entire Monster Energy team, especially my crew chiefs Todd Smith and Ronnie Thompson. They put together a consistent race car all weekend. It went down the track every single run and that is a tough thing to do, especially at Denver where everything is completely different. You start back at the very beginning. You start all over again.

“So I am very happy about our weekend in making it all the way to the semi-finals. I am very proud of coming from a very tough weekend in Chicago and then going into this weekend. It’s tough to have a week off, and tough to come back from a red light. That was my biggest concern this weekend and worried about screwing up again and red-lighting again. No matter how much you try and cut that out first round, that is going through your head. So I definitely think I am slowly moving back. I didn’t turn a red light on, was definitely moving down the track, and had decent lights overall throughout the day.”

YOU HAD A REALLY QUICK CAR ALL WEEKEND. DOES THAT GIVE YOU THE CONFIDENCE TO GET IN A GROOVE HEADING INTO SONOMA? “This Monster Energy team gives me confidence. Because coming out here this weekend, you can see what this whole team is capable of. Like I said, this is a tough track and they got it figured out from Q1. So we are excited going into Sonoma. I know we struggled there last year, but we are hoping to turn our luck around going into it this year.”


LARRY MORGAN, FIREADE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: Winner over Joey Grose in round one of final eliminations; Winner over Jason Line in round two of final eliminations; Winner over Erica Enders in round three of final eliminations; Defeated Allen Johnson to collect his 12th career NHRA National Pro Stock win:

WHAT HAPPENED THERE ON THAT FINAL START? WAS YOUR FOOT GETTING TIRED HOLDING THE CLUTCH IN? “The only thing I was worried about was running out of fuel. I got on the radio about one minute into the stage and I told my guys, ‘I guess Allen just doesn’t want to stage’. (laughs). So hey, it was all good for us. I have got to thank Mopar for putting on this race, NHRA, Mello Yello, the Bandimeres, and all the guys that put this on. This is a fabulous race track. If we had this track all throughout the country, there would be as good of racing as you saw here. I am just so excited to be out here to win the race. And for FireAde, Lucas Oil, Streamlight, my whole team, the Grays, the crew chief, and my son Nick. All the guys that work on the team, we all work well together and I get to relax. It’s just something like I have never had before.”

LETS GO BACK IN TIME A COUPLE OF WEEKS. YOU AND ALLEN BATTLED IN CHICAGO AND HE GOT IT AWAY FROM YOU. THIS PLACE IS SO SPECIAL TO HIM, DOES THIS MAKE UP FOR THAT? “Well, you know. We all want to win. Allen has owned this hill and he deserves it because he has done one hell of a job up here. There was nobody that was ever going to do what he has done, and I give those guys credit as well. You know we put on a good race in the final and that guy has no reason to hang his head. You know, he owned this place and I just borrowed it for a week I guess.”

IT SEEMS LIKE YOU HAVE A CAR THAT CAN RACE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP AND YOU HAVE NOT HAD A CAR THAT GOOD FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS: “I do and I am really pleased to have a good Chevrolet Camaro with great power. I raced a Ford for five years and we didn’t have the support we needed. We got the support this year we needed from Johnny, FireAde, and Lucas Oil. Lucas Oil has helped me for a long time and I owe a lot to Forrest and Charlotte Lucas, and all the people there. And to Streamlight as well. But I have gotten a lot of support from a lot of different people and without them, I wouldn’t be up here. I am very proud to be up here.”

YOU ARE HAVING FUN AGAIN AREN’T YOU? “I am having fun. And I have to tell you, my wife sure puts up with a lot of stuff. There ought to be a reality show with us. We come out here to have fun.”

ERICA ENDERS, ELITE MOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: Winner over Matthew Hartford in round one of final eliminations; Winner over Greg Anderson in round two of final eliminations; Defeated by Larry Morgan in round three of final eliminations

SHANE GRAY, GRAY MANUFACTURING TECH CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: Winner over V. Gaines in round one of final eliminations; Winner over Jonathan Gray in round two of final eliminations; Defeated by Allen Johnson in round three of final eliminations:

ON THE WEEKEND: “The performance of our Gray Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro was really good, and that wasn’t surprising after we came up here and tested really well before this race. It’s a real neat deal to have a track record and top speed up here in Denver at this racetrack that our family has been coming to for a very long time. It was a good weekend for Gray Motorsports, for sure, but we aren’t going to make any big predictions about the rest of the season based on what happened here this weekend. We’ll have to go to Sonoma and see what we can do. We think we can go rounds, and we know we have a chance of winning. Larry Morgan did a great job this weekend with Gray Motorsports power, and we’re all very happy. We’ve had a good day.”

GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING-SUMMIT RACING CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: Winner over Chris McGaha in round one of final eliminations; Defeated by Erica Enders in round two of final eliminations; Maintains 37 point lead over second place in standings:

ON THE WEEKEND: “My Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro definitely came around today. We didn’t do a great job of qualifying, but we certainly got better today – and that’s the good news. My car ran the best it’s run all weekend long, and we learned some things, which is always good. I’m a little disappointed in my driving. That should have been a great race with Erica second round. It should have been decided by thousandths, but I didn’t do my job. It was close to being a great race weekend, but we weren’t able to get it done, and we’re disappointed. But now we get to go on to Sonoma, and I love racing there. It’s been very good to me, and we can just hope that everything comes together there. I just need to get my head straight again and end up in victory circle. Today was a learning experience, but we were fortunate enough to be able to leave with the points lead. That is a lucky break, but we’ll take it and go on from here. You can’t predict anything in this Pro Stock class – the battle continues, and it should be a battle royal. A lot of it comes down to the starting line, and you have to be as good as a driver can be if you want to win.”

JONATHAN GRAY, GRAY MOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: Winner Deric Kramer in round one of final eliminations; Defeated by Shane Gray in round two of final eliminations:
ON THE WEEKEND: “We had a mechanical issue and the motor would turn over, but it wouldn’t start. It’s just disappointing for us, because our Gray Motorsports Camaros really had a lot of potential here – you can see that with how [Gray Motorsports engine customer] Larry Morgan ran, and Shane [Gray, teammate and brother] set the record for speed. My car was great, but we had a problem today and it just got the best of us. I think we have a little bit of confidence though going into Sonoma. What happened here, whether you perform well or not, doesn’t really apply anywhere else because of the conditions. But it was a good weekend for our team overall. We look forward to the next one.”

JASON LINE, KB RACING-SUMMIT RACING CHEVROLET CAMARO SS, NO. 7 QUALIFIER: Winner over Vincent Nobile in round one of final eliminations; Defeated by Larry Morgan in round two of final eliminations:

ON HIS WEEKEND: “Today was a much better day, but I was just a little tardy there in the second round. You cannot make a mistake in this class, you just can’t – not right now. I’m much happier with the performance today, we just struggled to find it here. This is a difficult place to race, and we just got a little behind early in the weekend and it took us too long to catch up. We changed things today. We had a chance to think about it last night and we made changes that made a difference. I suppose it is a little bit of a consolation to have gone 200 mph. We learned a couple of things this weekend, and those things will absolutely translate to sea level next week in Sonoma.”

DREW SKILLMAN, RAY SKILLMAN CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: Winner over Bo Butner in round one of final eliminations; Defeated by Allen Johnson in round two of final eliminations

CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS OF ODESSA CHEVROLET CAMARO SS, NO. 6 QUALIFIER: Defeated by Shane Gray in round one of final eliminations:
ON WEEKEND: “We had a good race. It could have been better, but we actually did pretty well with our Harlow Sammons Chevrolet Camaro. Last year, a 6.96-second run was our quickest here – and this year we were able to go faster. The performance of the car was great, even if the driver didn’t do such a great job. It’s different to shift the car in this high altitude, and that was a challenge. As for the first round – you don’t usually get a Greg Anderson that early. That’s normally a second round, semifinal or final round draw, not a first round. It was tough, but it is what it is. We’ll be back at it in Sonoma, and we’re hoping we can get a whole lot further on Sunday.”

BO BUTNER III, BUTNER AUTO SALES CHEVROLET CAMARO SS, NO. 8 QUALIFIER: Defeated by Drew Skillman in round one of final eliminations

VINCENT NOBILE, MOUNTAIN VIEW TIRE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS, NO. 10 QUALIFIER: Defeated by Jason Line in round one of final eliminations

JOEY GROSE, SKYLER ELECTRIC/BIG CHIEF CHEVROLET CAMARO SS, NO. 15 QUALIFIER: Defeated by Larry Morgan in round one of final eliminations



TALK TO US ABOUT WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO WIN YOUR FIRST ONE “It’s really indescribable. I have been in two national event finals before this and wasn’t fortunate enough to come out on top, but it’s definitely always been a dream of mine. It’s great to check it off the racing accomplishments that I have been able to do. But it’s not of course without the help of team owners of Omaha Track, Terry Peterson and Holly Peterson. Also Patterson Racing, Alan and Barbara Patterson, as well as Todd and Joey Patterson. So I am very thankful for them.”

IT LOOKED LIKE YOU GUYS HAD THAT COPO CAMARO TUNED UP PRETTY GOOD TODAY: “That car was phenomenal this weekend. Every single pass we knew exactly what it was going to go and it went exactly what it was supposed to go. I don’t know if I have ever driven a race car that has been that predictable. It was awesome.”