CHEVROLET RACING IN NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION
NHRA CAROLINA NATIONALS
ZMAX DRAGWAY AT CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA
POST-RACE DRIVER QUOTES
SEPT. 18, 2016
An interview with Funny Car winner John Force, Advance Auto/PEAK Antifreeze & Coolant Chevrolet Camaro SS:
JOHN, WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?
“I love it with all my heart. I love NHRA and all our sponsors. Chevrolet, PEAK Antifreeze, and Lucas Oil made it possible for me to stay in the game. I was almost out and I really owe them. I love this job. Being old is all in your head, trust me. We will give you a show in this Countdown. I may not win it, but I will be in the hunt.”
JOHN, YOU TALK ABOUT THE YOUNG GROUP OF GUYS YOU’VE ASSEMBLED, AND THEY REALLY DID THEIR JOB TODAY.
“We’re starting to turn the corner. In this life, they are running for president at my age, so this isn’t about getting old. It’s about NHRA drag racing. You (fans) are what makes me live, what makes me breathe.”
An interview with Pro Stock winner Jason Line, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro SS:
JASON, YOU CAME OUT IN THE REGULAR SEASON DOMINATING AND THE COUNTDOWN CAME AND YOU’RE DOMINATING AGAIN. WHAT A SURPRISE.
“It is a little bit of a surprise. I wouldn’t say we’ve been dominating, but we just happened to win today. The Summit Racing Chevy was bad to the bone, and I did a good job of not messing it up.”
BRITTANY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, MONSTER ENERGY CHEVROLET DRAGSTER (No. 2 qualifier; fell in second round): “Overall, looking at the weekend and looking at our year, the place we have struggled is making solid runs down the racetrack in the heat. So to be able to run that (3.797 seconds) in 130-degree temperature and to be able to go down there and make a solid run we just can’t hang our heads. It was a good run, a good day, it just ended a little short for us. When you look at who you are up against, it’s never easy. This is tough competition.”
COURTNEY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, TRAXXAS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 8 qualifier; fell in first round): “It’s definitely not the start we wanted going into the Countdown to the Championship unfortunately. At least we were able to pick up a bonus point in qualifying. It’s definitely a tough position to be in going out in the first round of the Countdown and it’s going to take a toll on us. But we actually had a good race car, we were on a good run, and were out ahead of (Matt) Hagan in that first round. But it started spinning the tires down track and dropped two holes. I stayed in the throttle just hoping I could get around him and just hoped for the best. We are really just looking to the next race because we need to make the next two count. We might have stumbled a little bit in the first race but we have got five more to make up for it.”
ROBERT HIGHT, JOHN FORCE RACING, AUTO CLUB CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 7 qualifier; fell in second round): “We were just weak on power on that run. That first-round win we got everything that was out there. You could not have run quicker or faster I don’t think. It was a great run but (crew chief Mike) Neff said ‘you can’t do that again, you can’t live and die by that sword.’ It was fast. So we go and back off and the power button is off and it slows down even more. We had trouble in qualifying but Mike Neff and these Auto Club boys know what they are doing. In the first round we were racing Cruz Pedregon and that guy is a two-time champion and you know he can run again. It was tough and you have to be ready to peddle it. That win was a statement.”
GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 1 qualifier; fell in final round): “I can’t whine. I absolutely can’t whine because I had a good day. We fought hard today and it was a tricky racetrack. When we started out in Round 1 I made a mistake. It shook real hard and I spun the tires and didn’t make a clean run. We had to go into real ultra conservative safe mode after that. We lost lane choice and had a good front of the pack run. We were playing catch-up all day long and that first round cost us. The bottom line is that we did race smart after that and raced our opponents. We made sure we had a better package than our opponents. We just didn’t have a good enough package for that blue car in the final round. He is tough. But a good day for KB Racing and for Chevrolet. We will move on to St. Louis with a 1-2 points start and I have said it before, you cannot win this championship in the first race of the Countdown. But you can lose it. We didn’t lose it today and that is the good news and a relief on our mind. We can go to St. Louis guns blazing and hopefully open up that lead.”
VINCENT NOBILE, MOUNTAIN VIEW RACING, MOUNTAIN VIEW TIRE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 3 qualifier; fell in semifinals): “We made a really good run considering the conditions. We were actually a little bit softer than we wanted to be going up there in the semifinals on such a hot racetrack. You have to back it down a little bit. Ultimately, I didn’t really do my job on the starting line and Jason (Line) left on me. With him out running us as well, that was pretty much the end of the story. I think we are in a good spot and we definitely made a little headway. Unfortunately, we didn’t make any headway on the Summit guys but we made headway on our own car. I am looking forward to St. Louis and getting after it.”
SHANE GRAY, GRAY MOTORSPORTS, VALVOLINE/NOVA SERVICES CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 4 qualifier; fell in second round): “The track got really hot and greasy today. We knew we had a very fast race car, as indicated by our qualifying times, and we were right on the edge in Round 1 when we beat John Gaydosh, so Dave (Connolly, crew chief) made the necessary adjustments. I guess we were still a touch too strong. We did gain a spot in the standings, so some progress was made, but we sure wanted more.”
ALEX LAUGHLIN, LAUGHLIN MOTORSPORTS, GAS MONKEY GARAGE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 5 qualifier; fell in semifinals): “It looks good on paper but this is ultimately the worst weekend that I have had. We qualified good but I ended up struggling on the tree. At least I am super consistent and do the exact same thing every time, and it’s always the same. What we are working on now is trying to bring the car to me in changing the linkage and how all that works. We have moved everything around where, by the calculator, makes sense to speed the car up. We don’t know if I am holding the pedal down too hard or what the problem is. I am 40 worse than what I have ever been. We were 60s every time and we went in there and now I am just consistently worse. We went three rounds today and my lights were 100, 102 and 105. It’ proven that I am doing the exact same thing every time. That is all we can do, and I can do and we just need to get the car to work better with me. I see the light just like everybody else but we just don’t have enough runs yet to know exactly where we need to be but we will get there.”
CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS RACING, HARLOW SAMMONS OF ODESSA CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 9 qualifier; fell in second round): “Just this weekend, we discovered a problem that this car has had probably since it was built. We’ve been working to fix an issue with the front struts, and in the process, we discovered that one of them was not mounted perfectly straight. The strut was not lined up right, and it was getting bound up, and that changes the whole dynamic of the car as far as how it transfers weight. We fixed the problem, and if the car behaves like we think it will from this point forward, it should be a lot more smooth and predictable. Of course, if the changes we made work, we can also pretty much take all our notebooks from the last two years and set fire to them, but that’s just life in Pro Stock.”
JOHN GAYDOSH JR., GAYDOSH PERFORMANCE, PYPES PERFORMANCE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 13 qualifier; fell in first round): “This whole deal is frustrating because I know we have top-10 power. This was a weekend of dumb mistakes. Still, I know there’s more left. The (Gray Motorsports) engine that is in this car has run 6.60 in the Gas Monkey car during testing at this track. We just haven’t had any luck. I can’t thank Shane Gray enough for all he does for us.”