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2000 NHRA Winternationals - Y2K Chevys Are Super

Chevys Open 2000 NHRA Season With Wins As Toliver And Panella Repeat At Pomona

Photography by Jeff Burk, Shane Reichardt

Sportsman Racing
If the Chevy racers were making their presence known in the Professional ranks, they were just plain dominant in the Sportsman classes. Chevys went to the final round in six of seven Sportsman classes, from Federal Mogul Funny Car to Super Gas.

Chevys ended up in the winner's circle in four classes, and if Jay Payne's alky Funny Car hadn't had trouble in the final round and slowed in the lights the Bow-Tie boys could have easily made it seven.

Old age and cunning overcame youth as 63-year-old Bryan Morrison used a holeshot to get the win in an all-Chevy Comp Eliminator final. Morrison drove his '92 Camaro small-block car to the win over Jeff Gillette's Chevy powered D/ED. Both cars ran .54 under the index, but Morrison used Gillette up on the tree with a .546 to Gillette's .586 to win.

In the Super Stock final, Bill Bennet got the benefit of a foul by distaff racer Keri Angeles and drove his '87 Camaro GT/EA to the win with a series of low 10-second passes.

Yet another Chevy racer made it to the final round when Toby Lang drove his always dangerous '69 Chevelle into a final round matchup with Don Little, but he couldn't quite get the win.

The finals in Super Comp and Super Gas were also all-Chevy meets. Kyle Siepel drove his Chevy-powered rail to the win over fellow Chevy racer Mark Cavar, winning on a double breakout final. Siepel ran an 8.88 to Cavar's 8.86. Siepel was really on the binders at the end, running some 15 miles per hour slower than Cavar in the beams. Bob Herr, who runner-upped at last year's World Finals, got the Winternationals win. Herr gave up two-thousandths of a second on the leave, but ran three-thousandths quicker than his opponent Steve Williams to put his '63 Corvette Convert across the finish line one-thousandth of a second before Williams' '85 Beretta.

If you are a Bow-Tie booster (and you'd better be if you're reading this) then you should have plenty of bragging material when talking to your misguided Ford and Mopar friends. Chevys are looking very stout in Fuel Coupe and Pro Stock Truck, and you can take it to the bank that a Chevy will win in Pro Stock. In the sportsman classes Chevys have a tradition of winning races and winning World Championships, and if the first race of the season is any indication, 2000 won't be any different.

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