Brainerd: Mopar Saturday qualifying notes

BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 18, 2001) - Darrell Alderman, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T, collected the 11th-qualifying slot for tomorrow's NHRA national event at Brainerd International Raceway. The three-time Winston Pro Stock World...

BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 18, 2001) - Darrell Alderman, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T, collected the 11th-qualifying slot for tomorrow's NHRA national event at Brainerd International Raceway.

The three-time Winston Pro Stock World Champion drove to a 6.974-second elapsed timed at 197.88 mph during the third session, setting up a round one match up with Ron Krisher.

"We made a couple of nice runs today," said Alderman, who has appeared in two finals this season. "The track isn't in very good shape and we rattled the tires. It also shook pretty hard on our last run and hurt the elapsed time."

Teammate Mark Osborne took his Hemi-powered Dodge Neon R/T to the 15th-qualifying position with a 7.000-second pass at 198.12 mph, the third fastest speed of the weekend. Osborne will face off against Mike Edwards in the first round of eliminations.

"The car was a lot better on those last two runs," Osborne said. "We are still having tire shake at about half track. We should be okay for tomorrow though."

Morgan Barely Misses

It was a real heartbreaker for Larry Morgan, driver of the Dodge Motorsports Neon R/T. Morgan ran a 7.002-second elapsed time at 196.96 mph during the fourth-qualifying session, which was .002-seconds away from making the 16-car field.

"We made what I thought was a perfect run," Morgan said. "We thought there was a little left in it after the third session, but the heat on the track probably hurt us there. We've been doing a lot of work to try to dial this new Neon in."

Skuza Sneaks In

Dean Skuza and the Mopar Parts Dodge R/T squeaked into Nitro Funny Car field in the 16th position with a 5.008-second lap at 299.93 mph. Skuza will line up against No. 1 qualifier Whit Bazemore in round one.

"We had a bad pressure plate on our first three runs," said Skuza, who was not qualified heading into the final session after smoking the tires in the first three rounds. "We knew we had something wrong because we never smoke the tires three times in a row. We made those changes and just wanted to get down the track, so we were pretty conservative in our set up."

Co-crew chief John Stewart also commented.

"We had to make some drastic changes to get down the track," Stewart said. "We weren't trying anything fancy because we just wanted to get in. We'll look at it tomorrow and go after it."

Nickens Fails to Qualify

Bo Nickens, who drove a Mopar-powered Dodge R/T this weekend, failed to crack the 16-car Pro Stock field. The Conroe, Texas resident, who is the son of car owner David Nickens, ran a 7.104-second elapsed time at 195.31 mph in the third session.

Nickens shut off during his fourth pass.

"We got behind this weekend and couldn't catch up," Nickens commented. "We're making decent runs, but they haven't been good enough. We're happy with what we learned this weekend though."

-Mopar

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Series NHRA
Drivers Darrell Alderman , Dean Skuza , Whit Bazemore , Ron Krisher , Larry Morgan , Mike Edwards