Osborne Remains 13th BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 28, 2001) - The Mopar Parts Dodge R/T Pro Stock machine of Mark Osborne maintained his 13th-qualifying position for tomorrow's Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals at the Bristol Dragway. The Abingdon, Va.,...
Osborne Remains 13th
BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 28, 2001) - The Mopar Parts Dodge R/T Pro Stock machine of Mark Osborne maintained his 13th-qualifying position for tomorrow's Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals at the Bristol Dragway.
The Abingdon, Va., resident failed to make a clean pass during today's hot-and-sticky qualifying sessions, but Osborne's 6.987-second elapsed time at 197.71 mph during Friday's second session was good enough. Osborne will face Ron Krisher in the first round of eliminations.
"We've got to make better runs," said Osborne, who has two NHRA Pro Stock national event victories. "We need to come together as a team and go a couple of rounds tomorrow. Everyone from the crew chief to the lug nut changer needs to put it together."
Despite fixing the severe ignition woes of Friday, Mopar Parts Dodge R/T Pro Stock driver Darrell Alderman failed to qualify for his first national event of the season. The three-time Winston Pro Stock World Champion ran a strong 7.000-second elapsed time at 197.57 mph in the fourth and final session - but it wasn't enough.
"The last run really didn't feel that bad," said Alderman, who was sixth in points heading into the weekend. "We ran a 1.047 (second) 60-foot time and if we would have had a 1.03 (second) 60-foot time, we would have been in.
"It was going to be a real difficult task because of how the sun just beat down on the track," Alderman added. "We quite simply ran out of time."
Morgan Qualifies 14th
Larry Morgan wielded his Dodge Motorsports R/T Pro Stocker to the 14th position - despite not making a complete run during today's sessions.
Morgan ran a solid 6.987-second elapsed time at 197.71 mph in Friday's second session, which was good enough to get in the show. The Newark, Ohio resident will take on Mike Edwards in a first-round eliminator.
"We really shook the tires coming out of second gear," said Morgan, describing his fourth round qualifying effort. "We're going to completely reverse the setup we had on the third and fourth runs.
"I'm thankful we got in yesterday," Morgan continued. "The track was real marginal and hard to get a hold of today. The heat played a big role in that."
Skuza Makes Last One Count
The Mopar Parts Dodge R/T Nitro Funny Car of Dean Skuza was on the outside looking in heading into his fourth and final qualifying session on Saturday afternoon. Even with a great deal of heat in the track, Skuza drove to a 4.948-second elapsed time at 288.33 mph to grab the 12th-qualifying position.
"It was a good hit," Skuza said, who made the show in the heat of the final session. "We made a good run and wee needed to. That last session was the only one that we made it entirely down the track. I'm really glad we got in because it would have been a really long day tomorrow if wee didn't."
Skuza will take on fifth-qualifier Tony Bartone in round one.
Rickie Smith Squeaks In
Rickie Smith and Team Koretsky barely slid into the Pro Stock field with a 6.991-second pass at 197.19 mph during yesterday's second-qualifying session. The future Mopar Parts-backed driver will face Warren Johnson in round one.
"I guess we're going to class tomorrow," said Smith, referring to Johnson's nickname of the 'professor.' "The time to beat Warren is in the first round because he's been running as bad as we have been.
"The track is pretty bald out there," Smith added. "They need to go back to the resin powder and stay away from the chemicals during the summer. I think it makes the track slicker when they do that."
Teammate and team owner Kenny Koretsky missed the show with a 6.994/196.96 combination in Friday's second session.
"We did make the fifth quickest run in the fourth session," said Koretsky. "We changed the transmission, but got out of the groove on our run. We're real happy because the car is finally going straight."