BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 29, 2001) - Hometown hero Mark Osborne pleased local family and friends in attendance by making the semifinals of this weekend's inaugural Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals at the Bristol Dragway. The Abingdon Va. resident fell...
BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 29, 2001) - Hometown hero Mark Osborne pleased local family and friends in attendance by making the semifinals of this weekend's inaugural Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals at the Bristol Dragway.
The Abingdon Va. resident fell to Greg Anderson in the semifinals. Anderson posted a 6.980-second elapsed time at 197.42 mph and Osborne clocked a 6.995-second lap at 198.23 mph. Osborne advanced to the semifinals by defeating a red-lighting Ron Krisher on round one and former Pro Stock Truck rival Brad Jeter in round two.
"We had a great weekend in front of the hometown fans," said Osborne, who made a final round appearance in the rain-delayed Gatornationals last weekend. "The guys did an awesome job with the car. I tied Greg (Anderson) on the tree, but it just wasn't enough.
"The good news is that we have two Dodge's on top of our game right now," continued Osborne, commenting on teammate and three-time Winston Pro Stock World Champion Darrell Alderman. "We're hoping to go back to the days of an all Dodge final round. The way this team is running right now - next weekend's race in Atlanta might just provide for that."
Skuza Drives to Second Round
Dean Skuza drove his Mopar Parts Dodge R/T Nitro Funny Car to the second round of eliminations. Ten-time Winston Funny Car World Champion John Force eliminated Skuza.
Skuza moved into the second round after defeating Tony Bartone in round one. But Force's 4.949-second elapsed time at 297.29 was quicker than Skuza's 5.075-second pass at 281.07.
"We dropped a cylinder," said Skuza. "After that happened, it spun the tires and broke the blower belt. I'm happy with the weekend though. The team did a great job and we're pleased."
Larry Morgan wielded his Dodge Motorsports R/T to his first round victory of the season when first-round opponent Mike Edwards turned on the red light. The Newark, Ohio native fell to Jim Yates in the second round of competition.
"The track was so bald in the left lane that it blew the tires off it," Morgan commented. "This is almost a track where less horsepower is good because of the lack of traction. When I hit second gear- it just let go.
"I'm pretty happy with the weekend though," Morgan said. "We're getting the Dodge R/T dialed in, but I can't wait for the new Pro Stock Neons."
Knocking Off the Johnson Brigade
Future Mopar Parts-sponsored driver Rickie Smith outran Warren Johnson in the first round and Kurt Johnson in the second round en route to his first semifinal of the season.
The King, N.C. resident lost to Jim Yates in the third round, despite posting a solid 6.987-second elapsed time at 198.23 mph. Smith defeated Warren Johnson with a (.438-.459) starting line advantage and a (.424-.471) start against Kurt Johnson.
"We had a great weekend," said Smith. "I can't complain about knocking out two of the best driver in the business. I drove well today and the car is making some nice horsepower."