Columbus: Osborne in the finals

KIRKERSVILLE, Ohio. (June 17, 2001) - Mark Osborne and his Mopar Parts Dodge R/T made his second final-round appearance of the season before falling to Warren Johnson in today's NHRA National Event at National Trail Raceway. Osborne ran a ...

KIRKERSVILLE, Ohio. (June 17, 2001) - Mark Osborne and his Mopar Parts Dodge R/T made his second final-round appearance of the season before falling to Warren Johnson in today's NHRA National Event at National Trail Raceway.

Osborne ran a 6.985-second elapsed time to Johnson's 6.948.

"This has been a four-leaf clover weekend," Osborne commented. "We were good enough to win some rounds though. I drove pretty decent, especially in the third round. We have been hooked up for most of the weekend.

"We struggled a little in qualifying, but it really come around on race day," Osborne added. "I'm so happy for the Nickens team. They have worked so hard all year long."

Osborne moved the finals with round victories over Bruce Allen, Ben Watson and Greg Anderson. Both Allen and Anderson broke, while Watson turned on the red light. After two semifinal losses to Anderson earlier in the year, Osborne was able to move on.

"I really wanted that one," Osborne said. "We have been struggling to get over the hump a little, and this weekend really helped. We are definetly looking forward to our new Pro Stock Neons, which will be ready for Denver. Right now, we're just getting our Hemi engines ready for the transition."

Patterson Makes Semifinals

It was another strong day for Todd Patterson and the next generation Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T. The Augusta, Kan. resident defeated Randy Daniels in the first round of eliminations and Vinny Barone in round two.

Patterson held second quick elapsed time of the first two sessions with a 7.535-second lap in round one and 7.547 in round two. Patterson suffered mechanical woes in the semifinals, allowing Whisnant to take the victory.

"I let the clutch out and nothing happened," Patterson said. "This one was real disappointing because we thought we had it figured out. We really have a great combination with the Magnum engine and this new truck. We're a win waiting to happen."

Skuza Falls in Round Two

Dean Skuza advanced to the second round of Funny Car eliminations in his Mopar Parts Dodge R/T.

Skuza collected a first round victory over Ron Capps, with low elapsed time of the session at 4.939 seconds. Skuza, who is from nearby Brecksville, Ohio, lost on a holeshot to Johnny Gray, despite running a quicker 4.961-second elapsed time at 279.44 mph.

"We're all excited about the fact we straightened the handling problems out on the car," Skuza said. "We're happy in light of what happened out there because this was our race. We were running with everybody out there.

"It was just one of those things," Skuza added. "We were going for lane choice out there. He went in deep and knocked the top light out. If he would of staged like me, he probably would have run a 5.01 and if I went in a little bit deeper, I might of run a 5.02. It's just a numbers game. It really looks bad for the driver when you lose on a holeshot and have a .526 light and he has a .472 light. We were going for lane choice though. We needed just another hundredth."

Skuza broke his streak of four consecutive first-round defeats.

-Mopar

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Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson , Dean Skuza , Ron Capps , Greg Anderson , Todd Patterson , Randy Daniels , Bruce Allen , Ben Watson , Johnny Gray