CLERMONT, Ind. -- Mopar Motorsports NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series teams completed the first day of qualifying for this weekend's 48th annual U.S. Nationals NHRA Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The following are notes and quotes from...
CLERMONT, Ind. -- Mopar Motorsports NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series teams completed the first day of qualifying for this weekend's 48th annual U.S. Nationals NHRA Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
The following are notes and quotes from today's qualifying activity.
DEAN SKUZA, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Stratus R/T
A solid pass by Dean Skuza and the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T collected the provisional fourth-qualifying slot. Skuza ran a 4.871-second lap at 313.07 mph.
"That was a real nice start," Skuza said."We thought we could have run a 4.84 and a 4.88. You sometimes feel like the track can be too good and you don't have enough clutch. That was a fear. We really wanted to get safely into the show; so that we can go out and really treat the Budweiser Shootout as if it were a different race. If you're not qualified, you often just try to shallow stage and worry about making a good pass, instead of really trying to win the race. Now I can shallow stage and see what can happen."
Skuza will face off against John Force in the first round of the Budweiser Shootout on Sunday.
GENE WILSON, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T
Pro Stock rookie Gene Wilson is bidding for his best qualifying effort thus far this season. The Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T lapped the historic Indy quarter in 6.846-second elapsed time at 200.71 mph, taking home the provisional second-qualifying position.
"The track here at Indy is so smooth," Wilson said." We made an excellent run. We have a lot more in it too. I made that entire run without a shift light, so I was just going on feel. I might have shifted a little too early second."
Wilson has qualified in the fourth slot twice this year.
LARRY MORGAN, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T
Larry Morgan and his blue Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T missed the top 16. The Newark, Ohio, resident logged a 6.923-second lap at 199.23 mph. Morgan talked about the first of an unusual five sessions.
"We just had way too little clutch," Morgan said."We have m ore horsepower in our new engine than I thought I did. One good thing about Indy is that we have the time to make up for our mistakes. We should be okay this weekend."
DARRELL ALDERMAN, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T
Three-time POWERade Pro Stock World Champion Darrell Alderman struggled in his first-qualifying session. Alderman, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T, missed top 16 with a 6.917-second elapsed time at 199.97 mph.
"I really made a bad run," Alderman said."And it was all driver error. I shifted way too early, got out of the groove and made a terrible pass. I'll make up for it tomorrow night."