Joliet II: Mopar Friday qualifying summary

Mopar sweeps top two slots in Pro Stock. JOLIET, Ill.-- Mopar flexed its Pro Stock muscle during the first day of qualifying for this weekend's Craftsman 75th Anniversary NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. Factory backed Mopar Parts Pro ...

Mopar sweeps top two slots in Pro Stock.

JOLIET, Ill.-- Mopar flexed its Pro Stock muscle during the first day of qualifying for this weekend's Craftsman 75th Anniversary NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. Factory backed Mopar Parts Pro Stock rookie Gene Wilson and the DBP Motorports Dodge Neon R/T of Greg Stanfield swept the provisional top-two qualifying positions tonight.

Wilson, coming off the inaugural final-round appearance of his career at Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park last weekend, is now vying for the first-career No. 1 qualifier of his career.

"It was a good run," Wilson said."We had a good track tonight and the air was pretty good. (Crew chief) Tommy Utt put a real good tune up underneath the car. Believe it or not, I think we still had a hundredth left in it. I short shifted a little in low gear. From the looks of the computer graph, there's a little left in the Hemi engine.

"The track was getting a little chilly by the time I got up to the starting line," Wilson added."It was about 68 degrees when we ran. It concerned me. But the car went straight and true. It's tough to keep up with everyone out there, but, man, I sure would like to grab the No. 1 spot."

Stanfield is also green to a Pro Stock car. The Bossier City, La., resident and fellow Mopar-powered Pro Stock rookie is hoping to back up a career-best, third-place effort from last weekend's NHRA tilt in Memphis.

"We still have a lot to learn," said a smiling Stanfield."We're learning, but we learn fast. My first pass was bad. I got greedy on the starting line and made a bad call. We backed off in the second round. It's amazing how different each track is. The set up for Memphis is not anywhere near the set up for here."

Adding to Mopar's accomplishments, Allen Johnson placed his Hemi-powered Dodge Neon R/T in the fifth slot; while Mike Corvo, Jr. took 12th and Tom Lee collected 15th. The efforts give Dodge five cars qualified thus far.

Mopar placed six Dodge Neon R/Ts in the Sonoma (Calif.) field earlier this season, marking the first time in NHRA history. It was also first time in more than 30 years that six Mopar powered Pro Stock cars had qualified for the same field since the days of Dick Landy and Ronnie Sox, of the famous Sox & Martin duo.

Skuza Continues Mopar Qualifying Success at Route 66 Mopar Parts Nitro Funny Car Grabs Provisional Third

Dean Skuza and the Mopar Parts Dodge Stratus R/T continued to impress by copping the provisional third slot tonight. The Brecksville, Ohio, resident ran a 4.805-second elapsed time at 308.21 mph.

Skuza is trying to match a season-best third qualifying effort set here, earlier in the season during the Chicagoland Dodge Dealers NHRA Nationals.

"On our first run, we put a hole out and there were some real bad things about the run," Larson said."The track was a lot better than we thought it would be. We thought about being a little conservative, but (co-crew chief) John Stewart wanted to try something. We haven't really anything all year. So that's what we did.

"We threw a belt off in that run as well," Larson added."It didn't run as good as I would have liked it too in the second part of the pass. We're pleased.

"It's hard to say which lane is better because it was such a different car on that one," Larson continued."Its something we're going to have to look at and study. It was running good enough this afternoon in the right lane to probably run ahead of (Ed) McCullough at a 4.84. I think, if you have tour stuff right, it won't make that much of a difference."

NOTABLE: Larry Morgan, driver of the blue Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T, missed both rounds of Pro Stock qualifying today, waiting to finish and transport a new Hemi engine fresh from his Newark, Ohio, race shop to Route 66 Raceway.

DARRELL ALDERMAN, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T

Darrell Alderman and the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T missed the top 16 with a 6.934-second pass at 199.02 mph. The three-time POWERade Pro Stock World Champion talked about his day.

"It was all over the place on my run tonight," said Alderman, who ran in the right lane in the second session."We left pretty well, but he car got real loose. It's hard to drive out there."

-Mopar.com-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Darrell Alderman , Dean Skuza , Larry Morgan , Gene Wilson , Allen Johnson