Joliet: Mopar Friday morning notes

JOLIET, Ill. (June 1, 2001) -- The father-son NHRA Pro Stock Truck tandem of Dale and Craig Eaton will miss this weekend's Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway, located just outside Chicago. Dale Eaton, father, team owner and driver of...

JOLIET, Ill. (June 1, 2001) -- The father-son NHRA Pro Stock Truck tandem of Dale and Craig Eaton will miss this weekend's Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway, located just outside Chicago.

Dale Eaton, father, team owner and driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Dakota R/T, and Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T pilot Craig Eaton will spend some time back at their Phoenix, Ariz., race shop to prepare for the arrival of their first next-generation Dodge Dakota R/T and regroup as a team.

"We needed some time to prepare our new P-5 engine," D. Eaton commented. "The new engine will be the best piece we've ever run, and we needed the extra week to get it ready. The extra time will also allow us to figure out what it will take to get the new truck up to speed quickly. We felt it was in our best interest to spend more time in development.

"We expect to have Craig's new truck in St. Louis," said D. Eaton, talking about the June 21-24 Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill. "I should have my new race truck three weeks after that. We'll really be able to get some development done during our nine-week break between St. Louis and Indianapolis."

C. Eaton has qualified for two events, while D. Eaton has yet to qualify this season.

"We intend on being in Columbus," continued D. Eaton, on preparing for the NHRA national event at National Trail Raceway in Kirkersville, Ohio. "I'd be surprised if we don't get both trucks qualified for that show. Even though were at an aero disadvantage, we have the power to be dangerous. We just haven't been able to show it on the track so far this season."

Dodge Motorsports driver Todd Patterson received his next-generation Jerry Haas-built Dodge Dakota R/T just prior to the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this year. Patterson took the steel truck, which the molds were made from, while the Eaton's will run the first carbon fiber trucks.

"We also expect to see our new Hemi heads real soon," D. Eaton said. "Even though they won't be ready until Indy, the new Hemi heads will also take some time to develop. We want to be ready."

-Mopar

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Series NHRA
Drivers Todd Patterson