JOLIET, Ill. -- Mopar Motorsports NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series teams completed the final day of qualifying for this weekend's Chicagoland Dodge Dealers NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. NOTABLE: Track conditions were extremely warm as ...
JOLIET, Ill. -- Mopar Motorsports NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series teams completed the final day of qualifying for this weekend's Chicagoland Dodge Dealers NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.
NOTABLE: Track conditions were extremely warm as temperatures reached the upper 80's today at Route 66 Raceway. None of the Mopar factory drivers improved upon their qualifying positions.
The following are notes and quotes from today's qualifying activity.
DEAN SKUZA, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Stratus R/T
Dean Skuza has been very consistent this weekend. In the heat of the day, Skuza drove his Mopar Parts Dodge Stratus R/T to the second quickest pass of the third session at 5.00 seconds. Skuza collected the third-qualifying position with a solid 4.832-second elapsed time at 312.86 mph, despite running on seven cylinders.
"It's been a good weekend for us," Skuza said." Tomorrow will be interesting though. Since today really won't have any bearing on how we set up the car up for tomorrow, it was a great testing session. We're going to look at some old notes from previous seasons and try to come up with what works."
Skuza, a two-time NHRA national event winner, will face off against Tim Wilkerson in round one.
GENE WILSON, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T
Gene Wilson maintained his seventh-qualified position with a 6.882-second pass at 200.56 mph. The Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T driver takes on Topeka (Kan.) first-round opponent and fellow NHRA Pro Stock rookie Mark Whisnant in the first round of eliminations.
"We're pretty happy with this weekend," Wilson said."It sounds like tomorrow is going to be a different animal though. We have hot conditions today, which create a lot of tire spin, but we're expecting low 70's tomorrow. The car will have a completely different set up for tomorrow."
Wilson's 6.927-second run was the fourth quickest of that session.
LARRY MORGAN, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T
Larry Morgan and the blue Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T started off well, but just missed the top 16. The Newark, Ohio resident logged a 6.909-second lap 199.82 mph, falling .006 of second short.
"We started off the weekend very well," said Morgan, who posted that lap in round one."We tuned it up a bit yesterday and it spun right through the clutch."We now have Terry Adams tuning on the car and he's going to make a big difference over here. I'm real excited about Columbus.
"I also want to say thank you to all the Chicagoland Dodge Dealers for their support of this weekend's race," Morgan stated.
DARRELL ALDERMAN, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T
The heat of the day was too much to overcome for Darrell Alderman's Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T. The three-time POWERade Pro Stock World Champion missed only his second show of the season after clocked a weekend best elapsed time of 6.926 seconds at 199.73 mph during the fourth session. The run was the fourth quickest of the session.
"Well, it didn't look real good when we started the day," Alderman said."The track was just too hot to make a good run today. When you have a night session during the summer, you need to make it count or you don't get in. We made our best run of the weekend in that last one. That's what happened to us this weekend."