Joliet: Mopar Saturday notes

JOLIET, Ill. (June 2, 2001) - It was an eventful day for Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T Pro Stock Truck driver Todd Patterson during qualifying for tomorrow's Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. The Augusta, Kan., resident grabbed the ...

JOLIET, Ill. (June 2, 2001) - It was an eventful day for Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T Pro Stock Truck driver Todd Patterson during qualifying for tomorrow's Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. The Augusta, Kan., resident grabbed the fourth-qualifying position and made a final-round appearance in the Holley Pro Stock Dominator Duel.

Patterson, who was competing in his first Dominator Duel, barely lost to Jeff Gracia in the final. Patterson ran a 7.447-second elapsed time at career best 181.54 mph, but Gracia nipped him in the lights with a 7.441/181.64 combination.

Patterson defeated Greg Stanfield in round one of the Dominator Duel and outran John Lingenfelter in round two. During his round two match up, Patterson clocked a career best elapsed time of 7.446-seconds at 181.30 mph.

"Overall, we're pretty pleased with our day," Patterson said. "We really wanted to win the Duel and it's even more demoralizing than if you would have lost by a car length.

"I think we have a lot to look forward to tomorrow," Patterson continued. "We made consistent runs all day and the truck was right down the center during every pass. We're just going to tune it up and hopefully throw four good runs at them tomorrow."

Patterson will take on Mark Whisnant in round one of eliminations. Patterson's efforts today was also the quickest and fastest Pro Stock Truck runs in Dodge history.

Skuza Breaks 4.80 Factory Backed Nitro Funny Car Vaults to Second

Dean Skuza, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge R/T Nitro Funny Car, set a personal best elapsed time of 4.794-seconds at 311.17 mph to grab the second qualifying position in the quickest Nitro Funny Car field in history. It's the eighth time this season that the quickest Funny Car field has been set.

"It was very difficult upstairs for some reason as the car moved to the right," said Skuza, who ran a strong 4.81 during the fourth and final qualifying session. "There is a bump in the right lane and I just couldn't keep it straight. Unlike the previous two cars that headed towards the centerline, we were headed towards the wall. It's not like hitting a little piece of Styrofoam when your there. It was pretty much on the same run that it was the previous time, but we might have improved by maybe hundredth. That's exactly what we wanted to do. We weren't trying to run like a 4.75, we wanted to really run a hundredth better. Since it was a qualifying session, I let up on it at the end and didn't chance it."

Skuza will face off against Jim Epler in a round-one eliminator.

Morgan Leads Dodge Pro Stock Parade

Larry Morgan drove his Dodge Motorsports R/T Pro Stock entry to the ninth position with a 6.866-second lap at 200.00 mph during today's fourth qualifying session. Morgan, who already has one semifinal round appearance this season, will face off against Bruce Allen in round one of eliminations.

"We made a pretty decent run right there in the right lane," Morgan said. "We got pretty loose when I shifted into fourth and hit that bump. I really think we could have run a 6.85 if it wasn't for that. I think there is still a lot left in it.

"I would love to get this Dodge in the final tomorrow," added Morgan, who made his final and quickest qualifying pass in the right lane. "I think there is a lot that can be said about us making good runs in that right lane. We know it's the worst one out there, but we've made our best runs there. The track will definitely be hotter tomorrow, which will change the set up."

Osborne & Alderman Squeak In

Mark Osborne and Darrell Alderman both slid their factory backed Mopar Parts Dodge R/T entries into the Pro Stock field during the final-qualifying session. Osborne ran a 6.882-second elapsed time at 200.20 mph to nab the 14th position, while Alderman lies 16th after posting a 6.888-second lap at 200.00 mph.

"The Mopar Parts Pro Stock team dodged a lot of bullets this weekend," Osborne said. "I was originally on the bump, and Darrell ended up on the bump. Kurt Johnson (6.889) not getting in really helped the team out. We're looking for a good race day tomorrow.

"The track conditions are pretty awesome," Osborne added. "It's real easy to overlook the track conditions, but we have a good crew chief in Mark Ingersoll."

Alderman relayed his thoughts.

"As close as this class is, anybody can win from any position," said Alderman, who ranks third on the all-time Pro Stock win list with 27 national event victories. "We would have liked to of been on up in the field a little bit, but we're thankful to be in period. On a good, clean run, there is a little bit left in it, so we'll see what we can do.

"We shook in second gear and lost a couple of hundredths on our last run," said Alderman, describing his fourth-qualifying lap in the left lane.

Osborne has a round one match with Ron Krisher, while Alderman takes on number-one qualifier Mike Edwards.

Team Koretsky Misses the Show

Future Mopar drivers Rickie Smith and Kenny Koretsky failed to crack the top 16 in a tough Pro Stock field. Smith clicked off a 6.893-second elapsed time 199.88 mph.

Despite changing an engine for the first time this season, Koretsky's 6.918-second laps at 198.67 mph also failed to make the show.

-Mopar

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Series NHRA
Drivers Darrell Alderman , Kurt Johnson , Jim Epler , Dean Skuza , Ron Krisher , Larry Morgan , Todd Patterson , Jeff Gracia , John Lingenfelter , Greg Stanfield , Bruce Allen , Kenny Koretsky , Rickie Smith , Mark Whisnant , Mike Edwards