Memphis: Mopar Friday notes

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (Sept. 21, 2001) - Mark Osborne and the Hemi-powered Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T nabbed the sixth position during the first day of qualifying for the AutoZone NHRA Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park today. Osborne moved into...

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (Sept. 21, 2001) - Mark Osborne and the Hemi-powered Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T nabbed the sixth position during the first day of qualifying for the AutoZone NHRA Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park today.

Osborne moved into the upper half with a 6.926-second run at 199.23 mph. The Abingdon, Va., resident talked about his run.

"We're hanging tight in here with our 6.92," said Osborne, who has made four finals all ready this season. "It won't take much for us to move up to second tomorrow. I don't think we've given up on the number one slot, but it's going to be tough."

Teammate Darrell Alderman, who drives the other Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T, failed to crack the top 16 with a 6.961-second elapsed time at 199.40 mph. The three-time Winston Pro Stock World Champion was disappointed with the run.

"That just wasn't what we were looking for," said a dejected Alderman. "We hope to make a better one tomorrow. We slipped the clutch on that second run and I shifted early."

Skuza Manages Ninth

Dean Skuza and the Mopar Parts Dodge R/T Nitro Funny Car tiptoed into the 11th-qualifying position with a 5.083-second lap at 287.23 mph in the second session.

"We just didn't give it enough power," Skuza said. "A lot of people were smoking the tires at about 300 feet out. In the first run, 2.8-seconds into it we blew the tires out, but I stayed in it all the way down. I got out near the wall and road the wall the whole way down and it hurt us a little bit."

Patterson Slides Into Top Half

Todd Patterson wielded his Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T to the sixth slot with a 7.490-second pass at 179.83 mph. The Augusta, Kan., resident was pleased with his team's effort.

"We made a pretty good run," Patterson said. "We know that we have more in it and we're going to work a little bit on the clutch. The track seems pretty good and we should improve during tomorrow's morning session.

Morgan Logs 14th

Larry Morgan and the Dodge Motorsports Neon R/T collected the 14th position after the first day of qualifying. The Newark, Ohio resident ran a 6.949-second elapsed time at 198.61 mph during the first session.

"We made a nice run on that first one," Morgan noted. "On the second run, I left and the car moved to the right and I couldn't bring it back. The car has plenty of power, but it didn't go where we wanted it to go."

Dale Eaton Squeaks In
Craig Eaton Experiences Electrical Woes

Dale Eaton, in only his second race driving the next-generation Mopar Parts Dodge Dakota R/T, ran a career best speed at 180.00 mph. Despite the personal best, Eaton was only able to take the 16th-qualifying slot with a 7.533-second elapsed time.

"We're still fighting the front half of the track," Dale Eaton said. "I just went my first 180, and that part is good. That means the old (Magnum) P-5 has a lot of power. We had the eighth fastest speed, but he 16th quickest time and that's not good. We're going to make some pretty radical changes. We've been trying to sneak up on it. But I told (crew chief) Buddy Ingersoll to completely change it."

Craig Eaton and the other Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T experienced mechanical gremlins nad missed the top 16 with a 7.594-second pass at 177.93 mph.

"I've been better," Craig Eaton commented. "We have a miss in the truck and just can't find it. With all of the tragedy that has happened at the World Trade Center and Pentagon, we opted not to do any testing because of travel issues. In retrospect, we should have tested and figured the problem out, so we wouldn't be in this situation.

"It's definitely electrical," Eaton added. "We changed some stuff last round and just couldn't find it. We're going to change every possible thing we can find until we get rid of it."

-Mopar

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Darrell Alderman , Dean Skuza , Larry Morgan , Todd Patterson