MILLINGTON, Tenn. -- Mopar Motorsports NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series teams completed the final day of qualifying for this weekend's O'Reilly NHRA Mid South Nationals. The following are notes and quotes from today's qualifying activity. DEAN...
MILLINGTON, Tenn. -- Mopar Motorsports NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series teams completed the final day of qualifying for this weekend's O'Reilly NHRA Mid South Nationals.
The following are notes and quotes from today's qualifying activity.
DEAN SKUZA, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Stratus R/T
Dean Skuza and the Mopar Parts Dodge Stratus R/T left the best for last. After struggling in the first two sessions and not cracking the top 16, Skuza clicked off a 4.986-second elapsed time at 298.54 mph; vaulting the Brecksville, Ohio, resident to the eighth slot. Skuza was running a new chassis this weekend, after damaging one at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa., last weekend.
"It's a brand new car (chassis) and you usually have a lot of time to break it in before race weekend," Skuza said."We usually make 12 to 15 passes on a Monday after an event to break it in. With the way the schedule has been, it's tough to get a new body out there. We broke the chassis and motor plate pretty good in Reading (Pa.); so we had no choice but get a new car. I hate to do it and I know (crew chief) Lance (Larson) has had an upset stomach and biting his nails trying to get in. We all were for that matter. With a new car-- you never know. On paper, they should work better than the old one. And with an abbreviated qualifying session; that was all we needed. We looked at the data; did what the car told us to do, and ran a 4.98. Which was pretty good for the session. We've had only one run on a new car, and it made it. And it counted. That's all the matters."
Skuza will take on Bob Bode in the first round of eliminations.
GENE WILSON, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T
Gene Wilson qualified his Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T in the top half of the field for the eighth time this season. The 29-year-old rookie grabbed the fifth slot with a 6.850-second lap at 200.02 mph.
Wilson will face off against Robert Patrick in the first round of eliminations.
"The car feels real good right now," Wilson said."It looks like the left lane is a little better out there, and that's where everyone is going to chose tomorrow. We made our quick run in the right lane though. So who can really predict what will happen tomorrow."
LARRY MORGAN, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T
Larry Morgan wrapped up a frustrating weekend outside the top 16. The driver of the blue Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T logged a 6.929-second elapsed time at 198.67 mph.
"We shook the tires all the way through first and second gear on our last qualifying pass," Morgan commented."We're really struggling with the tires hitting the wheel well. I can't wait for the new Stratus to come out. This is a real tough deal right now. Racing is the easy part anymore; it's just so hard to get into the show."
DARRELL ALDERMAN, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T
It wasn't the ending Darrell Alderman, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T, had in mind. Despite running a 6.881-second lap at 199.29 mph, the three-time POWERade Pro Stock World Champion failed to make the show.
"We were a tad light on that last run," said a dejected Alderman."But it was a straight run and looked good on the computer. I guess we could have left a little higher (rpm); but I sure don't know what we need. It's really frustrating right now."