TEAM MOPARÂ® DRIVER AND OHIO NATIVE MORGAN TAKES RUNNER-UP SPOT AT NORWALK Norwalk, Ohio (June 29, 2008) -- MoparÂ®-powered NHRA POWERade Pro Stock driver and hometown favorite Larry Morgan drove to his second runner-up spot of the month today...
TEAM MOPAR® DRIVER AND OHIO NATIVE MORGAN TAKES RUNNER-UP SPOT AT NORWALK
Norwalk, Ohio (June 29, 2008) -- Mopar®-powered NHRA POWERade Pro Stock driver and hometown favorite Larry Morgan drove to his second runner-up spot of the month today at the Second Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. It was the second-straight finals appearance at the NHRA Norwalk event for the Newark, Ohio native.
Morgan, who notched a runner-up finish at the NHRA Topeka event earlier in June, plowed a road to finals that went through three of his Team Mopar teammates. He drove his Lucas Oil Dodge Stratus R/T Pro Stock car to wins over fellow HEMI®-powered drivers Vinnie Deceglie, Allen Johnson and Justin Humphreys to set up his finals fight with Anderson. Morgan was first off the tree in the first three rounds. His speed leaving the starting line came back to bite him, as he was too fast in the finals, taking a red-light loss in his bid for a tenth career Pro Stock win.
Reaction time was the friend of Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T pilot Johnson on Saturday, when he posted a perfect .000 light to defeat Greg Anderson and capture the race-within-a-race $50,000 K&N Horsepower Challenge. On Sunday it turned into an enemy for the Greeneville, Tenn. resident. He fell to fellow HEMI-powered driver Morgan on a quarterfinals holeshot loss despite powering to the low ET of the race with a run of 6.685/206.01. Johnson was ultimately undone by a .099 reaction time to Morgan's .035 light.
"We definitely had the car to beat all day yesterday and all day today," said Johnson, who also scorched the clocks with a pass of 6.685/205.76 to defeat Mopar-powered Pro Stocker V. Gaines in the first round. "The good news is that the great performance this weekend of the Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T and the HEMI engine that drives it gives us a lot of confidence heading into the Western swing [Denver, Seattle Sonoma]. Hey, it was a good weekend. I'm going to keep my head up and do better next race."
Also qualifying for Sunday eliminations were Mopar-fueled drivers Johnny Gray and Rickie Jones. Gray advanced to the quarterfinals where he lost to Greg Stanfield. Jones went down in defeat against No. 1 Qualifier Jason Line in an opening-round match but continued to impress in his rookie season, logging an impressive .019 reaction time at the starting tree.
Next up is Mopar's marquee event, the 29th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals. The Mopar Big Block Party, held on the streets of downtown Golden, Colo., will start the festivities on Thursday, July 10. NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series action will take place on July 11--13 at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo.