Phoenix Dodge Motorsports Race Report

CHANDLER, Ariz., Feb. 27, 2000 - Dodge Motorsports Pro Stock driver Larry Morgan was defeated in Round-One by Jeg Coughlin at the NHRA CSK Nationals at Firebird Raceway. Morgan currently has 41 points and is in 17th place, Also in Pro Stock, Dodge...

CHANDLER, Ariz., Feb. 27, 2000 - Dodge Motorsports Pro Stock driver Larry Morgan was defeated in Round-One by Jeg Coughlin at the NHRA CSK Nationals at Firebird Raceway. Morgan currently has 41 points and is in 17th place, Also in Pro Stock, Dodge Motorsports driver John Nobile and Team Mopar drivers Darrell Alderman and Scott Geoffrion did not qualify.

In Funny Car, Dean Skuza, driver of the Matco Tools/Team Mopar Dodge Avenger lost in Round-One to Scotty Cannon. Skuza has 69 points and is currently in 11th place.

In the Federal-Mogul Sportsman Categories, Greg Luneack, drove his 426 Max Wedge powered 1964 Plymouth Fury to a runner-up finish in Stock Eliminator against Jody Lang.

Larry Morgan, Dodge Motorsports Pro Stock Avenger (6.938/196.44), was defeated by Jeg Coughlin (6.938/198.76) in Round One.

"Even though we lost in round one, we are still proud to have been the only Dodge to qualify in Pro Stock this weekend. We had made a great qualifying run Saturday with a 6.95 elapsed-time so we knew we had a good combination with our Wedge engine put together for this weekend.

"Going into the first round, things took a turn for the worst as our engine was real low on oil pressure as less than 10 pounds was registering on the gauge. The engine even sounded funny as the tone of the exhaust had changed. Right then I knew we had a hurt piece that was getting worse. Earlier this weekend, we discovered a valve seat that had moved so much, it caused water to leak into the cylinder. This wasn't so bad - we were able to put a bandage on the problem by adding stop-leak into the cooling system. But when the oil pressure nose dives below 15 pounds, you know the engine is hurt bad.

"Everyone keeps asking about when we will run the Hemi engine in competition. I wish we could give them a definitive answer but most fans know that this is an on-going research and development program. Believe me, David (Nickens) and I are working on the Hemi day and night to make sure we come, swinging at the next NHRA national event."

Dean Skuza, Matco Tools/Team Mopar Dodge Avenger Funny Car (7.597/115.90), was defeated by Scotty Cannon (5.382/253.75) in Round One.

"To have qualified so well all weekend only to lose in Round One is disappointing. This team is not ready to race as we just cannot repeat our level of performance from one run to the next. We are trying very hard not to get in the same problems we had last year.

"In Round-One today, the car just shook the tires right as soon I left the starting line. Scotty (Cannon) was so far ahead that there was nothing I could do to pedal the car in hopes of recovering. This season is becoming very hard emotionally as we cannot afford to keep racing at this level, We believe the problem lies within the bellhousing of our Avenger as clutch management issues are starting to hurt us too early in the season.

"The bottom line is we need to make four good runs on Sunday. Once we achieve this we can win races and set new records. We plan on testing on Monday to sort this combination out. The car is touchy to any changes to track or weather conditions and we need to widen the parameters on this Funny Car. In other words, we need to make the bulls-eye bigger for us to hit.

"Our team tests more than any other Funny Car team including John Force. Once we find the clutch problems and correct them, look for the Matco Tools/Team Mopar Dodge Avenger to win some races and be a contender in the 2000 Funny Car points chase."

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers John Nobile , Jeg Coughlin , Darrell Alderman , Dean Skuza , John Force , Larry Morgan , Scotty Cannon , Scott Geoffrion