Pomona: Skuza Thursday notes

POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 1, 2001) - Dean Skuza opened the 2001 NHRA Winston Drag Racing season by grabbing the 11th qualifying position in the first round of action for the AutoZone Winter Natioanals at Pomona Raceway today. Skuza, who made his...

POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 1, 2001) - Dean Skuza opened the 2001 NHRA Winston Drag Racing season by grabbing the 11th qualifying position in the first round of action for the AutoZone Winter Natioanals at Pomona Raceway today.

Skuza, who made his debut in the Team Mopar Dodge R/T Nitro Funny Car, ran a 5.439-second elapsed time at 200.53 mph. The run also marked the first official pass with new co-crew chief John Stewart, formerly of Jerry Toliver Racing and driver Jim Epler.

"I probably had too much motor on that run," said Skuza, who took the second qualifying position in last year's NHRA Finals at Pomona. "We always use the first run as a starting point for the race. We have a good starting foundation."

Skuza is utilizing the co-crew chief program for the first time. Long-time engine tuner Lance Larsen is still in charge of the engines, but Stewart has taken the reigns in the clutch department.

"I'm so pleased with our current situation," Skuza said. "I think have a real shot at this race, and the title. We do need to get some consistency, but I think John will bring that to us."

-David Harris

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Epler , Dean Skuza , Jerry Toliver