A weekend that's hard to forget. MOHNTON, Pa. (Sept. 10, 2002) -- Darrell Alderman knew it was special. The scoreboard flashed 6.788 seconds and the crowd lifted into a frenzy. The three-time POWERade Pro Stock World Champion had just shattered...
A weekend that's hard to forget.
MOHNTON, Pa. (Sept. 10, 2002) -- Darrell Alderman knew it was special. The scoreboard flashed 6.788 seconds and the crowd lifted into a frenzy. The three-time POWERade Pro Stock World Champion had just shattered the vaunted 6.80-second elapsed time barrier; in what was the most talked about Pro Stock qualifier in NHRA history. And it all happened at last year's Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
"We still talk about that weekend," Alderman said."It was really cold and, as always, the air is so good up there. We have had the most thrilling qualifying battles at Maple Grove.
"It's sure satisfying to be the first to crack the barrier though," Alderman stated."I'll tell you what, I never thought that the 6.80 barrier would have been surpassed last year. I thought we were really a year away. But those conditions were so good."
The 2000 Pro Stock edition was also an eye popper. Two season's ago, Alderman and Ron Krisher each traded the No. 1 slot with each session; culminating in a breath-taking, side-by-side final qualifying pass where Krisher eked out the top spot. The 52-year-old Alderman had the No. 1 slot heading into that final session.
"I'll never forget the 2000 qualifying runs at Reading either," Alderman added."I thought that I had it there. We made a great run on that final one; but Krisher was just a little quicker."
Alderman has had a banner 2002 NHRA season and currently sits sixth in points; while recording his first victory since 1997 at Gainesville (Fla.) earlier this season. Alderman also has two other final-round efforts at Las Vegas and Columbus (Ohio).
SPEED. A Hemi-powered Dodge Neon R/T currently holds the NHRA national Pro Stock speed record at 204.35 mph; broke during last season's event at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa. It's also the only pass to ever surpass the 204-mph mark in NHRA Pro Stock competition.
THE LAST TIME THIS HAPPENED. Maple Grove Raceway holds a special place in Dean Skuza's heart; as the Brecksville, Ohio, resident won his last NHRA national event at this historic facility in 1998. Dean Skuza defeated John Force in the Funny Car finals of the 1998 Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. Skuza beat Tony Pedregon in the 1997 run at Houston Raceway Park. It was Skuza's first victory. Not the reverse as previously stated.
RUNNING WELL. Speaking of Skuza, the Mopar Parts Funny Car driver might be the hottest driver on NHRA circuit right now. Skuza has logged four semifinal appearances in his last five races, along with a final-round run in the 21st annual Budweiser Shootout at Indianapolis Raceway Park over Labor Day Weekend. This stretch of success has vaulted Skuza from 12th in the POWERade Funny Car point chase to eighth; only 17 points behinds seventh-place Ron Capps.