Reading: Mopar Saturday qualifying notes

READING, Pa. (Sept. 15, 2000) - The Dodge Motorsports and Team Mopar contingent will field four cars in tomorrow's elimination rounds for the Keystone NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway following the final day of qualifying day. Team Mopar...

READING, Pa. (Sept. 15, 2000) - The Dodge Motorsports and Team Mopar contingent will field four cars in tomorrow's elimination rounds for the Keystone NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway following the final day of qualifying day.

Team Mopar ace Darrell Alderman ended a dramatic Pro Stock qualifying session by taking home the second position on the strength of a career-best 6.853-second elapsed time at 199.17 mph. The three-time NHRA Winston Pro Stock World Champion lost the number one slot to Ron Krisher (6.846/200.56) during the same run.

"I can't say enough about this new Hemi engine and the Nickens Brothers Racing Team," said Alderman, who will face the Team Amoco Dodge R/T of Allen Johnson in round one. "We had a couple of nice runs today. We improved during every session."

The Dodge Motorsports R/T of Larry Morgan also improved. Heading into the final session, Morgan was on the outside looking in. A solid 6.887/199.55 outing moved the veteran Pro Stock driver into the 12th-qualifying position. Morgan faces George Marnell in round one.

"We figured out the clutch on that last run," Morgan said. "We were real good at the top end, but struggled out of the box. On that last run, we launched pretty hard and got it down the track."

Morgan's 199.97 mph top speed during the third-qualifying session was the fastest pass in the Hemi engine's history.

Scott Geoffrion, Alderman's teammate and driver of the other Team Mopar Dodge R/T, also made it into the field with a strong 6.915/198.64 effort. The nine-time NHRA national event winner lauded his team for his 16th-place outing.

"This is what a team is all about," said Geoffrion, who will take on Krisher in a round-one eliminator. "I am so pumped about this team. We took this car to (car builder) Rick Jones last week. Darrell and I now have the same cars and we're really sharing that information. This Mopar program is really together."

Not to be outdone, Matco Tools/Mopar Parts Dodge R/T Nitro Funny Car driver Dean Skuza blistered the Pennsylvania quarter mile with a 4.898/306.67 pass. The run placed the Ohio resident third and in position to face Scott Weis in the opening round.

\"That was a nice run," Skuza said. "The car really left well and trucked through the lights. We knew we could step it up. We weren't sure where the track was, but we got it right."

The Keystone NHRA Nationals will be broadcast live on ESPN2 from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. EST. tomorrow.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Darrell Alderman , Scott Weis , Dean Skuza , Ron Krisher , Larry Morgan , Scott Geoffrion , George Marnell , Allen Johnson