Columbus: Mopar Sunday report

(KIRKERSVILLE, Ohio - June 18, 2000) - Dean Skuza, driver of the Matco Tools/Mopar Parts Nitro Funny Car, fell to Tony Pedregon in the second round of eliminations during Sunday's Pontiac Excitement NHRA Nationals at National Trail ...

(KIRKERSVILLE, Ohio - June 18, 2000) - Dean Skuza, driver of the Matco Tools/Mopar Parts Nitro Funny Car, fell to Tony Pedregon in the second round of eliminations during Sunday's Pontiac Excitement NHRA Nationals at National Trail Raceway.

Pedregon ran a 5.25-second elapsed time at 256.94 mph and Skuza clocked in at 10.88/86.61 after breaking loose at the starting line.

"We have some work to do," said Skuza, who is scheduled to test his Dodge Avenger here tomorrow. "It was struggle the entire weekend. Tony ran a 5.25, which we could have beaten."

Skuza toppled Whit Bazemore in the first round with a decisive holeshot. The Ohio native deep-staged his Dodge Avenger at the starting line and held a .477 to .516 reaction time advantage. Skuza ran a 4.97/309.42 to Bazemore's 4.95/306.95.

"It sometimes takes a great reaction time to win in Funny Car," said Skuza, who has led the class in reaction times the last three years. "This class is just so competitive, you need every advantage you can get."

It was a frustrating first round for Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T pilot Todd Patterson. The Pro Stock Truck veteran, who qualified seventh, lost to Steve Johns in the first round of competition.

John's 7.69/176.19 beat out Patterson's 7.71/172.32.

"The truck shook the tires," Patterson said. "I still thought we could have run him down at the top end. It just didn't happen.

"We did qualify in the top half though," Patterson said. "We have this Dodge Dakota R/T in contention every weekend. With some consistency, we should have a good second half of the season."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Dean Skuza , Whit Bazemore , Todd Patterson , Steve J