ENNIS, Texas. (Oct. 19, 2001) - Todd Patterson drove his next-generation Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T to the provisional third position following the first day of qualifying activity at the O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas ...
ENNIS, Texas. (Oct. 19, 2001) - Todd Patterson drove his next-generation Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T to the provisional third position following the first day of qualifying activity at the O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex.
Patterson, who has made the semifinals in five of the last six NHRA national events, stumbled on his second pass, but not before posting a 7.487-second elapsed time at 180.10 mph in the first round. Team Owner and father Alan Patterson talked about the run.
"We left a hundredth on the table on our first run," Patterson said. "We broke the transmission on our second pass. We'll tune it up and run a 7.47 tomorrow. There's no doubt in my mind that we can run that number."
Skuza Runs Strong
Dean Skuza placed his Mopar Parts Dodge R/T Nitro Funny Car into the top half of the field when he posted a 4.869-second elapsed time at 314.13 mph, grabbing the fifth position.
"We had a clutch problem on that run," Skuza said. "We really thought that we had a 4.78 in the thing. We made a full pass and it was pretty good, which is much better than smoking the tires. We'll take it and improve tomorrow."
Osborne & Alderman Slide In
Mopar Parts Pro Stock teammates Mark Osborne and Darrell Alderman are currently 11th and 12th, respectively.
Osborne and his Dodge Neon R/T clicked off a 6.901-second elapsed time at 200.26 mph. The Abingdon, Va. resident and only driver ever to run 204 mph in a NHRA Pro Stock car, talked about the effort.
"We had a pretty decent day," Osborne said. "We want to move up tomorrow, and I think we can. The Neon's are running well, we just want to improve."
Three-time Winston Pro Stock World Champion Alderman qualified right behind Osborne, clocking a 6.902-second run at 199.51 mph.
"We ran better on that second one," Alderman said. "We're going to jump into the top half tomorrow if the weather cooperates. The Neon runs pretty well on this track."
One In, One Out
Dale Eaton wielded his Mopar Parts Dodge Dakota R/T to the 13th-qualified position. Despite having some starting line trouble, Eaton passed through the timing lights with a 7.523-second lap at 179.92 mph.
"It was a pretty good run," D Eaton said. "We're still pulling the motor down at the starting line. We're going to move some weight around and see if we can improve tomorrow."
It wasn't as good of day for son Craig Eaton, driver of the Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T entry. C. Eaton ran a 7.555-second pass at 180.43 mph.
"We tried a bunch of things and it didn't work," C. Eaton said. "I had a miss in the truck on that last run though. We'll find the problem tonight and then change the truck back to the way it was. We should make a real good run tomorrow."
Morgan Outside the Top 16
The Dodge Motorsports Neon R/T of Larry Morgan is on the outside looking in. The Newark, Ohio resident ran to a 6.942-second lap at 199.77 mph.
"We blew through the clutch on the second run," Morgan said. "And I shifted the car way to earlt in second. I guess there was a little cockpit failure too. We feel real good about tomorrow though."
Nickens Falls Short
Bo Nickens fell a bit shy from making the field in his Mopar-powered Dodge R/T Pro Stock entry. The rookie shoe drove to a 6.952-second elapsed time at 199.51 mph.
"We didn't make a very good run," Nickens commented. "If we can get the car out of low gear, we should drive into the top half of the field."