Dallas: Mopar preview

AUGUSTA, Kan. - Todd Patterson, driver of the Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T Pro Stock Truck entry, recently spoke to a group of 175 fifth-grade students from Augusta Elementary School during their `Career on Wheels' day. The experience, which was...

AUGUSTA, Kan. - Todd Patterson, driver of the Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T Pro Stock Truck entry, recently spoke to a group of 175 fifth-grade students from Augusta Elementary School during their `Career on Wheels' day.

The experience, which was held at Garvin Park, enlightened children on how different people utilize vehicles in their various lines of work. Patterson showcased his Dodge Dakota R/T, answered questions and signed autographs during the two-hour event.

"I love working with kids and giving back to the community," Patterson said. "They were quite interested in what I do. It's gratifying to see their interest in drag racing and careers in general."

Patterson remembers what it was like when he was in fifth grade.

"Everything seemed so large and exciting back then," said Patterson, who has two children of his own. "I couldn't imagine doing what I do now. I guess I do something that many kids dream of.

"I knew I wanted to be a driver when I was growing up," Patterson added.

RIDING HIGH

ENNIS, Texas - With three runner-up finishes to their credit, Team Mopar NHRA Pro Stock drivers Scott Geoffrion and Darrell Alderman head into this weekend's O'Reilly Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec at the Texas Motorplex with a chance to grab the spotlight.

Geoffrion, buoyed by a record-shattering 6.809-second lap and new national record during the AutoZone NHRA Nationals at Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park two weekends ago, is looking to improve upon his first final-round appearance of the season during the same event.

"The Nickens Brothers car is one of the baddest things out there," said the nine-time national event winner. "Right now, both Darrell and I could win any one of the events we enter."

Geoffrion has had a great deal of success at the Texas Motorplex. The California resident defeated Warren Johnson to win the 1994 race and finished second to the legendary Bob Glidden in 1992.

"The Texas Motorplex has always played to the advantage of the high-horsepower cars," Geoffrion said. "The air quality is great, especially since you are near sea level, and the track surface is always smooth."

Geoffrion's teammate Alderman, who has also been on a tear recently jumping into ninth in points after a final-round appearance at Heartland Park Topeka (Kan.), is also excited about this weekend.

"This is the way we ran back in 1994," said Alderman, who won his third Winston Pro Stock World Championship when he outran Geoffrion at the 1994 Winston Finals in Pomona, Calif. "We won a lot of races and we had great cars back then. We are ready to do that again for our Mopar fans. They deserve it."

MORGAN MAGIC

ENNIS, Texas - Somewhat lost in the excitement over Scott Geoffrion's new NHRA Pro stock national elapsed-time record was the fact that Larry Morgan set his own mark during the AutoZone NHRA Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park two weekends ago.

The Dodge Motorsports R/T Pro Stock driver became the first driver to wield the new Hemi engine past the 200-mph mark. Morgan clicked off an impressive 200.59-mph top speed during the third round of qualifying. The run, which was clocked at 6.830-seconds, was also the fifth quickest in NHRA Pro Stock history.

"I think people got a glimpse of something special in Memphis," Morgan said. "Without a doubt, the Hemi engine is the future of NHRA Pro Stock racing."

Despite Geoffrion eclipsing Morgan's speed mark with a 201.43-mph lap in his record-qualifying run, Morgan is pleased with his effort.

"We have come a long way in a short period of time," said Morgan, who qualified third and advanced to his first semifinal of the season at Memphis Motorsports Park. "I can't say enough about this whole Dodge Program, Lou Patane (Vice President of Dodge Motorsports and Mopar Performance Parts) and my great crew. They have made this possible."

Morgan looks to this weekend's O'Reilly Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex with a great deal of optimism. The Ohio resident won the 1991 race and took home runner-up honors during the 1988 and '89 shows.

"The Texas Motorplex has been a good track in the past," Morgan said. "You can never tell on a given weekend, but we should have a good chance."

Dean Skuza, driver of the Matco Tools/Mopar Parts Dodge R/T Nitro Funny Car, grabbed the fifth-qualifying position.

Skuza fell to Cruz Pedregon in a round-one eliminator.

Darrell Alderman and his Team

Mopar Dodge R/T Pro Stock entry took home the 12th-qualifying position.

Alderman lost to Troy Coughlin in round number two after knocking off Bruce Allen in round one.

Scott Geoffrion, driver of the Team Mopar Dodge R/T Pro Stock entry, set a new national elapsed-time record with a 6.809 pass during qualifying for the AutoZone NHRA Nationals at Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park. The last time a Dodge held the national elapsed-time record was in September of 1992 when Geoffrion became the first NHRA Pro Stock driver to eclipse the 7.10-second mark with a pass of 7.099-seconds at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa.

Geoffrion officially backed up his new national elapsed-time record when he defeated teammate Darrell Alderman in round one of the AutoZone NHRA Nationals with a 6.863-second pass.

The record-shattering run for Geoffrion also produced the fastest speed in the new Hemi engines history at 201.43 mph. Dodge Motorsports R/T Pro Stock driver Larry Morgan was the first to break the 200-mph mark with the new Hemi engine when he ran 200.59 mph during the third-qualifying session at the AutoZone NHRA Nationals.

Morgan made his first semifinal round appearance of the season at the AutoZone NHRA Nationals. The Hemi-powered Dodge Motorsports Dodge R/T pilot outran Tom Martino and Warren Johnson before falling to Jeg Coughlin.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Troy Coughlin , Darrell Alderman , Warren Johnson , Dean Skuza , Larry Morgan , Todd Patterson , Bob Glidden , Cruz Pedregon , Bruce Allen , Tom Martino , Scott Geoffrion