Dallas Mopar Review

Alderman's Avenger manages a couple of rounds in Pro Stock Ennis, Texas, (October 24, 1999) - Team Mopar Top Fuel Dragster of Mike Dunn advanced to the semi-finals before being stopped by Scott Katitta at the NHRA O'Reilly Fall Nationals at the...

Alderman's Avenger manages a couple of rounds in Pro Stock

Ennis, Texas, (October 24, 1999) - Team Mopar Top Fuel Dragster of Mike Dunn advanced to the semi-finals before being stopped by Scott Katitta at the NHRA O'Reilly Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex. In Pro Stock, Team Mopar driver Darrell Alderman was eliminated by Troy Coughlin in Round-Two. Larry Morgan did not qualify. Team Amoco Dodge Avenger driven by Allen Johnson was eliminated by Warren Johnson in Round-Two. Larry Nance was not competing at this event. In Pro Stock Truck, Team Mopar driver Craig Eaton was defeated by Vinny Barone in Round-One. Dale Eaton and Todd Patterson did not qualify. In Funny Car, Dean Skuza, Matco Tools/Team Mopar Dodge Avenger was defeated by Cruz Pedregon in Round-One. In Competition Eliminator, David Rampy, Winnebago/Team Mopar Dragster defeated Doug Engels in the Final Round. Rampy has won four NHRA national events this season with his Dodge Magnum Powered Small Block Dragster.

Mike Dunn, Team Mopar Top Fuel Dragster (111.81.0/78.43), lost to Scott Katitta (4.585/306.22) in the Semi-Finals. "We gave it our best and really worked hard at getting our Team Mopar Top Fuel Dragster back in the winners circle. It had be been a long time since we made it to the semi-finals and the whole team pulled together in hopes of winning this event. After we defeated Jim Head in Round One, we had a baseline under our belt for the next round. When we ran against Cory McClenathan, I saw his red light but I still drove the car all the way down track. Some days you get a break and others you don't. It was right before this run that Ken Veney discovered a mechanical fuel distribution problem right in the staging lanes. We made some changes and the car went 4.63 seconds. Now we were on a roll heading into the semi's. If we could just go two more rounds and win this race, we would be a contender again. In the semi-finals, we didn't change anything from our previous run. We felt that the weather and track conditions had stayed about the same and didn't make any changes to the car. The right lane had been a problem though as the groove was real narrow. As soon as I hit the throttle, the tires went up in smoke and I knew it was over. With Tony Schumacher winning this event, it will be next to impossible to get back into first place and have a chance at the Winston Top Fuel Championship. Right now, we want to finish as close to the top as possible. In a way the press pressure is off and we can get back to going rounds. At least after this race we moved from sixth to fifth place in points. The bright spot is that we have a handle on the tune-up and Ken Veney and the rest of the crew are working real hard getting our performance back."

Darrell Alderman, Team Mopar Pro Stock Dodge Avenger (6.978/197,02), lost to Troy Coughlin (6.892/199.73) in Round Two. "The whole Nickens crew really worked hard in getting this Team Mopar Dodge Avenger to run as good as it has. During qualifying, I had a career best elapsed-time of 6.89 seconds, which proves that we are making power. During round-one, I had a better reaction time, which enabled me to get past Bruce Allen even though he ran slightly quicker then us, I guess all the testing is starting to pay off because we are becoming a contender in Pro Stock. After making some clutch adjustments, we were ready for round two as this Avenger was ready to just rip down the track. Once again I had a better light against my opponent but the track conditions had worsened. The Avenger just skated all over the track and I had to lift off the throttle and fight to stay in the groove. Because of that, Troy Coughlin got around me and took the win light. I would have loved to have gone some more rounds but at least we qualified. It's hard to be at the track on Sunday sitting on the sidelines when you're not in the field. This year is still a learning experience for us but we'll be a real player for next year. Right know, we are going to test some more and then head for Houston."

Craig Eaton, Team Mopar Pro Stock Dodge Dakota (7.691/173.44), lost to Vinny Barone (7.537/177.54) in Round One. "We're heading in the right direction with our new Team Mopar Dodge Dakota despite our first round loss to Vinny Barone. We have been struggling for the last few races to get into the field. I don't want to say that we are lost right now but we need to get back on track like we were in the first half of the season. Sometimes it's also bad luck, which will cost you a race. A spark plug broke when we ran Barone causing our Dodge Dakota to miss-fire and lose about 100 horsepower- With a two week break before the season finale in Pomona, we'll be on the dyno and on the race track testing. Even though the season is almost over, we still want to finish in the top ten. It means a lot to us and to our sponsors. Like most teams, we don't like finishing in second or third place. We have the best people and the equipment to get the job done. Unfortunately Pro Stock Truck is so competitive right now, it easy to confuse efforts with results. Patterson Racing has been supplying us with the best engines so our Dodge Magnum small blocks make just as much power as anyone else. We think the problem could be the new truck is throwing us a curve in the chassis department. The only cure for that will be more runs down the track and that's what we will do before Pomona."

Dean Skuza, Matco Tools/Team Mopar Dodge Avenger Funny Car (10,807/87.06), lost to Cruz Pedregon (5.492/201.34) in Round One. "After struggling during qualifying we thought we had a handle on this new clutch set-up. We made one good qualifying run this weekend and had a lot of confidence going into Sunday's eliminations. Lance Larsen and I discussed what it would take to get this Dodge Avenger down the track and we decided to hop the motor up a little bit. We added two pounds of boost to the Supercharger in hopes of getting some more power out of the engine. Unfortunately it changed the way the car would react off the starting line and I had an uncharacteristic red light. I feel really bad because it still is a driver error on my part. I can't even remember the last time I did that. With two more races left in 1999, we need to stay on track with what we have for clutch and engine combinations. The team is still in a learning mode and we feel the best is yet to come. Next weekend will be the Matco Tools Super Nationals in Houston and we really want to do good at our sponsors race- Some more test sessions should point us in the right direction."

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , Troy Coughlin , Mike Dunn , Darrell Alderman , Warren Johnson , Dean Skuza , Larry Morgan , Todd Patterson , Cruz Pedregon , Cory McClenathan , Bruce Allen , Allen Johnson , David Rampy , Larry Nance