Dallas: Mopar Saturday qualifying notes

Skuza Grasps Fifth Qualifier ENNIS, Texas. (Oct. 20, 2001) - Dean Skuza and the Mopar Parts Dodge R/T Nitro Funny Car took home the fifth-qualified position heading in to tomorrow's O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex. Skuza ...

Skuza Grasps Fifth Qualifier

ENNIS, Texas. (Oct. 20, 2001) - Dean Skuza and the Mopar Parts Dodge R/T Nitro Funny Car took home the fifth-qualified position heading in to tomorrow's O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex.

Skuza lapped the quarter mile in 4.819 seconds at 315.90 mph and will face off against Gary Densham in round one.

"We were real conservative this weekend," Skuza said. "We put another blower on the car and didn't realize it had so much power, so we smoked the tires on the third run today. We adjusted things and ran much better. Our new blower is so much more efficient and it will be the one we use next season. It's that good."

Osborne & Alderman Qualify

Mark Osborne drove his Hemi-powered Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T to the 12th-qualifed position with a 6.901-second elapsed time at 200.26 mph. The Abingdon, Va. resident will take on Tom Hammonds in a first-round eliminator

"We've had a pretty good weekend so far," Osborne said. "Track conditions are pretty tricky out there. For tomorrow, I don't think lane choice is really going to matter."

Teammate Darrell Alderman fell right behind Osborne with a 6.902-second lap at 199.51 mph, to take the 13th slot. The three-time Winston Pro Stock World Champion will take on Hurley Blakeney in the opening round of eliminations.

"Really, I had a real good run on that last hit," Alderman said. "We're real consistent this weekend, which will help us on race day. I think we have a good shot at it because I was as fast as anyone in that last session. We changed rear ends for that last session and the car seemed to like that."

Patterson Grabs the 10th Slot

Todd Patterson, who wields the Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T, will face off against Mike

Coughlin in the first round of eliminations after grabbing the 10th-qualifying position with a 7.487-second elapsed time at 180.10 mph.

"We made a great first run and have gone down hill from there," said Patterson, who made his quickest run during the first session yesterday. "We broke a transmission in our second run and we missed the set up on our third. We set it up wrong and left 1,000 rpm too low on the start. We run real well in that last session, so I'm happy.

Patterson faces off against Mike Coughlin in round one.

"We're going up against the record holder and the guy everyone has been gunning for recently," Patterson added. "We might as well be the one's to knock him off. The race is also pivotal in the points chase because I want to stay in the top five."

Morgan On the Outside

Larry Morgan barely missed the field in his Dodge Motorsports Neon R/T Pro Stock entry. The Newark, Ohio resident lapped the Texas Motorplex quarter mile in 6.931 seconds at 199.55 mph.

"We made a nice run in that last session, but it was the wrong session to do it in," Morgan commented. "The track has an excellent starting line, but real poor after that. It's a tricky track to get a hold of."

Eaton's Miss Show

The father-and-son duo of Dale and Craig Eaton both failed to make the show in their Dodge Dakota R/T's.

Dale Eaton, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Dakota R/T, just missed the top-16 with a 7.523-second elapsed time at 179.92 mph. The Phoenix, Ariz., resident talked about the weekend.

"We keep experiencing the same problem," said the elder Eaton. "We had some nice speed numbers this weekend, but we just haven't been able to leave very well. We're going to go back to the shop and see if we can get it taken care of."

Craig Eaton and the Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T also failed to make the show, driving to a 7.555/180.43 effort.

"We've had three-straight races with a miss in the thing," C. Eaton said. "We have changed everything in this car. We know it's not an ignition problem. We now think it's a fuel pump problem, but we'll just have to wait and see."

Nickens Falls Short

Bo Nickens, son of car owner Dave Nickens, was unable to place his Mopar-powered Dodge R/T into the top 16. Nickens, despite running a top speed of 200.17 mph, barely missed with a 6.925-second elapsed time

"We ironed out a lot of the problems that we have been having the last few races," Nickens said. "We had some bad clutch discs and we worked on that. We made some good runs, but they were during the wrongs sessions. It also hurts that I was the only car to run 200 mph and not make the field."

-Mopar-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Darrell Alderman , Dean Skuza , Larry Morgan , Todd Patterson , Mike Coughlin , Hurley Blakeney , Gary Densham , Tom Hammonds