Denver: Alderman Neon debut

MORRISON, Colo. (July 20, 2001) - Darrell Alderman feels like a kid again. And for good reason, as his new Mopar Parts Pro Stock Dodge Neon R/T debuted in the fourth slot after the first day of qualifying for this weekend's Mopar Parts Mile-High...

MORRISON, Colo. (July 20, 2001) - Darrell Alderman feels like a kid again. And for good reason, as his new Mopar Parts Pro Stock Dodge Neon R/T debuted in the fourth slot after the first day of qualifying for this weekend's Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.

To add to the intrigue, Alderman's first qualifying pass was also the first time the three-time Winston Pro Stock World Champion had driven the car. With only four testing runs on the new Pro Stock Dodge Neon R/T overall, Alderman overcame the lighter air to run a 7.285-second elapsed time at 189.28 mph.

"It's fun to be this competitive this early," said a jubilant Alderman. "This car really feels good, especially at half track. The car is very stable and it is quite fun to drive. It reminds me of the Dodge Daytona that I drove when I won all those championships. That excites me."

Alderman captured NHRA Pro Stock titles in 1990, '91 and '94.

Teammate Mark Osborne collected the 10th-qualifying position with a 7.317-second lap at 188.44 mph. The Abingdon, Va. resident is pleased with his new car.

"We really improved and stepped up on our second run," said Osborne, who had to shut his new Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T off early in round one. "We still didn't run quite as well as we would have wished, but we're really tickled with our progress thus far.

"The car is aerodynamically better for us," Osborne added. "And the team overall is just doing a better job."

Skuza in Top Half

The Mopar Parts Dodge R/T Nitro Funny Car of Dean Skuza had a strong opening day of qualifying after posting a 5.030-second elapsed time at 297.68 mph to nab the seventh position.

Despite some mechanical woes, Skuza made two solid runs in the thinner air of the suburban Denver quarter mile.

"We had a fuel distribution problem just before our second-qualifying pass," Skuza said. "We thought we had the problem because we were driving the blower a lot faster than we do at sea level. It appeared that the distribution is so messed up that we thought something was really wrong.

"We went ahead and made wholesale nozzle changes and hoped that it would work," Skuza continued. "It wasn't a 100-percent right, but to go down the track here twice in a row, under two different conditions is good. We wanted to run a 4.97, but the car was all over the track and I think that might of cost a couple of hundredths.

"I think tomorrow will be a lot more like Sunday," Skuza added. "You hate to leave anything on the table in the night run because it pretty much sets the field, but to land in the top half with all the problems that we had is awesome."

Morgan Barely Misses

A slick race track bit Dodge Motorsports Pro Stock Neon R/T driver Larry Morgan on day one of qualifying. The Newark, Ohio resident posted a 7.487-second pass at 184.77 mph.

"It was loose all the way down the track," Morgan said. "I was actually surprised we ran as well as we did. We just need more time with the car. We scrambled a bit to get here and we're learning on every pass.

"We had to change the engine a half an hour before the run," Morgan added. "We think we have some work to do with our shocks, but we'll be able to improve that as we learn more and more. Overall, I'm real excited about this new car and the Mopar engineers have done a tremendous job with its design."

-MOPAR

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Darrell Alderman , Dean Skuza