Denver: Mopar Motorsports final qualifying summary

Skuza qualifies 10th in Denver. MORRISON, Colo. -- Mopar Motorsports NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series teams completed the final day of qualifying for this weekend's 23rd annual Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway. Dean Skuza,...

Skuza qualifies 10th in Denver.

MORRISON, Colo. -- Mopar Motorsports NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series teams completed the final day of qualifying for this weekend's 23rd annual Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.

Dean Skuza, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Stratus R/T

Dean Skuza has had a good weekend thus far in front of the Mopar backers. The Brecksville, Ohio, driver and pilot of the Mopar Parts Dodge Stratus R/T Nitro Funny Car claimed the 10th-qualifying position with a solid 5.242-second elapsed time at 282.84 mph in today's third session. Skuza will match up with upstart Dale Creasy, Jr., in round one tomorrow.

Despite the consistency, Skuza wasn't entirely happy with his performance.

"We haven't run on eight cylinders yet this weekend," Skuza said."That's what were working on tonight. If we can do that, it's going to pick up a tenth and a half.

"I'm extremely disappointed," Skuza said."This thing should be going out and running a 5.09 on every run. We're just leaving so much on the table. We've been leaning it and leaning it. The first run out of the box was the best run we've had all weekend. I mean, we spun the tires and put a hole out. On this last run (fourth session), we ended up blowing out the center spark plug on cylinder number five."

Skuza is looking to record his third NHRA Funny Car title this weekend.

GENE WILSON, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T

Gene Wilson made two solid passes during today's qualifying sessions, but it wasn't enough to place the Mopar Parts-backed rookie into his first Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals Pro Stock field. Wilson and his Hemi-powered Dodge Neon R/T took home a weekend best elapsed time of 7.351 seconds at 187.89 mph.

"We sure didn't have the weekend I was hoping for," Wilson said."It's sure disappointing not to qualify in front of all the Mopar people here this weekend. We made some good runs here and our fourth pass was the 14th quickest of that session. We just had quite a few gremlins that bit this weekend and could never really recover. Hopefully in Seattle, our luck will turn around."

LARRY MORGAN, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T

Larry Morgan's weekend can be summed up with this cliche-- so close, but yet so far away. Morgan qualified in the 17th position with a 7.328-second elapsed time at 187.83 mph. The eight-time NHRA Pro Stock winner and driver of the blue Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T missed the field by a scant one thousandth of a second.

"We still have a problem that I don't think we've figured out," Morgan said."We're talking to (Mopar engineer) Greg (Reeves) about that problem right now. We're so close and it's just the little things thats getting us. We went testing at two different places and ran real fast. By the time we were done testing, I had wrecked all of my parts. Now I think we probably hurt them again. So were going to go back and change some things again. We're just so close that we can catch fire at any time now. It's just too bad that we didn't get started here."

DARRELL ALDERMAN, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T

Darrell Alderman made the show-- barely. The three-time POWERade Pro Stock World Champion held off Mopar teammate Larry Morgan with a 7.327-second elapsed time at 187.89 mph.

Alderman, who drives the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T, is in quest for his 29th NHRA Pro Stock victory and second of this season (Gainesville, Fla.). The 52-year-old standout will face off against No. 1 qualifier Ron Krisher in round one tomorrow.

"We have a tough one tomorrow in Ron Krisher," Alderman said."They really have us covered here. We'll give it our best shot. We really didn't have a good day and spun the tires a lot. We're changing engines and we hope that it works out.

"I think the first 60 foot is better in the left than it is in the right," Alderman added."There is probably a hundred and a half difference in the lanes right now."

-Mopar.com-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Darrell Alderman , Dean Skuza , Ron Krisher , Larry Morgan , Gene Wilson