Gateway: Dodge elimination notes

MADISON, Ill. (June 24, 2001) - Todd Patterson capped off a nice weekend with a second-straight semifinal round appearance during today's Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. After garnering the first number-one ...

MADISON, Ill. (June 24, 2001) - Todd Patterson capped off a nice weekend with a second-straight semifinal round appearance during today's Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway.

After garnering the first number-one qualifier of his career on Saturday, Patterson lost on a holeshot to Taylor Lastor in the semifinal. Patterson clocked a quicker 7.547-second elapsed time, but Lastor's 7.554-second pass was enough at the stripe.

"We had the truck to beat this weekend," said a disappointed Patterson. "We ran so well, and to lose is always frustrating. The more we learn about this truck, and the more horsepower we're able to find, we'll keep putting the pressure on."

Patterson defeated Vinny Barone in the first round and outlasted Scott Perin in round two, by setting low elapsed time with a 7.517-second pass.

Skuza Loses to Force in Second Round

It was a short day for the Mopar Parts Nitro Funny Car of Dean Skuza. After defeating a tire-smoking Scotty Cannon in round one, Skuza lost at the wire to 10-time Winston Nitro Funny Car Champion John Force.

Skuza clicked off a solid 5.033-second lap at 299.53 mph, but Force ran a 4.985-second elapsed time at 296.44 mph.

"We did what we wanted to do," Skuza said. "We didn't want to go out there and beat ourselves. We're tired of seeing that. The track was real hot and we felt that a low 5.00-second lap was going to be what our car could have held. If John would have made a mistake, we were right there to win. We would have beaten any other car out there."

Osborne Falls in Round One

Mark Osborne and his Mopar Parts-sponsored Dodge R/T fell in the first round of eliminations to Mike Edwards. After taking the eighth-qualifying slot and first-round lane choice for only the second time this season, Osborne slowed to a 6.998-second elapsed time at 199.88 mph to Edward's 6.931/199.29 combination.

"That wasn't what we were looking for in the first round," Osborne noted. "I hate losing in the first round, especially since we haven't lost in the first round for quite a while. Hopefully we'll get this thing going for Pomona and catch up with them there.

The track was real marginal," Osborne continued. "It kind of hurt us out there, but it's the same for everyone."

-Mopar

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Dean Skuza , John Force , Todd Patterson , Scotty Cannon , Mike Edwards