Joliet: Team Mopar recap

Route 66 Raceway Team Mopar Sunday Eliminations Semifinals for Patterson JOLIET, Ill. (June 3, 2001) - Todd Patterson wielded his next-generation Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T Pro Stock Truck entry to his second semifinal of the season at this...

Route 66 Raceway
Team Mopar
Sunday Eliminations

Semifinals for Patterson

JOLIET, Ill. (June 3, 2001) - Todd Patterson wielded his next-generation Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T Pro Stock Truck entry to his second semifinal of the season at this weekend's Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.

Patterson advanced to the semifinal with victories over Mark Whisnant in round one and Holley Dominator Duel winner Jeff Gracia in round two. Scott Perin defeated Patterson in the semifinal with a 7.449-second lap at 180.48 mph. Patterson ran a 7.447-second lap at 180.94 mph.

"We were pretty pleased with the weekend, even though we wanted to get to the finals," said Patterson, who set career best elapsed time and speed marks in qualifying this weekend. "We had a chance to get our first Pro Stock Truck win today. A lot of positives came out of this weekend. The truck ran great -- making good, consistent runs straight down the track -- and I got my driving back where I can cut lights and win races again. We just have to have some breaks fall our way. We also got some points, which we needed, with our semifinal round appearance. I think we're a win waiting to happen."

Patterson also commented on the progression of the new Dodge Dakota R/T, which made its debut at The Strip at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this year.

"We have learned that this truck has a lot of potential," Patterson continued. "I don't think we've hit the sweet spot with it. There are a couple of areas we can improve on. We're already running good mph with a career-best speed (181.54) here this weekend. I think we have a lot to look forward to here these next two races."

Morgan Drives to Second Round

Larry Morgan, driver of the Dodge Motorsports R/T Pro Stock entry, advanced to the second round of eliminations by outrunning Bruce Allen in round one. The Newark, Ohio resident fell to Mike Edwards in round two.

Edwards clocked a 6.829-second elapsed time at 200.08 mph, to Morgan's 6.903/199.23 combination. Morgan held a starting line advantage (.441-.496) in his round-one victory over Allen, who ran a quicker elapsed time (6.866 - 6.891).

"Both runs in the right lane today were fairly good," said Larry Morgan Racing crew chief Billy

Wagner. "The runs weren't any worse than the ones we made in qualifying - like our 6.86-second effort - but the right was just worse than the left.

"The right lane wasn't nearly as competitive for the Pro Stock cars," Wagner added. "Had we been the left lane, we could have run 6.86 or faster. We had two tough competitors and Larry had an awesome light in the first round, but Edwards was just too much to overcome."

Osborne Advances to Second Round
Alderman Out In One

The Mopar Parts Dodge R/T of Mark Osborne made its second-straight, second-round appearance before losing to George Marnell. Osborne moved to the second round after beating a red-lighting Ron Krisher for the fourth-straight time this season.

Marnell ran a 6.849-seoncd pass at 200.47 mph, as Osborne clocked a 6.922/199.70 combination. Osborne ran a 6.881-second lap at 200.62 mph in the first round.

"In the second round, I was just a little slow on the starting line," Osborne said. "We were hoping to cut a better light and run a better elapsed time. We didn't have the car set up real well and the driver wasn't set up well either. It just didn't happen today."

Osborne's teammate Darrell Alderman fell victim to the slower right lane and a quicker Mike Edwards in round one. Edwards ran a strong 6.819-second pass at 200.80 mph, as Alderman clocked a 6.864-second elapsed time at 200.50 mph.

"We made a hell of a run over in the right lane," Alderman said. "We had the best 60-foot time of the round (1.01) and it went right down the track. Unfortunately, we just didn't have enough for Edwards." Tough Day for Skuza

Dean Skuza and his Mopar Parts Nitro Funny Car lost to Jim Epler in round one of eliminations. The Brecksville, Ohio resident had to shut his Dodge R/T off a bit early when it made a move towards the wall. Epler ran a 4.903-second elapsed time at 305.36 mph to Skuza's 4.941/251.30 effort.

"We just moved towards the wall," Skuza said. "We were way out in front and I had to shut it off to avoid the wall. We had a great run going and would have run a 4.81, just looking at the incremental times. Air got underneath the car and it nosed over."

-Team Mopar-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Darrell Alderman , Jim Epler , Dean Skuza , Ron Krisher , Larry Morgan , Todd Patterson , Jeff Gracia , Bruce Allen , George Marnell , Mark Whisnant , Mike Edwards