Las Vegas: Mopar Friday qualifying notes

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Mopar Parts NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series teams completed the first day of qualifying for this weekend's SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Skuza and the Mopar Parts Nitro Funny...

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Mopar Parts NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series teams completed the first day of qualifying for this weekend's SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Skuza and the Mopar Parts Nitro Funny Car hopes to capitalize on two-straight semifinal appearances at The Strip, while Darrell Alderman is going for two-straight NHRA national event victories.

The following are notes and quotes following today's qualifying activity.

DEAN SKUZA, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Stratus R/T

Dean Skuza and the Mopar Parts Dodge Stratus R/T Nitro Funny moved into the top 16 with a 5.024-second elapsed time at 303.23 mph. Skuza squeaked out the 15th-qualified position.

"We've had ignition trouble, blower trouble and a fuel line loose," Skuza said. "We had a blower break during the warm up. It's almost like I can't wait to see what will happen left. We were lucky we were able to make that run.

"We had a line that leaked in the warm up," said Skuza, on the delayed start to the second round of qualifying. "We replaced it with a brand new line and it checked out and everything. For some reason, that went bad, so they had to zip tie it and disconnect the line, so we could get enough fuel to get past. It wasn't a very high-pressure line. It's just one of those things. I'm sure it hurt the elapsed time because we didn't have enough temperature in the motor. For tomorrow, I think it will be a big improvement if we just get to the line and nothing falls off the car. And this car never leaks. I've got the best crew in drag racing and they're all competent mechanics. It's seems like this weekend ahs been Murphy's Law. These are the weekends you usually do pretty well though. We started off hectic, but I think we'll be running great by Sunday. We're going to go over everything tonight."

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

Rookie Mopar Pro Stock shoe Gene Wilson struggled during the first two rounds of qualifying. The 29-year-old Wilson clocked a 7.053-second lap at 196.33 mph in only the second race driving the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T.

"I think the track is excellent," Wilson said. "This Las Vegas track is very smooth. It just wasn't the runs we were looking for. I believe the weather is supposed to be better tomorrow. The temperature is supposed to be a little lower and we're looking to do a good bit better tomorrow. I know the car and the team has a little bit more in us. We have to get a couple of things ironed out, and I think we'll be okay."

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

Larry Morgan and the blue Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T is on the outside looking in after the first day of Pro Stock qualifying. The Newark, Ohio resident logged a 7.026-second lap at 196.99 mph.

"We're three hundred low on the gears," said a frustrated Morgan. "I slipped the clutch too much and blew the tires off it. I don't know why it doing it. It's just not making good runs. We should be running a lot better than we did."

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

Darrell Alderman cracked the top 16 when his Hemi-powered Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T clicked off a 7.002-second elapsed time at 197.08 mph. The Morehead, Ky., resident took home the 14th position.

"The car seemed to slow down a little bit in mile per hour," Alderman noted. "We should have been about a half a mile an hour faster. We got just a little bit loose half way down the track."

-mopar-

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