Mopar Motorsports NHRA Notebook: Skuza playing the consistency game. MILLINGTON, Tenn. (Sept. 16, 2002) -- It's been a nice line of recent success for Mopar Parts Dodge Stratus R/T Nitro Funny Car driver Dean Skuza. The Brecksville, Ohio,...
Mopar Motorsports NHRA Notebook:
Skuza playing the consistency game.
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (Sept. 16, 2002) -- It's been a nice line of recent success for Mopar Parts Dodge Stratus R/T Nitro Funny Car driver Dean Skuza. The Brecksville, Ohio, resident and two-time NHRA national event winner has been quite consistent this season, logging four semifinal-round appearances in the last six NHRA national events.
Until a first-round loss to Tony Pedregon at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa., this past weekend, Skuza had advanced beyond the first round of competition in every race since Old Bridge Township Raceway Park (lost to Johnny Gray) in Englishtown, Pa., last May. Skuza missed the show at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill., for his only other exit in late June.
In this stretch, Skuza had vaulted four positions in the POWERade Funny Car point championship; while knocking out the likes of John Force, Whit Bazemore, Tony Pedregon and Ron Capps in rounds of competition. Skuza also made a final-round appearance during the Budweiser Shootout at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Skuza still feels like there's still a lot more to accomplish with this weekend's Lucas NHRA Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park on the horizon.
"We're really not satisfied," Skuza said."But we've come together as a team. We have ironed out the little problems that plagued us at the beginning of the season when we got off to such a sluggish start. We now understand what this new Dodge Stratus R/T body needs and wants; and what makes it tick. We want a top-five finish, and we know it will be tough, but it's a realistic goal right now."
Mopar NHRA Storylines
RECORD BREAKERS. A Hemi-powered Dodge Pro Stock car currently holds both ends of the track record at Memphis Motorsports Park; site of this weekend's O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals. The records (6.809-second elapsed time & 201.43 mph) were set during the 2000 race. And at the time, a Mopar held the national elapsed-time record with that pass as well.
NO SLOUCHES. Mopar drivers and cars have enjoyed quite a bit of Pro Stock success at Memphis Motorsports Park over the years. A Mopar-powered car made six final-round appearances, including five straight between 1990 and' 94. In 1994, three-time POWERade Pro Stock World Champion Darrell Alderman triumphed in an all-Mopar final; while current Mopar shoe Larry Morgan visited victory lane in 1990.