FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 MOPAR PARTS MILE-HIGH NATIONALS PRO STOCK NOTEBOOK *Keep on truckin': Scott Geoffrion and teammate Darrell Alderman will be behind the wheel as Dodge enters the ...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761
MOPAR PARTS MILE-HIGH NATIONALS PRO STOCK NOTEBOOK *Keep on truckin': Scott Geoffrion and teammate Darrell Alderman will be behind the wheel as Dodge enters the exhibition NHRA Pro Stock Truck program with exhibition passes by two Dakota pickups during the 19th annual Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals. The Pro Stock Truck program started at the Pontiac Excitement Nationals presented by Summit Racing, June 12-15 at National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio, with exhibition passes by two Chevrolet S-10 pickups driven by Jerry Haas and John Lingenfelter. Ford will debut two Ranger pickups, driven by Roy Hill and Richie Stevens, at the Autolite Nationals, July 25-27 at Sonoma, Calif. The Dodge and Chevrolet trucks will join the Fords at the Autolite Nationals, as all six trucks will participate on an exhibition basis at the remaining NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series national events this season starting at that race. "I think it's going to be really neat considering how many people drive trucks," Geoffrion said. "It's tremendously exciting because all of the fans are talking about them. I also think the rivalries will build between the brands." The Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge trucks each are powered by a 358 cubic-inch, eight-cylinder engine. The minimum weight of the trucks with driver is 2,300 pounds. There's a good chance that Geoffrion will make his first pass in the truck at the Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals, as he may not get a chance to make test runs. That could be tricky, as the trucks use a manual, ratchet shifting system that is different than the pneumatic system used in Pro Stock cars. "It should be interesting," Geoffrion said. "I think it will be neat doing double duty. If you're having a bad day with the car, you won't have much time to think about it before you have to jump in the truck." *Winning is the only thing: Team Mopar Pro Stock drivers Darrell Alderman and Scott Geoffrion realize that there's almost no chance for them to win an NHRA Winston championship this season. So they're concentrating on one thing for the rest of the year: winning races. "More people will remember who won races rather than who finished fourth or fifth," Geoffrion said. "Darrell won at Englishtown, I won at Topeka. People will remember that. Anything other than first in the points doesn't do much for me. "Winning does." *Progress report: Match races don't count in the NHRA Winston point standings, but Team Mopar drivers Scott Geoffrion and Darrell Alderman earned a moral and technical victory by sweeping Warren and Kurt Johnson in a match race July 2 at Atco Raceway in Atco, N.J. Geoffrion and Alderman each beat Warren and Kurt Johnson in separate races, taking a 4-0 victory. "The most exciting thing is that we learned a lot," Geoffrion said.. The Team Mopar crew experimented with new clutch setups and technology with both cars, and improved reaction times to the starting light resulted, Geoffrion said. The changes made to Alderman's clutch also could produce quicker elapsed times at national events, Geoffrion said. *Odds are with WJ: Jim Yates leads Warren Johnson by just 20 points in the NHRA Winston standings entering this event, but Scott Geoffrion expects WJ to pass Yates and win his fourth championship this season. "He's got more experience, and he really gets tougher as the season goes on," Geoffrion said. "If you look at his usual pattern, he tinkers with setups for the first half of the year before really settling on something." Geoffrion should know. He drove a team car for Johnson in 1991, finishing fourth in the NHRA Winston point standings. He joined Team Mopar in 1992 and since then has been a sometimes bitter rival of Johnson. Many NHRA observers predicted that Johnson would run away with the championship after Yates and his noted engine builder and crew chief, Richard Maskin, ended their partnership in February after the second race of the season. But Yates has led the NHRA Winston point standings after six of the nine races since his breakup with Maskin. Bob Ingles succeeded Maskin as engine builder, and Jerry Bickel and Rich Purdy inherited the crew chief duties. "Bob Ingles is an extremely sharp guy," Geoffrion said. "I guess I'm a little surprised that Yates has stayed on top, but they've got a really good engine builder. "Plus Yates and Jerry Bickel have done a great job getting that car down the first half of the track. Their 60-foot and 330-foot times are consistently better than anyone else." *Schedule: Pro qualifying starts at 4 p.m. July 18 and continues at 8 p.m. that evening. Qualifying ends with sessions at noon and 4 p.m. July 19. Final eliminations start at 11 a.m. July 20. Federal-Mogul competition starts at 2 p.m. July 17. *Tickets: Tickets are available for the Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals. Call Bandimere Speedway at (303) 697-6001. Tickets also are available at Ticketmaster outlets. All seats are reserved. *On TV: ESPN2 will televise two hours of live, final-round competition from the Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals at 4:30 p.m. (MDT) July 20. ESPN2 also will show two hours of live, Friday-night qualifying at 8 p.m. (MDT) July 18. -30-
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