Osborne Wins Race to 204 MPH Hemi Engine and Dodge Neon R/T Setting New Standard for Speed MOHNTON, Pa. (Oct. 8, 2001) - It's a new era in NHRA Pro Stock competition. Mark Osborne's Hemi-powered Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T became the ...
Osborne Wins Race to 204 MPH
Hemi Engine and Dodge Neon R/T Setting New Standard for Speed
MOHNTON, Pa. (Oct. 8, 2001) - It's a new era in NHRA Pro Stock competition.
Mark Osborne's Hemi-powered Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T became the first 500-cubic-inch Pro Stock car to eclipse the 204-mph barrier when he lapped the Maple Grove Raceway quarter mile at 204.35 mph during his semifinal match. The pass was an official national speed record, as the Abingdon, Va., resident backed up the run by posting the second-fastest pass in history with a 203.74-mph effort during his second-round victory.
Adding to the feat, Osborne's 6.754-second elapsed time was also the second quickest in NHRA history.
"We have a lot of power in the Hemi engine and the Mopar engineers have done a great job with the new Neon," said Osborne, who grabbed his second number-one qualifier of the year. "The weather conditions were just perfect in Reading (Pa.). We always run well in the cooler air because we can take advantage of our horsepower.
"The car is so good at cutting through the air," Osborne added. "All the guys at Nickens Racing and in Detroit with Mopar have done a tremendous job with this car. It's nice to drive something this awesome every weekend."
Mopar Motorsports drag racing program manager Brett Fischer commented on the record.
"We really wanted to revolutionize the sport with our Hemi engine," Fischer said. "I think the new Dodge Neon R/T's have allowed us to demonstrate that. Our Mopar engineers have been working closely with our race teams to accomplish the very records that were unthinkable to our competition just a few months ago. Mopar has been putting a lot of effort into making this happen, and now we're seeing it pay off."
Teammate Darrell Alderman also broke a barrier as the three-time Winston Pro Stock World Champion was the first NHRA Pro Stock driver to break through the 6.80-second elapsed time mark when he posted a 6.788-second blast in the third-round of qualifying.
"These new cars are just awesome," said Alderman, who ranks third all-time with 27 NHRA Pro Stock national event victories. "When you have the weather conditions that we've had the last few weeks, you knew records were going to fall."
Team owner and engine builder David Nickens agreed with Alderman.
"I knew heading into this weekend we were going to see our first sub 6.80-second pass," Nickens said. "When you go to Chicago and Maple Grove in the fall, with all that oxygen, cool weather and great track conditions, you have the right combination for speed.
"I can't say enough about all the Mopar engineers that have helped with this project," Nickens continued. "If we have a problem, or I have a suggestion, all I have to do is pick up the phone and call. It's that type of teamwork that makes this thing so seamless."
Alderman was the last Mopar Parts driver to hold the national speed record when his Dodge Neon R/T posted a 202.64 mph pass during eliminations at Seattle International Raceway in late July.