MORRISON, Colo. -- Mopar Motorsports NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series teams completed the final day of qualifying for this weekend's Lucas Oil Products NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways. DEAN SKUZA, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Stratus ...
MORRISON, Colo. -- Mopar Motorsports NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series teams completed the final day of qualifying for this weekend's Lucas Oil Products NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways.
DEAN SKUZA, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Stratus R/T
Dean Skuza placed his Mopar Parts Dodge Stratus R/T Nitro Funny Car into the 12th-qualifying slot. Despite experiencing some mechanical woes, Skuza clocked a 5.066-second elapsed time at 282.54 mph in today's third session to set up a first round match with John Force.
"I can't believe it didn't blow up on that third run," Skuza said."We broke an exhaust rocker and an intake rocker arm at the same time. So we didn't have any rocker arms or the number seven cylinder. It also lost number two (cylinder) and I went towards the wall. Other than that it was a picture perfect run.
"Every time I've ever seen an exhaust rocker break; we would be on the end-of-the-year highlight real with a catastrophic explosion," Skuza added."We always walk around here and think we don't have any luck. But that was the luckiest thing all year that it didn't blow up. Everything was fine up on to that point. We tuned it a little to try to pick things up. We think we can run a high 4.80 pretty safely."
Skuza has three round victories over Force in their last four meetings, including a second round match up in last weekend's Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo.
GENE WILSON, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T
Gene Wilson and his Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T recovered from a sub par first day of qualifying to rip off a 6.821-second elapsed time at 201.64 mph. The run was good enough to collect the eighth-qualifying slot. The suburban Atlanta resident will take on Larry Nance in the first round of eliminations.
"The car was there on that run," said Wilson, who recorded his run in the cool morning air."When I let the clutch out, the car was really awesome. The track temperature was right, and so was the air. It was definitely good enough to get solidly in the show."
LARRY MORGAN, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T
Larry Morgan once again showed the way for Team Mopar. With his blue Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T set in the left lane, Morgan cracked off his best qualifying effort of the season thus far with a sizzling 6.821-second pass at 201.94 mph in this morning's third session.
Morgan will face off against current points leader Jim Yates in the first round of eliminations tomorrow.
"We just hit it right this morning," Morgan said." We're not sure how we hit it, but we did it right. The car works so perfectly here. I drove a little bit better on that one as well. We still may have a couple hundredths in it left. I'm not saying we would be second right now, but I know that we could be in a better position. We just feel real good about what we have right now. Bob Glidden definitely straightened this car out. If it was not for Bob and the hand full of guys who worked on this car, we wouldn't be in the position that we are now.
"I think conditions will be similar to that fourth session," Morgan added."If we get the tune up right, we should do fairly well."
Morgan followed his strong third session with a 6.864-second elapsed time in the final run; which was the fourth quickest of that round.
DARRELL ALDERMAN, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T
Darrell Alderman missed only his third race of the season in his Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T today. A 6.873-second elapsed time during the first session was not enough to crack into the top 16, as Alderman was unable to improve the rest of the weekend.
"We overpowered the track pretty bad," Alderman said." We shook the tires real hard at about 500 feet. I don't unusually like to run it through when it gets that bad and tear things up, but we really wanted some data on that run.
"We just never could figure out the track this weekend," Alderman continued.
GREG STANFIELD, driver of the DBP Motorsports Dodge Neon R/T
Greg Stanfield and the DBP Motorsports Pro Stock Dodge Neon R/T just missed qualifying for his second-straight Pro Stock category race. The Bossier City, La., resident ran a 6.862-second elapsed time at 202.52 mph, the third fastest time ever recorded at Pacific Raceways in the NHRA Pro Stock category.
"We swung some gear ratios and our clutch around," Stanfield said."We killed it down low. Our problem right now is that we're lacking sea level experience. We have real-good power. It's not a power issue as much as it's track time. We need to get track savvy. This was only our 22nd pass in the car. Overall, I'm happy with it."