SONOMA, Calif. (Aug. 4, 2001) - Dean Skuza, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge R/T Nitro Funny Car, maintained lane choice and the second position for tomorrow's running of the 14th annual Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals at Sears Point Raceway. Skuza...
SONOMA, Calif. (Aug. 4, 2001) - Dean Skuza, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge R/T Nitro Funny Car, maintained lane choice and the second position for tomorrow's running of the 14th annual Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals at Sears Point Raceway.
Skuza lapped the suburban San Francisco quarter mile at 4.942 seconds and 305.91 mph. The Brecksville, Ohio resident made two strong passes during today's session to set up a round one match up with Tony Pedregon.
"We were tuning for tomorrow's eliminations," Skuza noted. "It's important for us to make good runs during qualifying a get the most information we can under race day conditions. We weren't going for the pole, but we wanted to be solid and maintain lane choice. The track is a little problematic for us at the top end because we lose some down force with our older body."
Osborne Starts Fifth
Alderman To Face Warren Johnson in Round One
Mopar Parts driver Mark Osborne will take his new Dodge Neon R/T up against fellow Mopar-powered competitor Allen Johnson in the first round of eliminations following today's third and fourth rounds of qualifying.
Osborne drove to a 6.896-second elapsed time at 200.23 mph during the second session on Friday night. Osborne, who grabbed his third national event victory during last weekend's race at Seattle International Raceway, struggled in today's two sessions.
"We didn't make the runs we wanted to," Osborne said. "We had some clutch problems in the early qualifier and we were real loose about mid-track in the second. (Crew chief) Mark Ingersoll will figure things out and we'll go some rounds. I'm really glad that we have lane choice because the track is pretty tricky out there."
Teammate and three-time Winston Pro Stock World Champion Darrell Alderman has a classic round one match up with five-time Pro Stock title-holder Warren Johnson tomorrow. Alderman, who struggled in qualifying on Friday, piloted his new Hemi-powered Dodge Neon R/T to the 15th position with a 6.937-second elapsed time at 200.11 mph during today's third session.
"We don't have ideal track conditions this weekend," said Alderman, a 27-time NHRA national event winner. "We have the speed, but were not getting the elapsed times that we've been wanting."
Morgan Squeaks In
The Dodge Motorsports Neon R/T of Larry Morgan squeaked into the field in the 16th-qualifying position. Morgan, who made a weekend quick 6.938-second elapsed time at 198.90 mph in Friday's second session, completed two solid passes today.
The Newark, Ohio native will take one number-one qualifier and defending Winston Pro Stock World Champion Jeg Coughlin, Jr. in the first round of eliminations.
"We made two really good, consistent runs today," Morgan said. "On that last one, we were really loose and I sometimes just stay on it too long. We're happy though and we'll see what we can do tomorrow, even though the track conditions are pretty bad out there."
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