Sonoma: Mopar elimination day notes

Alderman Bows Out After Two Osborne Falls in Round One SONOMA, Calif. (Aug. 5, 2001) -- Darrell Alderman and the new Hemi-powered Dodge Neon R/T drove to the second round of eliminations before falling to Mark Pawuk in today's Fram Autolite NHRA...

Alderman Bows Out After Two
Osborne Falls in Round One

SONOMA, Calif. (Aug. 5, 2001) -- Darrell Alderman and the new Hemi-powered Dodge Neon R/T drove to the second round of eliminations before falling to Mark Pawuk in today's Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals at Sears Point Raceway.

Alderman advanced by defeating Warren Johnson in the first round, taking a holeshot advantage (.463-.549) at the start. Alderman ran a 6.933-second elapsed time with the second fastest time of the session at 200.59 mph. In round two, Alderman experienced extreme tire shake and shut off after launching.

"We really shook hard," Alderman said. "We had some troubles with the track this weekend. It was real loose and we could never catch up with the clutch combination."

Mark Osborne and his Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T lost in the first round to fellow Mopar-powered driver Allen Johnson. Osborne ran a much quicker 6.918-second pass at 200.17 mph, but Johnson put a holeshot on the starting line and ran a 7.008-second elapsed time at 197.28 mph.

"I didn't do my job as a driver on that one," said a frustrated Osborne. "We really had a good car and had lane choice. I should have won it, but we'll just come back and get them in a couple of weeks."

Skuza Out Early

Mopar Parts Nitro Funny Car driver Dean Skuza fell to Tony Pedregon in the first round of eliminations. Skuza smoked the tires and ran a 6.907-second elapsed time, allowing Pedregon to cruise to victory with a 4.992-second elapsed time at 310.84 mph.

"We sure didn't want that," Skuza said. "We made a nice launch and it was on a good run, bt something must of happened with the blower belt and we just went up in smoke. I think we'll be able to solve some of our problems when we get our new Dodge Stratus body at the end of the season."

Coughlin Ekes By Morgan

Defending Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin, Jr. drove around the Dodge Motorsports Neon R/T of Larry Morgan in the first round of eliminations. Morgan held a decisive starting-line advantage (.439-.471) and ran a 6.977-second elapsed time at 198.73 mph, but Coughlin clocked a 6.938-second lap at 199.73 mph.

"The track was the difference," Morgan said. "Since we didn't have lane choice, Jeg was able to choose the left lane. We made a nice run and I thought I had a real shot, but we just spun the tires at the top end. We're learning a lot of new things with this Neon."

-Mopar-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Darrell Alderman , Mark Pawuk , Warren Johnson , Tony Pedregon , Dean Skuza , Larry Morgan , Allen Johnson