St Louis: Mopar update 2000-06-21

(MADISON, Ill.) - Dodge Motorsports Pro Stock Avenger driver Larry Morgan recently discussed his team's transition to the new Hemi powerplant. The veteran NHRA Pro Stock competitor is starting to see some encouraging numbers leading into this...

(MADISON, Ill.) - Dodge Motorsports Pro Stock Avenger driver Larry Morgan recently discussed his team's transition to the new Hemi powerplant.

The veteran NHRA Pro Stock competitor is starting to see some encouraging numbers leading into this weekend's Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway (GIR), located just outside of St. Louis.

"I'm really looking forward to going to St. Louis because the track is excellent," Morgan said. "We have picked up so much with the new Hemi that I can't wait to get there. I think we'll be awesome. "We are going to do a little testing before we get there," Morgan continued. "I truly think we can put this Dodge in the show."

The Ohio resident, who campaigned the venerable Wedge V-8 Pro Stock engine during the early part of the season, likes what he sees in the new Hemi.

"We have really found a lot of horsepower over the past two weeks," Morgan said. "In the upper rpm ranges, we have picked up a great deal of horsepower. The Dodge Motorsports engineers, along with this great team, have really worked hard.

"The Hemi has more power on take off, mid-range and top end," Morgan said. "It's only a matter of time."

PRO STOCK PREVIEW

(MADISON, Ill.) - NHRA Pro Stock hero Darrell Alderman, driver of the Team Mopar Dodge Avenger, is ready for the heat offered up during this weekend's Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway (GIR).

"St. Louis is an excellent facility and race track," said the three-time NHRA Winston Pro Stock World Champion. "The track surface is real good. However, we're still going to have to deal with the heat," Alderman continued. "We usually have to change the gearing and tune-up to compensate for the conditions.

"We found some things in Columbus (National Trail Raceway). It wouldn't surprise me to put these cars in the top half of the field."

Alderman's Team Mopar running mate Scott Geoffrion paints a similar picture.

"If you look at the numbers in Columbus, we picked up a great deal," Geoffrion said. "St. Louis has a good surface, so we should be able to get the track's handle."

GIR, which is holding its fourth consecutive NHRA national event, benefits from the relative infancy of its track surface.

"Obviously, most new facilities have smoother track surfaces," Alderman noted. "With the older tracks, like Columbus, the sun has a greater effect on how slick it is. The newer tracks seem to maintain a little more consistency when extreme weather conditions emerge."

PATTERSON PREPARED

(MADISON, Ill.) - Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T Pro Stock Truck competitor Todd Patterson has a great deal of confidence heading into this weekend's Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway.

"We have tested twice at St. Louis," said Patterson, who qualified seventh at last weekend's National Trail Raceway event in Kirkersville, Ohio. "We have the speed and confidence to win some rounds. Once we clean up our runs, especially on the starting line, we should have some fun."

Patterson was impressive during qualifying this past weekend, ripping off a 7.62-second elapsed time at 175.94 mph.

GRASSROOTS HERO

(KIRKERSVILLE, Ohio) - One of the unsung heroes among the Team Mopar NHRA drag racing program is long-time Sportsman competitor Sheldon Gecker.

Gecker, who was the top Federal Mogul Super Comp All-Star performer at last weekend's National Trail Raceway NHRA national event, has been quite impressive with his Mopar Performance Parts dragster.

"For the most part, we use Mopar Performance Parts to power this program," Gecker said. "We have had really good luck with the heads and engine blocks right out of the catalog. They have a nice selection of parts, so it makes it easier to obtain the right combinations.

"There is a lot of durability with Mopar Performance Parts," Gecker added. "If there was a better product out there, that was also as durable, I would be running it.

"We definitely have an advantage being associated with Mopar."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Darrell Alderman , Larry Morgan , Todd Patterson , Scott Geoffrion