Topeka: Alderman makes finals

TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 1, 2000) - Darrell Alderman, driver of the Team Mopar Dodge R/T, just missed collecting his 28th national event victory when he lost to current NHRA Winston Pro Stock points leader Jeg Coughlin in the final of the Advance Auto...

TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 1, 2000) - Darrell Alderman, driver of the Team Mopar Dodge R/T, just missed collecting his 28th national event victory when he lost to current NHRA Winston Pro Stock points leader Jeg Coughlin in the final of the Advance Auto Parts Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka today.

Coughlin logged a 7.022-second elapsed time at 195.36 mph to bypass Alderman's 7.083/194.58, despite holding a .456-.471 starting-line advantage. It was Alderman's second final-round appearance of the season, matching his outing at the Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo., in mid-July.

"I moved around a little in that right lane," said the three-time NHRA Winston Pro Stock World Champion. "It was a great weekend for the Hemi engine and this whole Nickens Brothers team. We have really made a move here at the end of the season."

Alderman, who cut the best light (.418) of eliminations in round number three, moved to the finals when Mark Pawuk lost a fuel pump at the start. The Morehead, Ky., resident defeated V. Gaines in the first round and Bandimere Speedway final-round opponent Kurt Johnson in round number two.

"The early rounds were outstanding," said Alderman, who qualified sixth. "Lane choice is so important at this track. We lost choice to Jeg and it cost us there in the end."

Nine-time NHRA national event winner Scott Geoffrion wielded his Team Mopar Dodge R/T to the second round for the first time this year before losing to Coughlin. With low elapsed time of the round at 6.991-seconds and a 196.47 mph top speed, Coughlin outlasted Geoffrion's 7.044/196.33 combination.

"We had a great weekend," said Geoffrion, who qualified ninth. "I won my first round of competition and we gained a lot of information. The car moved around in second gear."

Geoffrion advanced to round two when he defeated veteran Bruce Allen in round one. Geoffrion's .428-.465 starting-line advantage, which wound up being the second best reaction time of eliminations, allowed him to hold off Allen at the top end. Geoffrion clocked a 6.999/196.82 to Allen's 6.986/196.70.

Todd Patterson also drove to the second round of Pro Stock Truck. The Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T driver lost to John Coughlin, despite running a quicker (7.693/174.41 - 7.702/175.39) combination. The Augusta, Kan., resident defeated John Lingenfelter in round one.

"You win some and you lose some," said Patterson, who clicked off a 7.633/175.50 in the first round. "The Magnum P-5 engine is really putting out some nice horsepower, allowing us to win some rounds."

Larry Morgan and the Dodge Motorsports R/T Pro Stock entry fell to J. Coughlin in a round one eliminator. Coughlin ran a 6.964/196.33 to Morgan's 7.017/196.44.

"We experienced a little trouble in the clutch," Morgan said. "We were real fast in the back half, and would have won the race if I had a better clutch set up. I am happy with where we are with the Hemi program though."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Darrell Alderman , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Larry Morgan , Todd Patterson , John Lingenfelter , Bruce Allen , Scott Geoffrion