TOPEKA, Kan. -- Mopar Motorsports NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series teams completed the first day of qualifying for this weekend's O'Reilly Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka. NOTABLE: Darrell Alderman is going for his first No. 1...
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Mopar Motorsports NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series teams completed the first day of qualifying for this weekend's O'Reilly Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.
NOTABLE: Darrell Alderman is going for his first No. 1 qualifier since the October race here at Heartland Park Topeka. The three-time POWERade Pro Stock World Champion is going for his 24th career top qualifier.
For the third-straight NHRA national event, rain cancelled the second-round of qualifying.
The following are notes and quotes from today's qualifying activity.
DEAN SKUZA, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Stratus R/T
Dean Skuza smoked the tires and failed to make a complete pass in the first round of qualifying activity today. The Brecksville, Ohio resident hopes improved weather conditions will help tomorrow.
"The track had a pretty narrow groove," Skuza said." We'll be okay. We have a real strong team and we've been running a lot better as of late. We found something in the clutch back in Atlanta and our improvement is starting to carry over."
GENE WILSON, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T
Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T driver Gene Wilson squeaked into the field in the 14th position. Wilson, 29, ran a 6.929-second lap at 199.29 mph.
"When you're in, you are in," Wilson said."I know its not where we want to be, but when ever you make a complete run in the first session it's a positive. We can look at the numbers and see how we can improve the situation."
LARRY MORGAN, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T
Larry Morgan logged the 17th-quickest lap of the session with a lap of 6.945 seconds at 198.96 mph. The Newark, Ohio resident spoke of the run.
"We definitely have a lot of power out there," Morgan said."The car was a little loose and I think it cost us a little, but we should be okay for tomorrow."
DARRELL ALDERMAN, driver of the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T
Darrell Alderman powered his Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T to the provisional No. 1 qualifying slot with a 6.882-second elapsed time at 199.61 mph. The Morehead, Ky., resident talked about his day.
"It felt like a different car out there," said Alderman, who missed the race in Englishtown (N.J) due to mechanical woes."We had a shock box problem in Englishtown. The car was actually leaving the starting line in the soft position of the shocks. It just felt awesome out there then. We made a clean run that time.
"There are a lot of fast cars out there that didn't make a run," Alderman continued."We'll be satisfied to be qualified when the four sessions are over. I think everybody is concerned when there aren't ideal conditions out there and the groove is really narrow. My car left good and straight and there were no problems. The key is to keep it in the groove and leave well in first and second gear. The car in front of me-- Jeg (Coughlin)-- went to the left and that just messes the whole run up."