Topeka: Mopar Saturday notes

TOPEKA, Kan. (Sept. 30, 2000) - Darrell Alderman and the Team Mopar Dodge R/T Pro Stock entry jumped into the sixth position during the final day of qualifying for the Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka today. Alderman ...

TOPEKA, Kan. (Sept. 30, 2000) - Darrell Alderman and the Team Mopar Dodge R/T Pro Stock entry jumped into the sixth position during the final day of qualifying for the Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka today.

Alderman rambled to a 6.953-second elapsed time at 196.62 mph in the third session and will face V. Gaines in round one. The three-time NHRA Winston Pro Stock World Champion also piloted his Hemi engine to a 1.000-second 60-foot time.

"We had a great 60-foot time," said Alderman, who won this event in 1989, 1990 and 1991. "The car moved to the left a little at the start, but I think we can resolve that problem."

Alderman's teammate Scott Geoffrion, who also drives a Team Mopar Dodge R/T, earned his best qualifying effort of the season when he took home ninth with a 6.972/196.53 combination. The three-time Heartland Park Topeka NHRA national event winner is hopeful in his first round match up with veteran Bruce Allen.

"We had the most consistent weekend of qualifying here," said Geoffrion, who has nine NHRA national event victories. "I have some horses under the hood and a good clutch set up to work with. Bruce will be a tough opponent in round one though."

Larry Morgan and the Dodge Motorsports R/T also made the field, taking home the 16th-qualifying position with a 6.987/196.96 effort. Morgan will take on current Pro Stock points leader Jeg Coughlin in a round one eliminator.

"I'm pleased with our early sessions," said Morgan, who made his best lap during the second session Friday night. "We had some trouble with the rocker arm in round three. I'm real confident about eliminations."

Todd Patterson held the banner for the Pro Stock Truck contingent when he piloted his Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T to 10th. The Augusta, Kan., resident ran to a 7.621/175.37 combination and will take on John Lingenfelter in the first round.

"It's really neat to run well in front of your family and friends," Patterson said. "We really moved around at the top end because of the strong head winds. After the first session, we really started to perform well."

In other Pro Stock Truck activity, Dale Eaton's Team Mopar Dodge Dakota R/T missed the top 16 with a 7.672/174.82 weekend best. Craig Eaton and the Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T also failed to qualify after running a 7.714/173.21.

The struggles continued for Dean Skuza's Matco Tools/Mopar Parts Nitro Funny Car. For only the second time this season, the Skuza Motorsports Dodge R/T missed the field.

"We need a better direction when it comes to this car's set up," said Skuza, who collected the third-qualifying position at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., two weekends ago. "We had a new car here this weekend, but it didn't pan out."

The Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals will be broadcast by TNN from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., EST, tomorrow.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Darrell Alderman , Dean Skuza , Larry Morgan , Todd Patterson , Bruce Allen , Scott Geoffrion