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NHRA: Team Mopar Prepares for the West Coast Swing

8 July 1998

July 16-19, 1998- Bandimere Speedway will be the site of the 20th annual NHRA Mopar Parts Mile High Nationals. The visit to the Rocky Mountain state is the 12th stop on the NHRA 22-event race schedule. Past Mopar drivers who have won this event include, Mike Dunn (1991& 1994), David Nickens (1992), Todd Patterson (1997 & 1986), & David Nickens (1992). Mopar's Mike Dunn has reached the winner's circle as both a Top Fuel and Funny Car driver.

In Top Fuel, driver Mike Dunn enters the weekend 5th in the Winston NHRA Top Fuel standings with 6362 points. Dunn, who set a career best of 4.590/318.58 in qualifying #1 at the season opener in Pomona, is looking for his first win since Memphis of 1996. For the Darrell Gwynn owned dragster, semi-final appearances in 1998 include Gainesville, Houston, Atlanta, Dallas and Madison.

Team Mopar enters four Pro Stock Dodge Avengers heading into qualifying. The "Dodge Boys" of Scott Geoffrion and Darrell Alderman return searching for their first win of the season. Mopar newcomers Allen Johnson and Larry Nance round out a solid contingent racing the Mopar colors. Nance

Mike Dunn, driver, Mopar Top Fuel dragster (5th place/636 points)
"Denver is an track that I like to race at every year. I have won here in both Top Fuel (1994) and in Funny Car (1991). I use to come here in the 60's and 70's with my dad (Funny Car owner Jim Dunn) and he always knew how to tune a car in high altitude. I have some great memories and information to utilize heading into the weekend. The tune-up is the key trying to adjust to the altitude difference. The Top Fuel category is going to be a shoot-out all year. Knowing we are in striking distance of the leaders is a great feeling heading into the second-half of the year. It is a perfect place for our Mopar Top Fuel team to get our first win and make a statement for the second-half of the year."

Scott Geoffrion, Mopar Pro Stock Dodge Avenger (11th place/348 pts)
"Hopefully the second-half of the season is more productive for us than the first. We just haven't been able to get the consistency needed to win rounds on Sunday. We started out great in Pomona reaching the semifinals, but other than that, our camp hasn't made a lot of noise in the Pro Stock class. Denver is Mopar's race and there isn't a better place to get our season turned around."

Darrell Alderman, Mopar Pro Stock Dodge Avenger (18th place/280 pts)
"It's frustrating being this far down in the points heading into the back-half of the year. We have to take step back and re-evaluate or goals for the rest of the year. It would be a great comeback for us to win some races and make it into the top ten of the Winston NHRA points standings. It would be easy for us to run and hide, but we have too much to prove to ourselves, our sponsors and fans. I still anticipate to see a Mopar Dodge Avenger in the winner's circle a few times this year."

Larry Nance, Mopar Pro Stock Dodge Avenger (23rd place/154 points)
"I anticipate things will be a lot better in Denver than in Madison. If something could go wrong it did and that meant for a long weekend. We only got down the track once all weekend and that was embarrassing. We are going to Denver testing this week and hope to find the problems with our combination. We should also get our second engine from Dale (Eicke) before we get ready to race which will help tremendously. It is time for us to step up our performance and get more competitive."

Allen Johnson, Mopar Pro Stock Dodge Avenger (29th place/110 points)
"Hopefully we can gain some momentum in Denver like we did last year. It was this time last year that we caught picked up some steam and made the most our of the second-half of the year. We actually should had a good shot at winning the race here last year but lost to Warren (Johnson) in the 2nd round. We have been down on power lately but Roy (Johnson) thinks he has solved the problem. We have two health engines with a third that will be ready for Denver. Roy likes to tune in the high altitude so it will be interesting."