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NHRA: Mopar - Seattle - Final Report

6 August 1998

(Kent, Wa.) - After the final eliminations of the 1998 Prolong Super Lubricants Northwest Nationals, Team Mopar earned its second Pro Stock Truck win of the season enroute to a successful weekend in Seattle.

In Pro Stock Truck, the Atsco/Mopar Dodge Dakota of Craig Eaton beat the Chevy S-10 of Jerry Haas, (7.742/173.27) to (7.715/175.02) in the finals. It was Eaton's first NHRA victory as a professional driver. Mopar driver Todd Patterson was eliminated in the second round. David Nickens was upset by Brad Jeter in the first round of eliminations while Bill Henderson did not qualify.

In Top Fuel, driver Mike Dunn and the Darrell Gwynn owned Top Fuel dragster was eliminated in the semifinals for the sixth time this season.

In Pro Stock, Darrell Alderman made the second round of eliminations before being eliminated by Jim Yates. Teammate Scott Geoffrion were eliminated by Warren Johnson in the first round of eliminations. Larry Nance and Allen Johnson failed to qualify.

In Funny Car, the Mopar/Matco Tools Dodge Avenger of Dean Skuza lost to John Force in the second round of eliminations.

Mike Dunn, Mopar Top Fuel, (5.342/227.44) lost to Joe Amato (4.816/291.16) in the semifinals.
"We're disappointed that we didn't put the Mopar dragster in the winners circle. We broke a fuel pump while warming up the car in the pits before our semifinal run. The replacement pump was just a little weaker. It changed the fuel curve and took away some fuel from the motor. I felt the tires rattle early, then they went up in smoke around 200-feet out. I peddled it, but just didn't have enough to catch up. The Mopar dragster was probably the most consistent car out here all weekend. Ken (Veney) and the crew did a great job getting us to another semifinal. We picked up some points on the guys in front of us and continue to win rounds. We'll just get ready for Brainerd."

Scott Geoffrion, Mopar Pro Stock Avenger, (7.030/196.97) lost to Warren Johnson (6.952/198.19) in the first round of eliminations.
"We slipped the clutch right out of the box. I had Warren (Johnson) by four-hundredths at the tree, but as soon as the clutch slipped, we lost tire speed and that was the end of it. We went up to the line thinking that the track may go away from us because of the heat. The track was better than we thought and didn't get slippery like we anticipated. Overall, it was a very positive weekend for the Mopar Avengers. Both Darrell (Alderman) and I were able to get in the 6.95's during qualifying and showed speed in the 198-mph range. We'll keep on working at it until we get a win."

Darrell Alderman, Mopar Pro Stock Avenger, (7.051/196.97) lost to Jim Yates (6.978/197.10) in the second round of eliminations.
"A real positive weekend for Mopar and the Dodge Avengers. This was probably the most consistent race car that we have had all year. Each round we improved our combination and made positive strides. When the qualifying bump is a 6.95, your are in a dog-fight all weekend. I'm proud of how we performed this weekend. We ran into some tire-shake down low on my last hit against Yates and just couldn't run him down."

Craig Eaton, Atsco/Mopar Pro Stock Dodge Dakota (7.742/173.27) beat Jerry Haas (7.715/175.02) in the finals.
"What an amazing feeling. I can't even describe what it feels like right now. To win a NHRA national event is a dream come true. It is a credit to how our team has worked to get to this point. Our Atsco/Mopar Dodge Dakota ran great all weekend. From qualifying through eliminations, everything came together for us and it was just our day.

"I have never gone past the second round of eliminations. When I beat Tim (Freeman) in the second round today, I had a feeling that it may be our day. I owe so much to my day Dale (Eaton) and crew chief Gary Pearman, they made all the right calls and put us in a position to win the race."

Todd Patterson, Mopar Pro Stock Dodge Dakota (7.757/172.41) lost to Jerry Haas (7.690/175.47) in the second round of eliminations.
"We slipped a clutch disc all the way through our run and that was the difference. We had Jerry (Haas) by six-hundredths at the light before we ran into some problems. We ended up getting beat by only two-thousandths of a second, that's how close it was. The Mopar Dodge Dakota ran great all weekend. The conditions were ideal to race in and our team had a great weekend. We fought some weight transfer problems and in conditions like these, you have to be able to move some weight around. We continue to make great strides with our engine program and learn more and more about our combinations every time down the track. We hope to get our new Dakota before we get to Indy for the U.S. Nationals. We're going to go back and continue to work hard and get ready for Labor Day."

David Nickens, Mopar Pro Stock Dodge Dakota (8.460/117.98) lost to Brad Jeter (7.833/172.34) in the first round of eliminations.
"We broke another rear end for some reason. It is the second one we broke in the last two days. We not quite sure why, all that we know is that this last one looks to have broke in the water before we even go to the lights. We knocked a couple of teeth out of it and that was the end of the story. We're not real happy for obvious reasons. The Mopar Dodge Dakota is really a super race truck during qualifying. We just need to go back and look at our raceday combinations and see if we are being a little too aggressive. We plan to test a bunch between Seattle and Indianapolis. We have our act together I guarantee it."