ADVANCE AUTO PARTS NATIONALS
Alderman reaches finals; Geoffrion bags round win
Topeka, Sunday: 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 2.
"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.
Alderman quick off the line; Geoffrion pleased with consistency
Topeka, Saturday: 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.”
Scott Geoffrion, who drives the other 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.”
Geoffrion still has that Heartland Park magic; Alderman wants to move up
Topeka, Friday: Nine-time NHRA national event winner Scott Geoffrion led the way for the Dodge Motorsports and Team Mopar Pro Stock contingent following the first day of qualifying for the Advance Auto Parts Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka today.
Geoffrion, who drives one of two Team Mopar Dodge R/T’s, blasted the southern Topeka quarter mile with a 6.972-second elapsed time at 196.53 mph. The California resident grabbed the eighth slot.
“The car was nice and smooth,” said Geoffrion, who has won three national events at HPT. “We’re still experiencing some tire spin, which tells me there is a lot more left. We tested last weekend and it has paid off.”
The other Team Mopar Dodge R/T driven by Darrell Alderman earned the 15th slot when he laid down a 6.991/196.56 effort. The three-time NHRA Winston Pro Stock World Champion recovered from a difficult first session.
“We couldn’t get down the track on the first one,” said Alderman, who shut his machine off right after launching in round one. “We came back and had a nice effort. The car was still spun a little bit, but we’re getting better.”
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