Skuza Relives Memorable Time in Joliet

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Route 66 Raceway Readies for Chicagoland Dodge Dealers NHRA Nationals (JOLIET, Ill.) -- It?s one of Chicago?s biggest events. The Chicagoland Dodge Dealers NHRA Nationals is set to take place at Route 66 Raceway on May 30-June 2 and Mopar Parts Nitro Funny Car driver Dean Skuza looks for records to fall at one of the sport?s premier facilities. Skuza, driver of new Mopar Parts Dodge Stratus R/T Nitro Funny Car, drove to a career-best elapsed time of 4.794 seconds during qualifying for last year?s event. It was a record-breaking evening of qualifying. ?That run is the one we want as our team?s benchmark,? said Skuza, who grabbed the second-qualifying position last year. ?Route 66 is such a smooth track that record times are almost expected. We often go back to that run and compare it to what we?re doing now. It?s our gauge to see if were on the right track on any given weekend. ?That day of qualifying was one of the most memorable of the season,? said Skuza, talking about Saturday?s final two sessions. ?Every run seemed like it was quicker than the other. As soon as you sat down to relax, another car set another standard. It?s the type of day that the history books take note of.? John Force set the national elapsed-time record (at the time) in the final qualifying session with an incredible 4.763-second pass. That run was buoyed by the incredible run of Bruce Sarver, which didn?t count because he crossed the centerline and hit some cones which disqualifies the run. ?Sarver?s run was really strong,? Skuza said. ?If you look at the projected numbers, he might of had a 4.73-second elapsed time. Which is unheard of for a Funny Car. That?s what you get when you have great weather conditions and a great race track to race on.? Skuza will bring his revolutionary 2002 Dodge Stratus R/T to the Chicago area, a car that was designed by Mopar?s factory engineers. ?The Mopar engineers have been critical to this project,? Skuza said. ?I don?t think there?s a company out there that has put more development time and commitment to drag racing than Mopar. The engineers are always there to help. It?s nice to have that type of support just a phone call away. And I know that is an overused term, but it?s really true with this program.? Skuza also talked about the Chicagoland Dodge Dealer?s support of this event. ?This is the first time that the Dodge Dealers have gotten together to support drag racing,? Skuza said. ?I think it demonstrates how important this race is. I?m thrilled the that Chicagoland Dodge Dealers have come out to support us like this. We hope we can repay them by winning the race.? Tickets can be purchased through the Route 66 Raceway Box Office by calling (815)727-RACE Tickets can also be purchased through Ticketmaster at (312)559-1212, or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.
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