Mopar Motorsports NHRA Notebook Wilson Gettin? His Groove On Gene Wilson has qualified for 10 NHRA national events this season. In those races, the Mopar-backed rookie has collected eight top-half of the field efforts; including an impressive fifth-place qualifier and subsequent final-round appearance in last weekend?s O?Reilly NHRA Mid South Nationals at Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park. In addition, Wilson, despite not qualifying for the Sept. 15 Maple Grove Raceway tilt in Mohnton, Pa., has qualified in the top six, four times in the last five races. The Georgia resident has also gotten into a driving groove; one that helped earn Wilson the IHRA Pro Stock World Championship just one season ago. ?I feel better in this race car than I have felt all year,? Wilson said. ?I noticed my lights have gotten better. I especially saw that during qualifying this past weekend. Every time you can practice on the tree, it?s experience much welcomed. ?It?s just a matter of getting into the groove and becoming one with the car,? Wilson continued. ?It?s also important to keep my mental edge. It?s very, very tough to do. I am in a rhythm now. When I won the championship last year, I would stage first; and that?s usually how I like to stage. I?ve tried to change up my routine a little bit here, and do some other things on the starting line. I?m going back to square one now and it?s been working pretty well. Maybe we can keep up what we built over this past weekend.? Wilson?s reaction times in Memphis bore that out, with a .432 (of a second) in round one, a .448 in round two, a .434 in the semifinals and .423 versus Jeg Coughlin, Jr., in the final. GETTING BACK ON TRACK. Three-time POWERade Pro Stock World Champion Darrell Alderman will try to get back on track at this weekend?s Craftsman 75th Anniversary NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway Park in Joliet, Ill. At last year?s event, Alderman lost in a classic final match with Warren Johnson. Alderman has not qualified for three-straight races, and hopes to get back on the same role that led the 28-time NHRA National event winner to three finals and a victory at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway earlier this season. ?I really like running at Route 66,? said the 52-year-old Pro Stock standout. ?It?s been a real up-and-down season this year, but we have a chance to get back on track in Chicago. The track is real smooth and easy to drive on. There isn?t a nicer facility out there on the NHRA circuit.? ONE BETTER. Greg Stanfield and the Hemi-powered DBP Motorsports Dodge Neon R/T are quietly sneaking up on the Pro Stock competition. With only 38 actual runs under his belt, Stanfield was able to maneuver his Rick Jones-built Neon to a career-best, third-qualifying position at last weekend?s O?Reilly NHRA Mid South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park. In last year?s fall Chicago NHRA national event, Stanfield guided his Pro Stock Truck to the finals before falling to upstart Taylor Lastor.
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