The suspension itself is almost infinitely adjustable. For instance, the front shock absorber adjusters regulate the amount of travel the nose makes. If there is not enough weight transfer to the back of the car, the tires will not plant to the track; if the front end comes up too high, time will be lost if the chassis begins to "unload," taking the pressure points off of the suspension and placing them on the unmovable chassis itself.
For the next round, both cars would be in the less-favorable right lane. In the late afternoon, Geoffrion was again the first out, but a 7.008ET did nothing to improve his position. Meanwhile, Alderman had lost a spot and was now twelveth in the program; right behind Geoffrion, he ran a 6.958ET. The only major players capable of getting in the field were those who had missed on their setups earlier in the day. One was Larry Morgan, whose Avenger was still using the wedge (although he had a Hemi on display in his pit area most of the weekend). Morgan ran a 6.934ET to put himself in the program one step ahead of Alderman.
"That run was actually comparable to or better than our first run due to the conditions," said David the following morning about Alderman's pass. "We also broke a valvespring, and that could have hurt us a little bit, but we feel like we made good choices for that run. For today, we'll dial the car back to where we had it on the first run. The sun has been beating down on the track all morning, and we don't think the car will take as much clutch down low as it did yesterday. The whole field will probably be about .02 slower as a result of the weather."
Clutch weight can be changed in two ways, through counter-weight or through the base clutch setting. For the third round, Nickens and the crew decided to take some of the weight off of the counter-weights and move that to the base setup in hopes of getting the car to leave hard without spinning.
Despite a forecast of rain for Saturday, the day dawned bright. This meant that the first session on Friday had indeed been the best of the weekend. The upside of this was that Alderman, now 13th in the program, had little chance of getting bumped out. The downside was that unless the team suddenly found something radical to change Geoffrion's car, it would be a short weekend.
At 11:45, Geoffrion came out in the right lane. However, the conditions were against him and the car clocked a 7.02 to leave his position unchanged. Alderman came up behind him and ran a 6.961, also slower than his previous two efforts. Morgan was in the better left lane and clocked the best Mopar time of the day with a 6.941, a lap that would have put him into the field had he not already been qualified. As it ended up, two more cars managed to get into the program, and Morgan and Alderman were now 14th and 15th, respectively.
In the final session, Scott made a valiant effort but got close to the centerline and finally had to lift; the resultant 7.658 meant he would have to wait until the next race for a shot at making the program. Alderman, meanwhile, ran a 6.956 (note that the car had only a .023 variance between the four laps).
"We're going to stay with the engine tune-up we ran today," said Nickens of their plans for Sunday. "What we will do is set the car up like it was for the last session and look at the track in the morning to see if we need to make any additional adjustments. I think the car is real consistent; a .93 or .94 will let us win rounds."
By this time, based on the ETs, the two qualified Mopars had a very solid handle on what would go down the racetrack. It would be primarily up to Alderman to get the win, as he was paired against Jeg Couglin, Jr., whose 6.870 in Friday's first session had landed him in the No. 2 slot. Morgan would tag-team with Alderman against Jeg's brother, Troy, who was third with a 6.882.