Mohler captures another championship for Mopar
Scott Mohler put the finishing touches on his 2003 NHRA Sport Compact championship yesterday by driving his Team Mopar Dodge Neon into the All Motor division semifinal round at Pomona (Calif.) Raceway.
With the pressure on, Mohler didn't flinch in the season finale at Pomona. He drove his Neon through two rounds of eliminations, enough to stay ahead of his challenger Ken Scheepers. Mohler, former class record-holder for elapsed-time and speed, turned in his best pass of the event in qualifying with a 10.218-second 1/4-mile at 135.25 mph.
Mike Crawford, Mohler's Darrell Cox Racing teammate, drove his Dodge SRT-4 into the final round of Hot Rod competition in his own bid for a division title, but came up oh-so-short in the end. Crawford, who qualified No. 2 in the event, faced off against rival and point leader Marty Ladwig in the final round and beat him off the starting line. Crawford's car came to an abrupt stop midway through the run, however, and he scrambled out of the car as flames became visible from the vehicle's undercarriage.
Crawford finishes the season a solid second in the Hot Rod standings. The team has huge plans to produce an even more impressive season in 2004.
Shaun Carlson also thundered his Sport Compact Mopar entry into the semifinal round at Pomona, this time in the Pro FWD division. He had to lift his foot from the throttle pedal in the semis to avoid crashing his already skating Mopar/NuFormz SRT-4.
Carlson, the former national FWD elapsed-time and speed record holder, turned in a personal-best time in Round One of eliminations when he clicked off an 8.195-second pass at 178.32 while defeating Christian Rado's 8.445-second effort.
All three Mopar NHRA Sport Compact vehicles feature Mopar engines built by Darrell Cox that include a stunning amount of stock components, including engine block, crankshaft, fasteners, rocker arms and more.
The NHRA Sport Compact World Finals will be televised on ESPN2 on Nov. 16 from 10:30 to 11 p.m. and on Nov. 23 from 5:30 to 6 a.m.
The championships keep coming for Team Mopar!
Scott Mohler (above) picked up the All Motor crown in NHRA Sport Compact competition yesterday when he advanced his Team Mopar 1998 Dodge Neon into the semifinal round.
J.J. Yeley won the USAC National Sprint car championship in his No. 20 Mopar earlier this month.
On Oct. 18, Doug Shepherd, Pete Gladysz, Chris Whiteman and Michael Paulin completed a host of 2WD championships in SCCA Pro Rally competition.
NHRA Pro Stock
"I can't wait to get to Pomona (Calif.). These Hemi engines are going to shine at that track.
"I have a real good car, a great group of guys. We just need a little
luck on race day. We did a good job keeping Mopar out here, which is good
for all of us."
-- Larry Morgan
Larry Morgan picked up another round win to continue his climb back into the top of the highly competitive NHRA Pro Stock ranks yesterday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Morgan was a perennial top-five driver in the early 1990s. His recent teaming with Mopar and Pro Stock racing legend Bob Glidden has catalyzed the comeback trend for Morgan.
The other entry from Larry Morgan Racing, driven by Gene Wilson, also qualified for elimination rounds courtesy of his 6.915-second at 200.11 mph qualifying pass. Wilson fell in the first round to event runner-up Kurt Johnson.
The Dodge Stratus Funny Cars from Don Schumacher Racing had a good weekend, as well. Whit Bazemore advanced to a final round showdown with Tony Pedregon for a chance to stay mathematically alive in the Funny Car championship battle. Both drivers had severe traction problems, making for a thrilling drag race that Bazemore lost 5.183 to 5.135-seconds.
Gary Scelzi, Bazemore's teammate, drove his Dodge Stratus to the semifinals, tying him for sixth in Funny Car points with one event remaining.
Las Vegas eliminations will be replayed Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m. on ESPN2. All times are Eastern.
The season finale for the NHRA national competitors is set for November 6-9 at Pomona (Calif.) Raceway. Morgan and three-time Pro Stock world champion Darrell Alderman look to break into the top-10 for final Pro Stock points for Mopar. Allen Johnson's Mopar team can achieve a final top-five ranking with an impressive performance at Pomona.
World of Outlaws
Danny Lasoski and his No. 20 Mopar-powered team have recorded 28 pole awards, 56 top-five finishes, 76 top-10 finishes and 14 wins this season, earning them the second spot in the World of Outlaws series points championship.
The Tony Stewart Motorsports team added to their brilliant statistics with a seventh-place finish at the Lone Star Speedway in Kilgore, Texas, on Friday.
The WoO event scheduled for Saturday at Houston Raceway Park was canceled due to inclement weather.
Lasoski, who has clinched second in championship points, will lead his team to The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the high-flying WoO season finale this Friday and Saturday. Though he may have lost the war, "The Dude" will be out to win the final battle and the sizable purse that goes along with it.
Danny Lasoski has clinched second place for this 2003 World of Outlaws season.
Further Action This Weekend
Ted Musgrave is still very much in the thick of a very tight NCTS championship battle.
Musgrave looks for a Halloween treat in championship race
Ted Musgrave and his Ultra Motorsports team hope to carve out a good finish in their Halloween event Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. A good performance at Phoenix could set them up for some very sweet championship treats at the Nov. 14 NCTS season finale in Homestead, Fla.
Musgrave is just 69 points out of first place in the NCTS standings, with one event remaining after Phoenix. Last year he finished second in the fall race at PIR.
Check out the Halloween action live Friday on Speed Channel beginning at 5:30 p.m. Eastern.