NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Musgrave closes in tight on point leader with one event remaining
Ted Musgrave hustled his No. 1 Mopar Dodge Ram to an impressive second-place finish, Friday, at Phoenix International Raceway.
The excellent finish helped Musgrave and his Ultra Motorsports team take a huge 43-point chunk out of Brendan Gaughan's lead with one event remaining. Musgrave is only 26 points out of the lead with the final event scheduled for Nov. 14 in Miami.
First through fourth positions are separated by only 39 points, so many teams will enter Miami with their figurative guns fully loaded.
Last Wednesday, Musgrave set the track record at Phoenix to take the pole position on the starting grid. Over the course of the Friday's race, he nearly gained another five point bonus for leading the most laps, but winner Kevin Harvick edged Musgrave out of those points by leading two laps more than the Mopar team.
Team Mopar USAC star Tracy Hines also piloted a Dodge Ram for Ultra Motorsports at Phoenix and finished a solid 13th. Hines has driven for Ultra in the last three NCTS events, racking up very impressive finishes (one 11th and two 13th-place finishes) for a newbie.
The NCTS championship will be decided Nov. 14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Musgrave won the race at Miami in 2001 and finished second there last season. The race will be televised on Speed Channel at 3 p.m. Eastern.
"The Mopar truck was really good, and we're in the points hunt. That's what's important right now. We're going to go to Homestead and go for it all now.
"Kevin [Harvick] and I had some good clean racing today. When Kevin comes into this series, he knows what to do. He runs clean. I run him clean, and that's what the fans like: good side-by-side racing."
-- Ted Musgrave
World of Outlaws
"Jimmy Carr and my whole team did a great job all year long. It's a shame we couldn't win another championship for J.D. Byrider, Mopar and Tony Stewart Motorsports. We were right there most of the way.
"This win will go a long way into carrying the momentum into 2004."
-- Danny Lasoski
Lasoski dominates final WoO weekend
Mopar's Danny "The Dude" Lasoski took The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway by storm over the weekend, turning in a complete sweep of the two-day World of Outlaws series finale behind the fierce power of his Mopar engine.
Lasoski and his Tony Stewart Motorsports team won each race they entered and earned $17,000 for their display of domination at the 1/2-mile semi-banked oval.
In Friday night's preliminary action, Lasoski turned in a qualifying effort that placed him fifth quick. After winning the fourth heat race, Lasoski lined up for the dash race and crossed the finish line first. He drove the No. 20 machine to pace the 25-lap preliminary feature event from flag to flag.
"The Dude" continued his winning ways Saturday night, locking up the dash race and leading all 30 laps of the feature event. When the dirt settled in Sin City, Lasoski might not have won the war (he finished 141 points behind series champion Steve Kinser), but he most definitely got his vengeance in the season's final battle.
Congratulations to Danny Lasoski and the No. 20 team on their stellar 2003 racing season using Paul Kistler-built 410-cubic-inch Mopar power!
NHRA Pro Stock
Team Mopar hits Pomona, targets top-10 finishes in Pro Stock season
Allen Johnson will lead Team Mopar into the NHRA season finale this weekend at Pomona (Calif.) Raceway. Johnson will defend his current fifth position in Pro Stock points.
His Mopar counterparts Darrell Alderman and Larry Morgan are curently tied for 11th in the standings. They will battle each other and Scott Geoffrion for a coveted spot in the final top-10.
Mopar will also have representation in the Funny Car ranks, as the Dodge Stratus cars from Schumacher Racing look to end their impressive season appropriately. Whit Bazemore is second in FC points and his teammate Gary Scelzi is currently tied for sixth.
Qualifying from Pomona will be televised on Saturday from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Eliminations will air Sunday between 4:30 and 7 p.m. and from 10 to 11:30 p.m. All action will air on ESPN2. Times are Eastern.
NHRA action at Pomona is the only Team Mopar racing scheduled for this weekend.
"I can't wait to get to Pomona (Calif.). These Hemi engines are going to shine at that track."
-- Larry Morgan