Mopar Speed newsletter 2004-02-23

Mopar Speed Monday, February 23, 2004 World of Outlaws Lasoski fast in season opener, Walker wins prelim with Mopar Mopar's Danny Lasoski earned top-qualifier marks twice in as many nights as the World of Outlaws Series kicked off the 2004 ...

Mopar Speed
Monday, February 23, 2004

World of Outlaws
Lasoski fast in season opener, Walker wins prelim with Mopar

Mopar's Danny Lasoski earned top-qualifier marks twice in as many nights as the World of Outlaws Series kicked off the 2004 season over the weekend and returned to Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, Ariz.

Lasoski and the No. 20 team from Tony Stewart Motorsports also racked up two top-ten finishes and a B-Main win, as well as a heat race win in the two-day WoO season opener.

Friday, Lasoski piloted his Mopar-powered machine around the 1/2-mile semi-banked oval, besting the field with a 15.506 second lap. After taking seventh in the first heat race event, Lasoski went on to win the B-Main, locking himself into the Preliminary Feature. Lasoski picked up 10 positions in the 25-lap Feature, crossing the finish line seventh.

Saturday night saw a repeat for Lasoski and company, who posted a 15.656-second qualifying lap, good for the second quick time. "The Dude" scored his first heat race win of the season. Lasoski finished the evening 10th in the A-Main, bringing the team up to speed early in the nomadic sprint car series standings.

A Mopar engine was also behind Tyler Walker's Preliminary Feature victory on Friday night. Walker turned in the second-best qualifying time behind Lasoski, started the race on the pole, and led 24 of 25 laps in the victory. In Saturday's A-Main, Walker started and finished second to complete his awesome weekend.

Lasoski and the No. 20 J.D. Byrider/Mopar/Home Depot team will move on to Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway, Saturday for the series' second outing this season. Lasoski won the A-main last February at Perris. He also owns the single-lap track record, which he set in 2002.

In 2003 Lasoski led the series with 28 quick times; "The Dude" is already two-for-two in 2004.

Said Tony Stewart, owner of the No. 20 WoO team: "We had more quick times than anybody else last year in the World of Outlaws, and that was due to our Mopar powerplant."

NHRA Pro Stock

"We couldn't be happier, unless we were first today. Last season, we were having problems early in the year, but that all straightened out when Bob Glidden came on board. He's truly one of the greatest people I've ever worked with.

"We're all looking forward to this season. With Mopar as a sponsor and the Hemi engines, I'm confident that this season will be a good one."
-- Larry Morgan

NHRA Winternationals postponed by rain after one qualifying round

Team Mopar will have to wait another week to get the 2004 NHRA POWERade season in full swing, thanks to persistent rain over Pomona Raceway in southern California.

After one round of qualifying, Larry Morgan sits a solid second, courtesy of his initial pass of 6.765-seconds at 204.05 mph.

"Our plan is to come back next weekend and pick up right where we left off," Morgan said. "We started out with a great run, and the whole team is looking forward to coming back next weekend and getting back to racing."

Allen Johnson posted a 6.836 at 201.04 mph at Pomona, which finds him in the 13th spot with three qualifying rounds to follow.

"We're hoping to improve on Thursday's pass," Johnson said. "We're working to be a top car in the end. This rain isn't what we'd like to have seen this weekend. We'll come back next Friday and continue to work our way to the top of the standings. We're pleased with the Hemi engines and Mopar parts; they're constantly helping us to improve our performance. We're anxious to show everybody what we can do."

Shaun Carlson, an ace for Team Mopar in the Pro FWD division of the NHRA Sport Compact series, turned in a very respectable rear-wheel-drive pass in Round One last Thursday while sitting in for regular Pro Stock driver and three-time world champion, Darrell Alderman.

"I'm happy with the first run," Carlson said. "It was only my third full pass in a Pro Stock car ever. The biggest differences are that I'm in a rear-wheel car and the hood scoop. Something as simple as that and it's like driving with one hand over your eye ... "

Qualifying is scheduled to resume this weekend, with one round on Friday, two on Saturday, and Eliminations Sunday. Same day television coverage is likely to air on ESPN2.

NHRA Funny Cars

Schumacher Funny Cars look to improve after rain delay

The two Dodge-bodied Funny Cars from Schumacher Racing are looking forward to bettering last Thursday's qualifying efforts from the NHRA Winternationals at Pomona (Calif.) Raceway.

Gary Scelzi premiered the eye-catching new Hemi Oakley Dodge Stratus on Thursday, but had traction problems on his way to a 7.624-second run at 107.39 mph, placing him in the 16th-qualifying position.

"I'm glad they called it because I'd like to have at least a couple of more shots at it," Scelzi said. "We'll see if the Hemi Oakley Dodge will run [a record] 330 mph, because that's what we've been working on over the winter."

Whit Bazemore, Scelzi's teammate, pulled out a tire-smoking 5.448-second pass at 229.43 mph, good for 12th-spot so far.

"We'll have to see what the weather conditions and the track conditions are when we come back to see if that first pass means anything or not," Bazemore said. "But the fact is it's really good for our team that we're going to have three runs next week, because we're not quite where we want to be yet with this tune-up and this engine combination."

Qualifying is scheduled to resume this weekend, with one round on Friday, two on Saturday, and Eliminations Sunday. Same day television coverage is likely to air on ESPN2. Image

The new Hemi Oakley Dodge Stratus driven by Gary Scelzi had a hard time getting a grip on the strip last week, but the team looks to bring it back to record-setting form later this week.

-mopar-

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About this article
Series NHRA , World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Darrell Alderman , Whit Bazemore , Gary Scelzi , Larry Morgan , Danny Lasoski , Allen Johnson , Tyler Walker , Shaun Carlson