Mopar Speed Monday, April 26, 2004 Formula Drift Hubinette and Mopar win first-ever Formula Drift event Samuel Hubinette and the Mopar Dodge Viper Competition Coupe dominated the competition en route to a victory in the Drift Atlanta ...
Monday, April 26, 2004
Hubinette and Mopar win first-ever Formula Drift event
Samuel Hubinette and the Mopar Dodge Viper Competition Coupe dominated the competition en route to a victory in the Drift Atlanta competition held at the prestigious Road Atlanta road course over the weekend. In a sport widely recognized for its Japanese roots and import car influence, Hubinette and the Lateral G Racing team performed flawlessly in front of an impressive crowd to earn the win in the inaugural Formula D event. The Mopar-sponsored machine was the only American vehicle to make the transition from qualifying into the main event.
Hubinette qualified his machine in sixth position and advanced into the Sweet 16. The "Crazy Swede" laid down impressive passes to advance him through four tandem drifting runs, landing the Mopar Viper Competition Coupe solidly in the finals. Hubinette put on an impressive driving display prior to the final round, as he passed his opponent from behind while in a drift during each tandem drifting run to earn more style points. During the final drift, Hubinette took the win after the judges and chanting crowd asked to see the Mopar Viper in action 'one more time,' in a drama-building finale. Hubinette didn't disappoint, as he pressured his opponent into a mistake and drifted by him to solidify the win.
In addition to integrating Mopar into Formula D competition, the weekend marks Hubinette's first experience with the Mopar Dodge Viper Competition Coupe. The team tested the vehicle for the first time this past Friday, exposing Hubinette to the powerful performance of the Viper. The car was prepared by Team Mopar's Shaun Carlson and NuFormz Racing before arriving in Atlanta for the team's debut.
Hubinette and the Mopar Dodge Viper Competition Coupe will return to Formula Drift action on June 12, at the Reliant Center in Houston, Texas. The team may also participate in some drifting exhibitions in the meantime.
"Wow! What can I say? To come out and win this event is just unbelievable. It has been a dream to get the opportunity to drive the Viper. From having Mopar as a sponsor, driving for Lateral G Racing, and being so competitive right out of the box, this weekend has just been amazing.
"This all came together so quickly. Friday was my first time in the car and this weekend was our first competitive run as a team. We competed against some of the best drifters in the world, and we came out on top this time.
"What a way to make a first impression! We'll continue to work to improve our level as we prepare for the Houston event, but it's great to be judged by the three top Japanese drifters and have them place us number one." - Samuel Hubbinette
"This sport is all about momentum, and we've managed to get that started. It's great that this team has been able to work together so well right from the beginning.
"To get our second win for the Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises team, Mopar and Vital Express is definitely a confidence booster going into Border Wars this weekend." - Jay Drake
Drake wins second straight, takes point lead
Jay Drake drove his No. 20 Mopar machine to his second victory in as many races in the young USAC National Sprint season, dominating Saturday racing at The Raceway at Powercom Park in Beaver Dam, Wis.
Drake and his Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises teammate, Cory Kruseman, qualified first and second for the race, the only two competitors to circle the 1/3-mile clay oval in the 15-second range.
Drake stormed to a semifeature victory before leading the final 28 laps of the A-main to secure his first dirt victory of 2004. He dominated the paved surface at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway the previous weekend, and proved the strength of his new team at TSRE with the win at Powercom.
Drake, who tested an IRL Infiniti Pro Series car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, took over the lead spot in the USAC National Sprint Car standings, holding a 13-point lead over his nearest competitor.
The Sprint series returns to action this weekend in the tenth running of the Border Wars, which will kick off at Gas City (Ind.) I-69 Speedway Friday and move on to Eldora Speedway in Ohio on Saturday.
Shepherd and Gladysz trounce 2WD competition at Oregon
Doug Shepherd and Pete Gladysz continued their awesome performances in SCCA competition, winning the Overall 2WD and Group 5 classes at Oregon Trail ProRally in Hillsboro, Ore. It was the pair's second win of 2004, and their second in a row at Oregon Trail in their Mopar Dodge SRT-4.
Perhaps more impressive is the fact that Shepherd and Gladysz finished sixth overall in a series dominated by high-horsepower, four-wheel-drive machines.
"The SRT ran flawlessly, nearly matching many of the four-wheel-drive stage times in an event which was run on the hard pack, twisty and dusty mountain passes," said co-driver Gladysz. "The dry, hard packed roads allowed the torque of the 2.4L turbo to overcome the fundamental two-wheel-drive disadvantages. The car balance and suspension package is removing any doubts that this SRT-4 is a true performance machine."
In a national Central Division SCCA event, John Fernandez, director of Dodge Motorsports, drove a Dodge SRT-4 to an impressive T2 class victory at GingerMan Raceway in South Haven, Mich.
Mopar's rally veterans travel next to the "Rim of the World" event on May 7-8, which runs through the Angeles National Forest of Southern California.
"The roads were almost like they had marbles on them, but we managed to get through in good shape.
"We're off to a great start with consecutive victories, we're happy with our finish, and we'll get the car ready to go again for Rim." - Doug Shepherd
"We gained some invaluable information this weekend, and we put on a good show for the fans. We're working on a lot of things every time down the track, and we're working to get Mopar back on top of things." - Darrell Cox, owner/engine builder/crew chief of Mike Crawford's Mopar Dodge SRT-4, and engine builder/co-crew chief for Scott Mohler's Mopar Dodge Neon
Mohler top qualifier as Cox teams test at NOPI event
Scott Mohler picked up the top-qualifier spot in the Pro Stock division over the weekend at the NOPI Race Wars--Virginia, with a 10.195-second pass, more than two-tenths quicker than his nearest challenger.
Mohler and teammate Mike Crawford, from Darrell Cox Racing, traveled to Virginia Motorsports Park to get some track time prior to the NHRA Sport Compact event at Englishtown, N.J., this coming weekend.
Crawford qualified third in the Pro 4 Cylinder category, despite driving very conservatively to save parts the entire weekend. Electronic problems kept Crawford from advancing past the first round of eliminations.
Mohler made some very impressive passes, but had a shifter cable break in the first round of eliminations.
Mohler will lead the team into Englishtown this weekend at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Last fall, Mohler won at E-town and set the All Motor class ET and mph records, and he still holds that mph record.
Wise nabs Midget pole
Josh Wise continued the Mopar pole position trend Saturday when he pushed his Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises No. 20 Mopar midget to the only sub-16-second lap turned in at Powercom Park, which earned the rookie his first top-qualifier spot with Mopar.
In the A-main, fellow rookie Davey Ray brought his No. 11 Mopar from Wilke-PAK Motorsports home in the third spot.
Wise and Ray are currently fourth and fifth, respectively, in the USAC National Midget Series standings.
The Midget Series returns to the track May 21 at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track.
Josh Wise, 21, is the youngest member of Team Mopar.
Danny Lasoski, who currently stands second in the WoO point standings, narrowed the gap to the top spot when he finished ahead of point leader Steve Kinser.
Lasoski wins Dash
Danny "The Dude" Lasoski drove his Mopar-powered No. 20 entry from Tony Stewart Motorsports to a fourth-place finish in the A-main after winning the first Dash race at the Talladega (Ala.) Short Track on Saturday. Lasoski holds the single-lap speed record at Talladega, which he set in 2001.
Daryn Pittman used his Mopar engine to help win his own heat race and finish eighth in the A-main, while Tyler Walker also used Mopar power to finish in the top 10.
The WoO event scheduled for Batesville (Ark.) Speedway last Thursday was rescheduled for July 1, due to rain storms that made the track unsafe for racing.
The WoO will race next at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway, where Lasoski has had great success, including three Knoxville Nationals titles. Racing is scheduled for this Friday and Saturday. Televised WoO racing action can be found almost every Wednesday on the Outdoor Channel. Check your local listings.
Francis twice bridesmaid
Steve Francis picked up two second-place finishes in his No. 15 Mopar over the weekend in WoO Late Model Series action at Lernerville Speedway in Pennsylvania Friday and Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway Saturday. Francis also won his heat on Saturday.
The WoO LMS is scheduled to head to Tennessee's Smoky Mountain Speedway Friday, followed by action at North Georgia Speedway Saturday.
When the point standings are updated, Steve Francis should find himself even more solidly anchored in the top four. Francis has six top-five finishes in 11 events.
Allen Johnson leads Team Mopar into Bristol Dragway, which is only 40 minutes away from his race team's shop in Greeneville, Tenn.
"We always like to put on a good show for our hometown fans," Johnson said. "This team is ready to turn in some great performances, and Bristol would be a great place to start."
NHRA heads to Thunder Valley
After a week off, the Team Mopar NHRA POWERade competitors will be back in tire-smoking business this weekend at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway for the Thunder Valley Nationals.
Pro Stock team Johnson & Johnson Racing is based about 40 minutes away from the track, and hopes are to see drivers Darrell Alderman and Allen Johnson advance deep into The Show on Sunday. Larry Morgan, who is currently tied for third in Pro Stock points, is set to continue his solid performances. The Schumacher Racing Mopar-sponsored Dodge Funny Cars also look to tear up the track in Tennessee; driver Whit Bazemore won at Bristol in 2002 and reached the final round there last season.
Qualifying from Bristol will air on ESPN2 Saturday from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Eliminations are scheduled for broadcast Sunday between 4 and 7 p.m., on the same channel. Times are Eastern.