Dodge weekend wrapup 2003-07-28

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- It's safe to say Dodge and Mopar® were fast everywhere this weekend. In a race weekend filled with activity from Pennsylania to Indiana, from Michigan to Washington, Dodge and Mopar combined for five wins in four different...

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- It's safe to say Dodge and Mopar® were fast everywhere this weekend. In a race weekend filled with activity from Pennsylania to Indiana, from Michigan to Washington, Dodge and Mopar combined for five wins in four different professional racing series.

NASCAR Winston Cup

Ryan Newman recorded his series-leading fifth pole of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup campaign on Friday, before piloting his No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid to Victory Lane yesterday for his third win in the past eight races. Newman, who leads the series with four wins this season, has soared from 24th to ninth in the series standings in that eight-race stretch. The 25-year-old Newman led the final 44 laps of the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway, holding off Ford's Kurt Busch in the final laps. Newman's win was the fifth of his career in 64 starts, and his fourth in 20 starts behind the wheel of a Dodge.

The South Bend, Ind., native trails series points leader Matt Kenseth by 614 points with 16 races remaining, and he's 182 points behind fifth-place Bobby Labonte. He heads home to Indiana this weekend for the 10th running of the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Sterling Marlin finished 10th Sunday in his No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid, scoring his fourth straight top-10 finish at Pocono. Marlin remains 15th in the series standings. Newman's teammate, Rusty Wallace, led three times Sunday for 23 laps at the 2.5-mile triangular track before finishing 11th in his No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Intrepid. Wallace remains in 11th place in the standings.

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

Brendan Gaughan turned in a near flawless performance Saturday in the Sears 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway. Driving the No. 62 Orleans Racing Dodge Ram to its second consecutive victory and fourth in the past seven races, Gaughan rolled to the checkered flag in the fastest race in truck series history. Dodge Rams swept the top four spots, with Ted Musgrave finishing second in the No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Ram, Chad Chaffin third in the No. 18 Dickies Dodge Ram, and pole-sitter Jason Leffler fourth in the No. 2 Team ASE/Carquest Ram.

Just one caution flag slowed the race for six laps, resulting in Gaughan's record average speed of 154.044 mph. Although Gaughan and Travis Kvapil each have 2,000 points after 13 of 25 events, Gaughan sits atop the series standings by virtue of his circuit-leading four victories.

Dodge leads the manufacturers standings with 96 points. The circuit heads to Indianpolis Raceway Park for Saturday night action this weekend.


Casey Mears logged plenty of laps at Pocono Raceway this weekend. In addition to the NASCAR Winston Cup race held there yesterday, Mears and his No. 77 Target Dodge entered both the Friday and Saturday ARCA RE/MAX Series races. His ARCA results: two victories and one pole (note: the pole for Friday's race was earned in June; the June race was rain-delayed until Friday.).

On Friday, the Bakersfield, Calif., native jumped to the lead from the pole in the ARCA Giant 200 and led virtually the entire race. Mears doubled his pleasure on Saturday in the Pennsylvania 200, holding back a late-race charge from David Reutimann to earn his third career ARCA RE/MAX Series win in just six attempts.

USAC National Sprint Car Series

Mopar's J.J. Yeley became only the fourth driver to record 19 USAC feature victories in a season Friday, when he drove his Tony Stewart Racing/Mopar Kunz sprint car to the win at the "Larry Rice Classic" at Bloomington Speedway in Bloomington, Ind. Yeley joins A.J. Foyt, Sleepy Tripp and Jay Drake (another Mopar driver) in the USAC record books. In addition to the win, Yeley picked up the fast-qualifier award for the event with an 11.797-second lap.

NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series

For the first time in his short Funny Car career, three-time NHRA Top Fuel Dragster champion Gary Scelzi grabbed the top qualifying spot for an NHRA Funny Car event. Scelzi did so by driving his Oakley Time Bomb Dodge Stratus down the Pacific Raceways' quarter-mile track in 4.964 seconds at 299.33 mph.

In yesterday's Funny Car competition, Whit Bazemore drove his Matco Tools Dodge Stratus to the final round of eliminations, before bowing out to John Force. Bazemore moved to within 63 points of the top of the Funny Car points standings.

In NHRA Pro Stock action, Larry Morgan and his Hemi-powered Mopar Parts Dodge Neon also advanced to the final round.

-dodge motorsports-

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Drivers Matt Kenseth , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Jason Leffler , Whit Bazemore , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Larry Morgan , Sterling Marlin , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Casey Mears , Ted Musgrave , Brendan Gaughan , Chad Chaffin , J.J. Yeley , David Reutimann , Jay Drake , A.J. Foyt , Travis Kvapil