Mohler records first FWD All Motor victory of the season CENTER LINE, Mich. -- Scott Mohler has been climbing a mountain all season and finally reached the top, earning a victory in the All Motor class of the National Hot Rod ...
Mohler records first FWD All Motor victory of the season
CENTER LINE, Mich. -- Scott Mohler has been climbing a mountain all season and finally reached the top, earning a victory in the All Motor class of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Summit Sport Compact drag racing series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on July 26. Mohler's win in his Team Mopar/Darrell Cox Racing 1998 Dodge Neon marked the first time this season that a front-wheel-drive vehicle has claimed an event victory in the All Motor class. Fundamental definitions of the All Motor class dictate that vehicles must be full bodied with original floorpan and no power adders. Vehicles may be rear-, front-, or all-wheel-drive and utilize 4-cylinder or 2-rotor engines.
The extreme disparity between the rest of the All Motor class and the rear-wheel-drive, rotary-engine Mazda RX7s left most front-wheel-drives in the division easily stifled. However, Mohler's team has worked relentlessly all season to overcome those handicaps using persistence, ingenuity, and Mopar power. As proof, Mohler has reached the final round in all five events this season. Mohler's victory left him only five points out of first place in the driver standings, sandwiched among three rear-wheel-drive Mazdas.
"It was great to finally pull out a win this year," Mohler said. "But the divisions are a little imbalanced. The rear-wheel-drive rotaries are very solid competitors. They have the advantage of running G-Force clutchless transmissions, whereas we are using a stock five-speed manual 2002 Neon R/T transmission with a Mopar limited slip differential."
For the second half of the season, the NHRA has imposed a 50 lb. weight penalty for clutchless transmissions.
"That should shorten the gap between us and them even more," Mohler said. "But, of course, rear-wheel-drive is always going to have a slight advantage over front-wheel-drive, no matter what the weight breaks are.
"A lot of my fellow front-wheel-drive competitors were really rooting for me going into the final in Vegas. We feel, even with the recent rule changes, that the All Motor class should be front-wheel-drive only. That is what our sport was founded on: front-wheel-drive drag racing, not your standard old what-your-father-used-to-race rear-wheel-drive stuff."
Adding to the satisfaction of the Vegas victory was Mohler's first No. 1 Qualifier ranking of the season. He qualified with a 10.657-second elapsed time at 128.52 mph. Mohler turned in his best time of the event in the semifinal round of eliminations, when he clicked off a 10.506 time against a close 10.526 by Leslie Durst.
Mohler's '98 Dodge Neon is powered by a naturally aspirated Mopar 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. The vehicle turns out approximately 310 horsepower to the wheels, along with an estimated 220 ft.-lbs. of torque. Mohler shifts a stock 2002 Neon R/T five-speed manual transmission in the car. Other stock Mopar components used in the car include the engine block, crankshaft, fasteners, rocker arms, hydraulic lifters, and all gaskets and seals. With this plethora of original equipment Mopar parts, the 2.4-liter motor achieves a compression ratio of 16.5:1 and redlines at 10,000 rpm.
Mohler and his record-setting Team Mopar sport compact counterparts, Shaun Carlson and Mike Crawford, will take it to the strip next on August 8 and 9 at the Texas Motorplex.
Mopar is based in Center Line, Mich., and is the exclusive original equipment supplier of parts for Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep® vehicles.