Dodge, Mopar open up the 2002 race year

Dodge, Mopar Open Up the 2002 Race Year NASCAR and NHRA Series Teams Ready to Run in High Gear DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 6, 2002) - Dodge teams are gearing up for season-opening events in NHRA and NASCAR Winston Cup this week, with the NASCAR ...

Dodge, Mopar Open Up the 2002 Race Year
NASCAR and NHRA Series Teams Ready to Run in High Gear

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 6, 2002) - Dodge teams are gearing up for season-opening events in NHRA and NASCAR Winston Cup this week, with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series taking the green flag for the first time in 2002 next week at Daytona International Speedway. Here is the weekend lineup for Dodge and Mopar-backed cars and trucks:

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 6, 2002) - Dodge teams are gearing up for season-opening events in NHRA and NASCAR Winston Cup this week, with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series taking the green flag for the first time in 2002 next week at Daytona International Speedway. Here is the weekend lineup for Dodge and Mopar-backed cars and trucks:

* Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 7-10 - The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series hosts the 42nd annual K&N Filters Winternationals at Historic Pomona Raceway in Pomona, Calif. Qualifying coverage begins at 4:30 p.m., Saturday on ESPN and at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN2. Coverage continues Sunday at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

* Saturday, Feb. 9 - The NASCAR Winston Cup Series Bud Pole Day will lock in the front row of qualifiers for the 44th annual Daytona 500.

* Sunday, Feb. 10 - The NASCAR Winston Cup Series will host the Budweiser Shootout qualifying race for the Daytona 500. Television coverage will air on TNT at 2 p.m. Radio broadcast will air on MRN starting at 12:30 p.m.

* Thursday, Feb. 14 - The NASCAR Winston Cup Series will host the Gatorade 125s at Daytona International Speedway. Television coverage will begin on TNT at 1 p.m., and radio broadcast will start at 12 p.m. on MRN.

* Friday, February 15 - The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will host the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 at Daytona International Speedway. Television coverage will begin at 1:00 p.m. on ESPN.

* Sunday, February 17 - The NASCAR Winston Cup Series will kickoff the 2002 season with the 44th annual Daytona 500. Television coverage will begin at 12:30 p.m. on NBC; radio broadcast will air on MRN starting at 12:30 p.m.

NASCAR Winston Cup Series
NASCAR's Super Bowl, the 44th annual Daytona 500, will get the green flag on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 12:30 p.m. Bill Elliott drove his No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T to the pole position for last year's Daytona 500 with a lap of 183.565 mph as Dodge drivers won pole positions in all four restrictor-plate races in 2001.

Elliott holds the qualifying record at Daytona with a lap of 210.364 mph for the 1987 Daytona 500. Elliott also won the Budweiser Shootout and Daytona 500 that year.

Other Dodge factory-backed teams competing for one of the two starting spots up for grabs in first-round time trials on Saturday are: Casey Atwood in the No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid R/T; Jeremy Mayfield, in his first season for car owner Ray Evernham in the No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T; and Bill Davis Racing teammates Ward Burton and Hut Stricklin. Burton won a race for Dodge last season and will return in the No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid R/T, while Stricklin will pilot the No. 23 Hills Bros Coffee Dodge Intrepid R/T.

Also, Sterling Marlin will return behind the wheel of the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T for car owners Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates. Marlin led the way for Dodge in 2001 with two victories and a third-place finish in the NASCAR Winston Cup Standings. He will be joined by teammate Jimmy Spencer, another Dodge newcomer, in the No. 41 Target Dodge Intrepid R/T.

The Petty Enterprises trifecta of Kyle Petty, John Andretti and Buckshot Jones returns to round out the Dodge 2002 lineup. Petty will once again drive the No. 45 Sprint Dodge Intrepid R/T, while Andretti will pilot the familiar Petty Blue No. 43 Cheerios Dodge Intrepid R/T and Jones will drive the No. 44 Georgia Pacific Dodge Intrepid R/T.

Four Dodge drivers, who won poles last season, will compete in the Budweiser Shootout on Sunday. Elliott, Marlin, Atwood and Spencer will line up for the Budweiser Shootout at 2:15 p.m. The 70-lap event will carry a $900,000 purse and the winner gets $200,000.

The starting positions for the Budweiser Shootout are drawn at random.
The 2002 Budweiser Shootout will consist of 70 laps of green-flag racing. The field will revert back to the last completed lap if the yellow flag is displayed. If the yellow flag is displayed after the leader has received the white flag, all cars will be scored as they receive the yellow flag for the first time.

Teams will be required to make a pit stop on any green-flag lap and must at least change the right-side tires. Pit stops made during caution laps will not count toward this requirement. In the event of a red flag, crews will be permitted to work on the cars, however, all work must be performed on pit road or Garage Area only. When the race is resumed, all cars must immediately be ready to return to competition.

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Dodge trucks will compete for starting spots in the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 on Feb. 15 with qualifying for all positions on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 3:30 p.m.

Plenty of new faces will compete for Dodge in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this season. Robert Pressley will drive the No. 18 Dodge Dealers Dodge Ram of Bobby Hamilton Racing and will be joined by teammate Bill Lester in the No. 8 Dodge Dealers Dodge Ram.

Jason Leffler will drive the No. 2 ASE Carquest Dodge for Ultra Motorsports. Leffler competed in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series last season and won a pole at Kansas. He's a three-time USAC Midget Champion and the 1998 Silver Crown Champ.

Leffler's teammate Ted Musgrave, first runner-up in the NCTS Championship last year, will return to his No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram as a favorite for the 2002 NCTS championship with new crew chief Gene Nead. Another returning Dodge driver, Carlos Contreras, will pilot the No. 43 Hot Wheels in his third full-season with Dodge.

Donnie Neuenberger will drive the No. 81 IHOP Dodge after seven seasons in the NASCAR Dash Series, and Brendon Gaughan, a two-time Winston West champion, will drive the No. 62 NAPA Dodge.

NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series
NHRA kicks off its 2002 campaign with the Pomona Winter Nationals at Pomona, Calif., on Thursday. Dodge will debut its 2002 Stratus R/T in that series, while the 2002 Dodge Intrepid R/T hits the 2.5-mile track at Daytona for first-round qualifying at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday.

In the Winter Nationals at Pomona, Dean Skuza will return in the Mopar Parts Dodge Stratus R/T, and the 35-year-old driver from Brecksville, Ohio, is optimistic about the upcoming season.

"The Stratus R/T is much more stable than last year's Avenger, and I think that will help us challenge John Force for this year's title," Skuza said.

Skuza had a career best elapsed time of 4.795 last season and finished ninth in the point standings.

Drivers Mark Osborne and Darrell Alderman will return for Nickens Brothers Racing in the Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T in the NHRA Pro Stock Division. Alderman, 53, is a three-time NHRA POWERade Pro Stock champ from Morehead, Ky. He had the second most victories in a season in '91 with 59, and he reached three finals last year.

Osborne, a 43-year-old Virginia native, is the fastest pro stocker of all time at 204.35 mph. He set that mark last year at Maple Grove Raceway in Redding, Pa. He also holds the second fastest ET in NHRA history at 6.754 seconds.

Larry Morgan, an owner-driver from Newark, Ohio, returns in his Dodge Motorsports Neon R/T. Morgan has eight national event victories with a top speed of 202.92 mph and a best ET of 6.812 seconds.

A new team will also represent Dodge in the Pro Stock Division with owner-driver Bart Price and driver Greg Stansfield.

World of Outlaws
The World of Outlaws Series begins on Feb. 22 and Mark Kinser will return in his No. 5M Mopar Parts Maxim. Kinser finished second in the WoO points last season.

-dodge-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup , NASCAR Truck , NHRA , World of Outlaws
Drivers John Andretti , Ward Burton , Bill Elliott , Bobby Hamilton , Jason Leffler , Kyle Petty , Darrell Alderman , Dean Skuza , John Force , Larry Morgan , Jimmy Spencer , Sterling Marlin , Hut Stricklin , Robert Pressley , Ted Musgrave , Carlos Contreras , Mark Kinser , Ray Evernham , Chip Ganassi , Donnie Neuenberger , Felix Sabates
Teams Bill Davis Racing