Dodge Teams Leave for Easter Break Ranked at the Head of Accelerated Classes (March 27, 2002) - The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will be the only racing action on tap during Easter Weekend involving Mopar-backed teams, but several Dodge...
Dodge Teams Leave for Easter Break Ranked at the Head of Accelerated Classes
(March 27, 2002) - The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will be the only racing action on tap during Easter Weekend involving Mopar-backed teams, but several Dodge teams in other racing series left for the Holiday Weekend ranked at the head of their accelerated classes.
Sterling Marlin, driver of the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T, saw his streak of eight straight top-10 finishes end last Sunday at Bristol, but Marlin left the track with an identical 99-point advantage over the second-place challenger in the NASCAR Winston Cup Standings. Thanks to teammate Jimmy Spencer, driver of the No. 41 Target Dodge Intrepid R/T who finished second at Bristol, Dodge enjoys a 42-40 advantage over Ford in the season-long NASCAR manufacturers standings after 6 of 36 events.
Although there's been only two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races this season, Dodge Ram drivers Ted Musgrave and Robert Pressley share the lead with 1-2 finishes in the first two events. Newcomer Brian Rose ranks third in the truck standings.
The hottest driver of all is two-time Pennzoil World of Outlaws champion Mark Kinser. "Mopar" Mark, driver of the No. 5M Mopar-powered Maxim, has won two straight A features and has built a 17-point advantage over fellow Outlaw Steve Kinser. Mark Kinser has eight top fives in eight starts and has accumulated 1,342 points to Steve Kinser's 1,325 points. Defending Series champion Danny Lasoski is third with 1316 points. Each driver has two victories in eight starts, but Mark Kinser leads 'em all with eight top fives.
World of Outlaw action continues on Friday in Joplin, Mo., and heads to Povely, Mo., on Saturday night.
Bob Wildberger, Senior Manager NASCAR Operations Dodge Motorsports, tips his hat to all the Dodge teams entering the holiday break.
"We'd had a tremendous effort so far from all our motorsports programs," Wildberger said. "Success breads success, and we're getting a wonderful effort from everyone involved.
"When we put our Winston Cup program together, our long range goals were to have a lot of great teams.. That gives depth to the program. On any given week, one or more of our teams is running up front. The competition has had some misfortune, and we've been in position to capitalize on it and that's yielding outstanding results.
"NASCAR has done a great job with keeping parity between the various manufacturers. We've just been lucky to have one of our teams on fire all season. Sterling Marlin and the Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Dodge Intrepid R/T team exude confidence wherever they go. They've made a commitment to be the best, and they're fun to be around right now. They treat every race like it's the end of the world, and they're determined to do well. You've got to admire that determination."
Dodge announced a bonus program at the beginning of the season that will reward a Dodge Winston Cup Championship team with $1 million and a 2003 Viper to the driver. Marlin has already picked out the color for the Viper.
"It's a long season and anything can happen, but I'd sure like to win that Viper and get the million dollars for the team," Marlin said. "I told Wildberger last week that I want a Gun Metal Gray Viper when we win the championship."
"We're really hoping to write that check," Wildberger said. "I'm not nervous about it at all. Writing that check would be the greatest thing in the world for Dodge and all the Dodge dealers. The value of writing that check would go way beyond the million dollars. I hope we have to put our financial department to the test of signing off on it"
Pennzoil World of Outlaws Update:
Mark Kinser's Mopar-powered Maxim took the lead on lap 18 and held it the rest of the way to capture his second straight Pennzoil World of Outlaws "A" Feature victory on Monday night at Pike County Speedway in Magnolia, Miss. After winning his first "A" Feature race of the season the night before in Texas, Kinser entered Monday night's event with a four-point lead in the series standings over defending champion Danny Lasoski. Kinser extended his point lead Monday night with his eighth straight top five finish of the season.
Kinser's No. 5 Mopar Maxim got by Steve Smith after an intense battle and then tracked down Craig Dollansky and Tim Shaffer at Pike County Speedway. "My guys gave me an excellent car all night long," Kinser said. "Steve (Smith) and I had a pretty good race going there for awhile and I think he kind of used up his tires trying to stay in front of us. Once we got by, I was able to get a pretty good run on Dollansky and Shaffer." Kinser ended up winning by a straightaway, quite a contrast from Sunday night when he won on a photo finish over Donny Schatz at Texas. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws will resume action Friday night in Joplin, Mo., and race on Saturday at Pevely, Mo.