Mopar Speed news 2004-05-24

Mopar Speed Monday, May 24, 2004 NHRA Funny Car: Mopar drivers slam Funny Car records with Hemi® power Whit Bazemore set the all-time NHRA Funny Car elapsed-time record and rung up the fastest mph ever in a Funny Car over the weekend in...

Mopar Speed
Monday, May 24, 2004


Funny Car:

Mopar drivers slam Funny Car records with Hemi® power

Whit Bazemore set the all-time NHRA Funny Car elapsed-time record and rung up the fastest mph ever in a Funny Car over the weekend in NHRA POWERade series competition at Route 66 Raceway near Joliet, Ill. In addition, Bazemore drove to his second-straight final round appearance and jumped into the series point lead.

Not to be outdone, his Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Gary Scelzi, drove his Hemi-powered Oakley Dodge Stratus R/T to the first-ever 330 mph pass in Funny Car history when he clocked a 330.15 mph pass in qualifying Friday night. Scelzi, who established the previous national top-speed record of 329.18 mph at Joliet last September, still holds the official record because he was able to "back up" his run with a 330.55 mph pass in qualifying on Saturday.

Bazemore knocked off opponents Ron Capps, Tim Wilkerson and Tony Bartone before losing traction to John Force in the final round. Scelzi fell to Bartone in the first round.

The two Dodge-bodied vehicles both wear associate Mopar sponsorship. Bazemore leads the Funny Car point standings, while Scelzi stands seventh, only 127 points back.

The next event on the NHRA POWERade schedule is the NHRA Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway near Chicago scheduled for this weekend. Qualifying will air Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. and repeat Sunday from 3 to 5 a.m. Eliminations will run from 7 to 10 p.m. on Sunday and repeat Monday from 1:30 to 4 a.m. All coverage will air on ESPN2. Times are Eastern.

Whit Bazemore (above) and Gary Scelzi utilized their awesome Mopar and Dodge aerodynamic and engine packages to capture several national Funny Car (FC) records at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., including:

-Quickest and fastest FC pass: Bazemore (4.713 seconds at 333.25 mph)
-Quickest official FC pass: Bazemore (4.713 seconds)
-First FC pass faster than 330 mph: Scelzi (330.15 mph)
-Fastest official ("backed up") FC pass: Scelzi (330.55 mph)
-Fastest FC pass: Bazemore (333.25 mph)

USAC Sprint

"I have to hand it to my crew. Bobby Barth has come in here and done a great job, and a lot of it was us developing with each other last year. We made a car swap [earlier this] year, and with me and Bobby working together as much as we are, we're finally starting to mesh."
    -- Cory Kruseman won his first USAC National Sprint event in a Mopar-powered vehicle Saturday night in Terre Haute, Ind.

Kruseman wins at Terre Haute, edging teammate Drake

Cory Kruseman and Jay Drake raced to a one-two finish Saturday night at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track to sweep the 34th annual Tony Hulman Classic. Kruseman led the final 12 laps of the 30-lap feature event to earn his first USAC National Sprint Car Series win this season. With the win, "The Kruser" moves into the second position in USAC National Sprint Car points.

Drake brought the No. 20 Mopar machine from Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises to the checkers in second place behind Kruseman, after getting around former Team Mopar driver J.J. Yeley on Lap 29. Drake continues to lead the USAC National Sprint Car points. Earlier in the day, Drake finished a highly-impressive fourth in his Menards Infiniti Pro Series debut at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The team has a busy week ahead, as they will compete at Anderson Speedway on Wednesday and Saturday in the 56th annual Little 500 event. They will then travel to Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, on Sunday for the Don Branson/Jud Larson Classic doubleheader. Drake will also drive a Mopar Friday in the USAC Silver Crown Series' 52nd annual Hoosier Hundred.


Mopar highlighted in award for DaimlerChrysler youth marketing success

DaimlerChrysler was named Original Equipment Manufacturer of the Year by the Sport Compact Council from the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) last Friday at the International Auto Salon (IAS) in Atlantic City, N.J.

The following is an excerpt from a press release prepared by SEMA.

"DaimlerChrysler, the parent of Dodge and Mopar brands, has made significant progress in the youth-oriented sport compact scene, particularly with the introduction of the Dodge SRT-4. Its successful product launch and comprehensive marketing efforts to authenticate the vehicle's place in the market have been broadly recognized by those active in the compact performance sector and SEMA members.

The launch of the SRT-4 was coupled with a complete Mopar strategy to reestablish the brand's performance image with a new generation of automotive and performance enthusiasts.

'Known for performance during the muscle car era, Mopar has now reengineered its image with the launch of a complete line of performance upgrades for the SRT-4, including Stage 1, 2 and 3 Turbo kits,' added [Gregg] Guenthard [SEMA liaison to the Sport Compact Council].

Coupled with a new dedicated sport compact parts line, Mopar has launched an aggressive motorsports program targeting the sport compact culture with drift, rally and drag race motorsports programs. At the retail level, Mopar has also launched dedicated high performance Mopar Speedshops at select dealerships across the country and is building presence at all SEMA events. The brand has also recently supported many sport compact events, including a partnership with Southern California's first dragstrip to be built in 30 years, Mopar Drag City, to promote safe, on-track drag racing."

Mopar was given a good deal of positive recognition over the weekend when DaimlerChrysler was named the Original Equipment Manufacturer of the Year by SEMA. Some of the most recognizable new parts from Mopar Performance are designed to improve performance of the Dodge SRT-4 (pictured above).

The new game face of Mopar -- "Drift. Rally. Drag." -- was promoted in the AutoWeek advertisement pictured above.

USAC Midget

Davey Ray ran down race leader Bobby East on the final lap of the Hut Hundred Friday night, but was unable to hang on for a victory. Ray finished a nailbiting second, with fellow Team Mopar driver Josh Wise crossing the line fourth.

Youngsters Ray and Wise impressive at Hut Hundred

Team Mopar young guns Davey Ray and Josh Wise had an outstanding run on Friday night in the 53rd Hut Hundred at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track.

Ray captured second place in the historical event for Wilke-PAK Motorsports after an exciting last lap battle with eventual winner Bobby East. He drove the No. 11 Mopar to the lead on lap 99 of the 100-lap event before East passed him back to take the win. Ray also moved into third position in USAC National Midget Series driver points, with Wilke-PAK maintaining the entrant points lead.

Wise drove the No. 20 Mopar machine from Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises to a fourth-place finish in the event, after qualifying second earlier in the night. The team fought their way back to the front of the pack after having to pull off the track for repairs. Wise also gained points in the USAC National Midget Series division, and moved into second position after the weekend's events.

Wilke-PAK Motorsports, Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises and Nicholas Motorsports will be in USAC National Midget Series action on Thursday at the Indianapolis Speedrome for the Rich Vogler Classic and on Saturday in the Night Before the 500 event.


Pro Stock:

Morgan and Koretsky qualify in top-half again

Larry Morgan drove his Mopar Dodge Stratus R/T into the top half of the field for the eighth time in as many races this season when he clicked off a 6.845-second pass at 201.79 mph in NHRA POWERade action at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill.

Kenny Koretsky used his Larry Morgan-built Hemi engine to power his way into the third qualifying position this season-best qualifying effort. It was the second race in a row that Koretsky qualified in the top-helf of the Pro Stock field. Koretsky lit the red light in his first round, ending his day prematurely.

Teammates Darrell Alderman and Allen Johnson were unable to get their Mopar-sponsored vehicles into eliminations in the highly-competitive Pro Stock class. Johnson also competed in the King Demon Crown

The NHRA POWERade series travels to Topeka, Kan. this weekend for action at Heartland Park Topeka, where Darrell Alderman has earned three of his 28 career victories. Qualifying will air on ESPN2 Saturday from 8 to 10 p.m. Eliminations will run from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday and repeat next Wednesday Monday from 3 to 5 a.m. on ESPN2. All times are Eastern.

Mopar driver Allen Johnson (above) is scheduled to participate in a charity golf tournament this Thursday as part of pre-event activities in Topeka, Kan.

Proceeds from this major fundraiser for the Heartland Park Foundation will go to the local Children's Miracle Network.


The No. 20 team from Tony Stewart Motorsports used its Paul Kistler-built Mopar power to retain second place in the WoO standings.

Lasoski wins dash, bumped out of contention

Danny Lasoski and the No. 20 team from Tony Stewart Motorsports maintained their second place standing in the World of Outlaws Series over the weekend.

During Friday night's Princeton Nationals preliminary at Princeton (Minn.) Speedway, "The Dude" was running second in the A-main when point leader Steve Kinser flipped into him after a failed attempt to pass Lasoski. Lasoski was credited with a 22nd-place finish after the incident. Earlier in the evening, Lasoski picked up his fourth Dash win of the season.

On Saturday night, Lasoski came back to qualify second quick. Lasoski crossed the finish line 11th in the A-main finale, helping his team maintain their points championship position.

With their Gaerte-built Mopar engines, Daryn Pittman and Tyler Walker each racked up two top-10 finishes at Princeton.

The No. 20 team will compete four times this week, beginning in Pennsylvania at Lernerville Speedway tomorrow and Williams Grove Speedway on Thursday and Friday. Saturday the nomadic sprint car series will race at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway.

Televised WoO racing action can be found almost every Wednesday on the Outdoor Channel. Check your local listings.

WoO Late Models

Francis finishes strong

Steve Francis finished third in the three-day non-sanctioned late model event at the Outlaw Motor Speedway in Wainwright, Okla., late last week, behind the power of his Gary Stanton-built Mopar powerplant.

Francis is scheduled to hit the track next in the Show Me 100 in West Plains, Mo., an unsanctioned competition set for May 28-29.


Ted Musgrave won the NCTS event at Lowe's Motor Speedway last May, but contact on Pit Road prevented him from driving the No. 1 Mopar Dodge Ram to a repeat victory at the Charlotte, N.C. track.

Musgrave's luck sours at Lowe's

Ted Musgrave won the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Lowe's Motor Speedway, but the No. 1 Mopar team from Ultra Motorsports were unable to defend their event title last Friday evening.

After receiving contact from another truck while on Pit Road, the Shawn Parker-led crew was forced to make several green flag pit stops to cure a damaged fender on the Mopar-sponsored Dodge Ram. The team finished the 200-mile event in 31st position, five laps behind the leaders.

The team looks to get back on track at the series' next event, scheduled at Dover (Del.) International Speedway June 4. Live television coverage on Speed Channel is set to begin at 4 p.m. Eastern.


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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck , NHRA , USAC , World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Darrell Alderman , Tony Bartone , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Larry Morgan , Ted Musgrave , Danny Lasoski , Steve Kinser , J.J. Yeley , Kenny Koretsky , Tim Wilkerson , Cory Kruseman , Jay Drake , Bobby East , Allen Johnson , Tyler Walker , Josh Wise , Davey Ray , Daryn Pittman , Don Schumacher , Steve Francis
Teams Williams