Mopar Speed news 2004-10-04

Mopar Speed Monday, October 4, 2004 NHRA Mohler wins the Fallnationals in Englishtown Scott Mohler, from Frederick, Md., defeated Jesus Padilla in the final race of the NHRA Summit Sport Compact Series Fallnationals All Motor division to ...

Mopar Speed
Monday, October 4, 2004

Mohler wins the Fallnationals in Englishtown

Scott Mohler, from Frederick, Md., defeated Jesus Padilla in the final race of the NHRA Summit Sport Compact Series Fallnationals All Motor division to overtake Padilla in the point standings. The win, at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., with an ET of 10.113 and a speed of 132.75 mph, marks Mohler's first win in the last three races and his third of the season.

In the Pro FWD division, Shaun Carlson won round one eliminations in his Mopar Dodge SRT-4 against Lisa Kubo, but was unable to make the call to the staging lanes for round three eliminations.

The next NHRA Summit Sport Compact Series event is the fourth annual Nitto NHRA Sport Compact World Finals, Oct. 23-24, at Pomona Raceway in Pomona, Calif.

Musgrave snags a second-place finish

Ted Musgrave drove the No.1 Mopar Dodge Ram from Ultra Motorsports to a second -lace finish at California Speedway on Saturday night, avoiding a last lap accident to take the checkered flag behind Todd Bodine. Musgrave, who won the last three races at the two-mile superspeedway, led 36 of the 100 laps in his drive to the front. Bodine's margin of victory was only .049 of a second, as a hard-charging Musgrave didn't relinquish his winning streak without a fight.

The No. 1 team has steadily climbed the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings throughout the 2004 season, and with only five races remaining, Musgrave has positioned himself as a contender for the championship. The veteran is currently fourth in points.

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has the week off, and will resume action October 16 at Texas Motor Speedway. The No. 1 team will seek a gain in ground on series' leader Bobby Hamilton. Musgrave is 150 points out of first place and can still mathematically win the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship.

"We had a good race. I just wish we'd had a little more there at the end. The Mopar Dodge Ram ran great all night and it showed, as we were able to lead several laps. California Speedway has been a good track for us, and it continued to be a good one. We would've liked to have won four in a row, but we finished a strong second, and we gained some points, which is what we're looking to do. We're going to continue to work hard going into these last races, and with some luck, we'll definitely be in contention for the championship at the end."
    -- Ted Musgrave on his second place finish at California Speedway.

Mopar gets its kicks at Route 66 Raceway

The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series traveled to Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., over the weekend. Driver Larry Morgan qualified his Mopar Dodge Stratus seventh and beat Allen Johnson in the first round of eliminations. Johnson, also in a Mopar Dodge Stratus, qualified 10th. Kenny Koretsky qualified the Nitrofish Wear Stratus sixth.

Morgan, who eventually lost in the quarter finals to Dave Connolly, is currently fifth in points. The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series moves on to Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., for a rain date make-up this weekend, Oct. 8-10.

Johnny Gray blasts to his fastest career speed -- Scelzi loses steam

Steering Don Schumacher's Wonder Wagon Dodge Stratus, Johnny Gray blasted to his fastest career speed of 324.67 mph in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., despite losing in the first round of Funny Car eliminations to Cruz Pedregon. No. 13 qualifier Gray and No. 4 qualifier Pedregon took off at the lights with identical reaction times of .089 of a second (.000 is perfect). It was a close race, but Pedregon was first across the finish stripe with a winning 4.758/323.27 to Gray's 4.838/324.67.

"The Wonder Wagon made a pretty good run," said Gray, driving in only his third race for Don Schumacher Racing. "We're still learning the car, learning me, trying to get the balance right on the car."

Chicago-area fans were treated to one of the finest side-by-side races in the first round of Funny Car eliminations, as Whit Bazemore and Gary Densham raced nose to nose for the entire quarter-mile. That is, until Bazemore's Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus slipped a little to the left and crossed the finish line a mere 15 inches behind Densham.

"We lost the race by two thousandths and it's just very frustrating," said Bazemore, who is currently fourth in the points. "The good news is we ran our best-ever speed at half track (266.95 mph). We had some things happen on that run that I think have taught us a lot with the race car."

Gary Scelzi, who set a national Funny Car speed record of 330.55 mph at Route 66 Raceway last May, qualified seventh. Although temperatures had turned slightly warmer for Sunday's eliminations, it didn't help Scelzi's results in the first round against Jerry Toliver. wScelzilost traction at the hit of the throttle and coasted to a 7.419-second pass at 116.43 mph to Toliver's winning 5.084/273.22.

With the 2004 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series winding down to its last three races, Scelzi will be battling with Worsham, his teammate Whit Bazemore, Eric Medlen and Gary Densham for second place. The series heads to Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., Oct. 8-10, to make up for a rain-postponed event.

Making the most of his hemi-power in the Top Fuel division, Tony Schumacher qualified the U.S. Army dragster from Schumacher Racing seventh to defeat David Grubnic in first round, Rhonda Hartman-Smith in quarter final round, and Brandon Bernstein in semifinal. He lost to Doug Herbert in final, yet had set the low ET of the class at 4.477, which came in the first round. Schumacher is presently first in points.

"I don't know what it is. These are optimum conditions -- the race track, the weather, everything -- and for some reason we just couldn't make this thing work. We slowed everything down and slid it down there to a 4.82 (in qualifying), but it just wouldn't repeat, for whatever reason. That's why we're going to stay here and test on Monday. I don't have any answers. I don't have a magic wand to know what to do to fix it."
    -- Gary Scelzi, three-time Top Fuel champion, talks about his results at Route 66 Raceway.

Lasoski finishes in the top-ten three times at "The Grove"

Danny Lasoski and the No. 20 team kept their championship hopes alive this weekend by earning three top-10 finishes in as many events. "The Dude" battled his way through the B-main event on September 29 at Port Royal Speedway in the Mopar-powered No. 20 from Tony Stewart Motorsports, to find his way back to ninth position in the A-main event. The team moved on to Williams Grove Speedway October 1-2 for the Williams Grove National Open event in Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Lasoski, who earned his career-first WoO Williams Grove feature win on the final night of the Summer Nationals race in July, won the first heat race on Friday night of the two-day event. After finishing fifth in the first Dash race, he battled his way to a sixth-place, A-main finish. The No. 20 team posted the second quickest qualifying time on Saturday, and promptly went on to finish the night strong in fifth position. The team's efforts allowed them to maintain their second-place standing in the WoO Series point championship chase.

The World of Outlaws Series moves to Indiana and Illinois this week, stopping at Tri-State (Ind.) Speedway on October 8. The series will wrap up the weekend at Tri-City (Ill.) Speedway on October 9.

Three's a charm for Steve Francis and the No. 15 Mopar

Number three was a lucky number for World of Outlaws Late Model Series driver Steve Francis over the weekend, as he racked up two third-place finishes at West Virginia Motor Speedway. Francis and the No. 15 Mopar team started the weekend off on the right foot Friday night, winning the first consolation race en route to a third-place finish in the Charter Communications 100 feature event.

Francis followed up his stellar effort on Saturday night with another third-place finish in the Smoker Friendly 50, continuing his steady momentum in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series points chase. "The Kentucky Colonel" is currently second in series' points.

The World of Outlaws Late Model Series moves on to Fulton Speedway on October 9. With only three races remaining in the 2004 season, the series finale is scheduled for October 30 at the Delta Bowl Speedway in Tunica, Miss.

Steve Francis earns two third-place finishes at West Virginia Motor Speedway over the weekend.


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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck , NHRA , World of Outlaws
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Tony Stewart , Todd Bodine , Whit Bazemore , Rhonda Hartman-Smith , Gary Scelzi , Larry Morgan , Ted Musgrave , David Grubnic , Gary Densham , Cruz Pedregon , Danny Lasoski , Kenny Koretsky , Brandon Bernstein , Allen Johnson , Johnny Gray , Jerry Toliver , Eric Medlen , Don Schumacher , Shaun Carlson , Dave Connolly , Steve Francis
Teams Williams