ProRally: Mopar Speed news 2004-06-28

Mopar Speed Monday, June 28, 2004 NCTS Musgrave wins at Milwaukee Mile, sets track record in qualifying Ted Musgrave scored a triumphant victory for Ultra Motorsports Saturday night behind the wheel of the No. 1 Mopar Dodge Ram. Musgrave ...

Mopar Speed
Monday, June 28, 2004

Musgrave wins at Milwaukee Mile, sets track record in qualifying

Ted Musgrave scored a triumphant victory for Ultra Motorsports Saturday night behind the wheel of the No. 1 Mopar Dodge Ram. Musgrave captured the team's hard-earned first victory of the year at the Black Cat Fireworks 200 held at the famed Milwaukee Mile.

Musgrave, who polished his racing career in Wisconsin, re-took the lead on Lap 196 after pitting and relinquishing the lead on Lap 129. "Mad Dog" charged back to the front from the 18th-position and continued to pull away from the pack for his second victory at the track. Chad Chaffin powered his Dodge Ram to a second-place finish, edging Dennis Setzer by a bumper.

On Friday, Musgrave grabbed his second straight Bud Pole award when he used his Mopar power to circle the tight one-mile oval at a record 121.980 mph. It was Musgrave's 11th career pole in the Mopar Dodge. Musgrave earned an $18,000 bonus for winning the race from the pole position. Saturday's win was his 14th with Mopar in the first night race ever held at Milwaukee.

Musgrave has recently rocketed up the NCTS point standings, and now stands fifth after holding the 13th spot a month ago. For the third straight event, he earned five bonus points for leading the most laps. Just four races ago, Musgrave and Ultra Motorsports re-assembled the core of team members that brought them success with the Mopar truck for the last three years. In the last three events, Musgrave has finished on the podium.

The team is already preparing for their next event, scheduled this Saturday at Kansas Speedway.

"We'll take the same truck to Kansas that we won at in Milwaukee," Musgrave said. "Usually it's a hot slick racetrack during the Fourth of July weekend. We've got a good chance of winning that race. Fuel mileage will be a challenge, but this truck is certainly capable of winning.

Check out live TV coverage from Kansas on Speed Channel beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern this Saturday.

"Now that we've got this Mopar truck in position to win races, I know we'll be back in Victory Lane again. We can repeat in a hurry. A couple of these upcoming racetracks have been good to me, so we're excited.

"This Mopar team is now pretty much the same guys we had from the last couple of years. It's kinda like a reunion. We've got the same guys that we've communicated with year after year, and we're all on the right track now and ready to keep running at the front."
    Ted Musgrave

NHRA Funny Car
Scelzi wins at Gateway, sets track records

"This is a big one for us. We needed to seal the deal here and get ourselves the win, get the monkey off our backs and it feels good. We're definitely making progress. The Hemi-powered Oakley Dodge is running better than it ever has.

"We changed our clutch around and some other things probably four or five races ago. It was a new learning curve for us and the more runs we make, the better we get; we're just getting a little better all the time. We should be able to continue to keep getting better than we are."
    Crew chief Mike Neff on the Scelzi victory in St. Louis.

Gary Scelzi defeated legend John Force in the finals at Gateway International Raceway yesterday to take home his second career Funny Car victory in his Hemi®-powered Oakley Dodge Stratus R/T. Scelzi, a three-time Top Fuel champion, also dismissed Tony Pedregon, Jerry Toliver and Cruz Pedregon on his way to victory.

Scelzi qualified fastest for the first time this season and set the track elapsed time and speed records at Gateway thanks to a thundering 4.724-second pass at 329.50 mph in qualifying, his quickest career ET.

Scelzi's Don Schumacher Racing teammate Whit Bazemore qualified his Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus R/T fourth but ran into trouble in the first round against Del Worsham and failed to advance.

The victory pushed Scelzi up to fourth in the Funny Car standings. Teammate Bazemore, winner of two races so far this season, stands third.

Up next for the POWERade competitors is the 25th annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals, scheduled to rock Bandimere Speedway near Denver July 16-18. Stay tuned to for exclusive event preview information.


Team Mopar tops Pikes Peak, Shepherd sets Hill Climb record

Team Mopar continued its domination of Group 5 in the SCCA ProRally portion of the famed Pikes Peak International Hill Climb near Manitou Springs, Colo. Mopar also made its mark in the separate hill climb portion of the second oldest motorsports event in the country, which has been internationally renowned since 1916.

Team Mopar regulars Doug Shepherd and co-driver Pete Gladysz were narrowly nipped out of the fourth overall spot by the Mopar Dodge SRT-4 of guest driver Paul Choiniere and co-driver Cindy Krolikowski by a mere seven-tenths of a second. Choiniere/Krolikowski took home the Group 5 and Overall 2WD trophies with Shepherd/Gladysz close behind in second, marking the tenth straight Group 5 victory by a Mopar-backed Dodge SRT-4, going back to last season. First through third positions were filled by all-wheel-drive vehicles.

The close finish exemplifies the consistency and strength of the Dodge SRT-4, along with the Mopar Performance Stage 3 Turbo Upgrade Kit, which the teams debuted at the Peak. Stage 3 boosts horsepower numbers over 350 and torque figures to above 360 ft.-lbs. in "high-octane" mode.

Chris Whiteman and Mike Paulin were back in ProRally action at Pikes Peak after transforming their Mopar Dodge Neon into an SRT-4, which is now aided by the Mopar Performance Stage 2 Turbo Upgrade kit. The Group 2 (naturally aspirated, 2WD) champions from 2003 finished a respectable fourth in Group 5.

Choiniere, an eight-time SCCA ProRally Overall champion, ran fastest overall on the second stage, which was run at night over moist conditions intermixed with fog. He averaged a speed of 78 mph on the five mile asphalt access road and a three mile stretch of the hill climb road.

Pikes Peak marked another significant challenge to the Mopar racers, as Pontiac Motorsports fielded a 600 horsepower Pontiac GTO driven by rally veteran Rhys Millen, who managed only a third-place finish in Group 5 for the event and for the Hill Climb despite the power advantage and rear-wheel-drive layout.

The next SCCA ProRally event is "Maine Forest," scheduled for July 30-31 near Rumford, Maine. Stay tuned to for more information about upcoming events, including details of upcoming ESPN coverage from Pikes Peak, where the network fitted the No. 52 Mopar Dodge SRT-4 with an in-car camera.

In two simultaneously-run events, Mopar came away with a speed record for Group 5 rally cars in the first pass of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, which doubled as Special Stage 4. Shepherd recorded his first sub-13 minute ascension of the mountain since 1989 when they completed Special Stage 4 in a record 12:53.5.

Shepherd may have been able to improve his overall standing of the rally after a second climb of the mountain on Saturday afternoon, but a severe summer thunderstorm dumped heavy rain, hail and several inches of snow at the summit, forcing the cancellation of Special Stage 5.

"To win this race, you need to beat what the mountain throws at you as 70 degrees sunny days at the bottom will be challenged with wind whipped blizzard conditions at the top," Gladysz said.

The hill climbing portion of the rally begins at an altitude of 8,000 feet above sea level and ends at 14,110 feet. This calculates into a 7 percent average grade over the 12.42 mile course, over which Shepherd/Gladysz averaged 59.37 mph during their record pass.


Jay Drake scored his second pole of the season Friday at Richmond. His team from Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises will lead the Mopar USAC competitors into Pikes Peak this weekend.

Jay Drake and the No. 20s Mopar team from Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises set a new track record at the Richmond (Va.) International Raceway last weekend in USAC National Sprint Car Series competition. Drake turned a lap of 19.999 seconds to take the event pole in record time.

Dave Steele and the No. 20 Mopar team from Stewart Racing earned a third-place finish in the Showdown at Sundown feature, Drake came in ninth, and Cory Kruseman brought the No. 21 Mopar home 11th.

Drake extended his USAC National Sprint Car Series point lead over Kruseman to 131 points with this weekend's efforts.

Drake and J.J. Yeley also competed in the USAC National Silver Crown Series portion of the two-day event in the Mopar cars from Stewart-Snider Racing. Yeley qualified the No. 111 fifth and earned a seventh place finish in the feature. Drake ended his weekend credited with 30th position.

Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises, Wilke-PAK Motorsports, Nicholas Motorsports and Stewart-Snider Racing will be in action over the holiday weekend at the Pikes Peak International Raceway. The USAC National Sprint, Midget Car and Silver Crown Series will compete July 2-4. Drake set a world speed record during this same event last season, turning a lap of 144.950 mph in a sprint car series.

Lasoski racks up more top-fives

Danny Lasoski and the No. 20 Mopar-powered team earned three top-five finishes in World of Outlaws competition last week, cutting point leader Steve Kinser's lead to a mere 86 points. He now boasts 17 to-five finishes on the season.

"The Dude" picked up his eighth dash event win of the season to go on to a second place finish in the A-main event at Dodge City (Kan.) Raceway Park last Tuesday.

The team moved on to their home track of Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway, where Lasoski finished the A-main in fourth position in the preliminary night of competition, locking up a spot in the event finale. The No. 20 team powered to a second place result in the Knoxville main feature.

The Tony Stewart Motorsports team head next to Joplin (Mo.) 66 Speedway tomorrow and then to Sedalia, Missouri, for the Michael Ross Memorial Foundation benefit Wednesday. Racing resumes Thursday at Batesville (Ark.) Speedway and the series moves to Sedalia (Mo.) State Fair Speedway on Friday. The busy week wraps up Saturday at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track.

Danny Lasoski continues to chip away at the WoO point lead. He now stands just 86 points behind Steve Kinser with five races on the agenda this week.

NHRA Pro Stock
Morgan, Koretsky advance at Gateway

Larry Morgan leads the Team Mopar Pro Stock drivers in the point standings heading into the 25th annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals in mid-July. Morgan is ranked fifth, followed by Darrell Alderman in 14th and Allen Johnson in 15th. Koretsky, who uses Hemi engines built by Larry Morgan in his Nitrofish-backed Dodge Stratus, is 11th.

Larry Morgan and Kenny Koretsky each scored skillful round victories in eliminations yesterday at Gateway International Raceway in their Hemi-powered Pro Stock entries. Both drivers were unable to advance beyond the second round at the track near St. Louis.

Morgan continued his streak of qualifying his Don Schumacher-owner Mopar in the top half of the field, checking into the fifth spot. Allen Johnson also qualified his Johnson & Johnson Racing Mopar Dodge Stratus into the Sunday field, but couldn't turn on the win lamp in his first round matchup with Warren Johnson.

Up next for the POWERade competitors is the 25th annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals, scheduled to rock Bandimere Speedway near Denver July 16-18. Stay tuned to for exclusive event preview information.

Francis wins heat at Sharon

Steve Francis and the No. 15 Mopar team picked up their ninth heat win of the season in World of Outlaws Late Model Series action yesterday at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio.

The "Kentucky Colonel" drove to an 18th-place finish in the A-main later in the evening.

The World of Outlaws Late Model Series makes its next stop this Saturday at Portsmouth (Ohio) Raceway Park.


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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck , NHRA , SCCA , Sprint
Drivers Tony Stewart , Darrell Alderman , Warren Johnson , Tony Pedregon , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Larry Morgan , Paul Choiniere , Rhys Millen , Ted Musgrave , Dennis Setzer , Cruz Pedregon , Danny Lasoski , Steve Kinser , Chad Chaffin , J.J. Yeley , Dave Steele , Kenny Koretsky , Cory Kruseman , Jay Drake , Allen Johnson , Jerry Toliver , Don Schumacher , Steve Francis , Mike Neff