ProRally: Mopar Speed news 2004-09-27

Mopar Speed Monday, September 27, 2004 SCCA PRO RALLY Mopar/Dodge clinch manufacturer title, win at Colorado Cog Doug Shepherd and co-driver Pete Gladysz helped Dodge earn the overall SCCA ProRally manufacturer title and won the Overall 2WD...

Mopar Speed
Monday, September 27, 2004

Mopar/Dodge clinch manufacturer title, win at Colorado Cog

Doug Shepherd and co-driver Pete Gladysz helped Dodge earn the overall SCCA ProRally manufacturer title and won the Overall 2WD and Group 5 divisions of the inaugural "Colorado Cog" event yesterday near Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Shepherd and Gladysz recorded their best overall finish of the season, clocking the fourth fastest time against a field that included numerous all-wheel-drive rally-bred vehicles. They also nailed down the quickest stage time of the entire field on Special Stage 9 in their awesome Mopar Dodge SRT-4, which features many parts from Mopar Performance, including Stage 3 Turbo Upgrade Kit, Stage 3 Suspension Kit, short throw shifter and more.

Both Shepherd and Gladysz have each now wrapped up the honors for top 2WD and Group 5 driver and co-driver, respectively, as a result. The victory marked Mopar and Dodge's 13th straight Group 5 win and ninth consecutive Overall 2wd trophy. Shepherd has been driver in all but three of those winning Dodge SRT-4s.

The overall manufacturer championship marks the first time since 1977 (when they tied with Datsun) that the Dodge boys have topped SCCA ProRally competition. Last season, the good guys took home the manufacturer honors in Overall 2WD, Group 5 and Group 2. In 2004 the Overall 2WD and Group 5 trophies will again go home to Auburn Hills.

One event remains on the 2004 SCCA ProRally schedule: "Lake Superior," scheduled October 22-23 in Houghton, Mich. Expect to see several corporate entries make the trek to Michigan's Upper Peninsula for this legendary season finale.

Doug Shepherd's Mopar Dodge SRT-4 had a big part in clinching the overall SCCA ProRally manufacturer championship for Dodge throughout this season. With his win over the weekend with the help of navigator Pete Gladysz, Shepherd has now amassed five Overall 2WD and Group 5 victories in 2004 with still one event remaining.

Stay tuned to Mopar Speed for all the latest developments on this and the other championship teams in the Mopar stable.

Shaffer picks up his first win of the season

"We finally got one! We had a good car all night long. It's been a battle all season long, but these Kistler Mopar engines have been running strong all year. The competition out here is just so tough -- it'll beat you down in a hurry. I want to thank Lonnie Parsons (who won his first A-feature as a car owner), Casey's General Stores, Housby Mack, it's just good to get a win and get the confidence back up."
    -- Tim Shaffer, who captured his first WoO win of the season behind the strength of a Paul Kistler-built Mopar engine.

Danny Lasoski earned a top-five finish and B-main win over the weekend to keep the momentum flowing for the Mopar-powered No. 20 from Tony Stewart Motorsports. Lasoski qualified third and finished fifth in the A-main event at Jackson (Minn.) Speedway on Friday night to maintain his second place standing in World of Outlaws Series points. "The Dude" picked his way through the field on Saturday night at The Raceway at Powercom Park to finish 13th.

Tim Shaffer picked up his first victory of the season in the Mopar-powered No. 6 Casey's General Store machine on Saturday. Shaffer led flag to flag to earn the A-main event win.

The World of Outlaws Series moves on to Ionia Raceway in Lake Odessa, Mich., on September 27 then to Williams Grove Speedway over October 1 - 2.

Musgrave moves to fourth in standings

Ted Musgrave moved up to fourth in the NCTS point standings after finishing eighth in Saturday night's NCTS event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Musgrave scored his 11th top-10 of the season as the No. 1 Mopar team put on an admirable show of determination. They never quit on a racetruck that was exceptionally loose throughout the race and moved up 18 positions from their position on the starting grid.

"[The truck] was better at the end, but it was still looser than hell. [WoO driver] Sammy Swindell would have been proud of me. Everybody on the team worked hard to keep us in the race; those guys worked their butts off!"

Musgrave will appear at the Fontana (Calif.) Cruise Night at the intersection of Arrow Hwy and Nuevo Ave., which begins on Friday at 6 p.m. Hundreds of classic cars, hot rods and low riders will be on display during this event as well as the IRL Fan Experience Pit Stop Challenge. Truck Series drivers will sign autographs between 7 and 8 p.m.

Musgrave will be the favorite going into the series event at California Speedway this Saturday. Musgrave has brought Mopar to Victory Lane at the track three straight times and is looking for four. Check out live TV coverage of the race beginning at 10 p.m. this Saturday on SPEED.

"We'll have a good enough shot at winning California: good enough Mopar Dodge truck, good enough Ultra Motorsports team. But it's just luck the way it goes. We should be able to contend for the win, but if it's gonna be four in a row remains to be seen.

"You've got to remember that things have changed. Not only is it a whole different year with different teams contending for the win, but we're going to be competing under the lights. We've never experienced racing at night in California, and the conditions will definitely be different."
    -- Ted Musgrave, discussing the challenges of racing at night at California Speedway.

Johnson ties his season best

Allen Johnson hits 203.25 mph in 6.803 seconds for the second time this season.

Allen Johnson tied his season best speed of 203.25 mph in 6.803 seconds at Texas Motorplex over the weekend. Johnson drove the Mopar Dodge Stratus from Johnson and Johnson Racing to knock off Larry Morgan in the first round by a mere 16 inches in a great Mopar-only battle. He then beat Steve Johns by a fender in the quarterfinals to move on to his second semifinal appearance of the year. Johnson fell to Dave Connolly and missed a shot at the money round. The Nitrofish Wear Stratus driven by Kenny Koretsky qualified 6th. The Mopar Dodge Stratus from Larry Morgan Racing qualified 7th.

The series' next stop is Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., Oct. 1-3.

Mopars rip up Texas Motorplex

Over the weekend at Texas Motorplex, Gary Scelzi beat Jerry Toliver with a 4.947-second pass in the first round to qualify the Hemi-Powered Oakley Dodge Stratus 3rd in the second round. Whit Bazemore drove the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus past teammate Johnny Gray, to qualify 4th in the second round. Johnny Gray, in the Wonder Bread Dodge Stratus qualified 13th. Gary Scezi stands second in points in the series. Bazemore is 4th.

The series' next stop is Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., Oct. 1-3, where earlier this year, Scelzi became the first Funny Car driver to break the 330-mph mark, setting a national speed record of 330.55 mph. During that same event, Bazemore set the quickest and fastest Funny Car lap in NHRA history with 4.713 seconds at 333.25 mph. "We'll load up and go to Chicago and we won't have to worry about that anymore because Route 66 Raceway is incredible. We'll go there and see how fast this Hemi-powered Oakley Dodge will run," said Gary Scelzi.

In addition, team owner Don Schumacher will be a guest on the show Wind Tunnel, Tuesday, Sept. 28, which airs on Speed Channel from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET. Schumacher will be filmed from the Schumacher Racing shop in Indianapolis, Ind.

"We'll load up and go to Chicago and we won't have to worry about that anymore because Route 66 Raceway is incredible. We'll go there and see how fast this Hemi-powered Oakley Dodge will run."
    -- Gary Scelzi looks forward to returning to where he set a track record earlier this year.

Two top-10s for Mopar at Eldora

Josh Wise and Cory Kruseman both picked up top-10 finishes at Eldora Speedway over the weekend in USAC National Sprint Car competition.

Wise earned a seventh-place finish in the No. 20s Mopar for Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises, while Kruseman crossed the finish line in ninth position. Kruseman and the No. 21 Mopar team battled their way through the non-qualifiers' event to make the field for the USAC 4-Crown Nationals feature event. Wise also overcame problems early in the two-day event to earn the team's top-10 finish.

Jay Drake and the No. 20 Mopar team won the semi-feature to earn their way into the feature. Drake, who had qualified second quickest, overcame problems in his heat race to start the feature event. Drake ran with the leaders before being taken out on lap 23 during a mishap that involved several of the front running cars. The No. 20 team was credited with a 20th place feature event finish.

All three of the Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises sprint car drivers are currently in the top-10 in USAC National Sprint Car points. Drake continues to lead, Kruseman sits in third position, and Wise is currently 10th. The USAC National Sprint Car Series will return to action on October 13 at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Mopar Sprint Car Nationals.

A top-five for Ray at Eldora

Davey Ray earned a top-five finish in the USAC National Midget portion of the 4-Crown Nationals in the No. 11 Mopar from Wilke-PAK Motorsports to lead Team Mopar. Ray, who qualified 12th, methodically reeled in the leaders to bring the No. 11 machine across the line in fifth position. He also picked up two positions in the points chase, coming off the weekend in sixth position.

The Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises duo of Josh Wise and Jay Drake faced green-flag racing woes, after the team ran up front most of the feature event. Wise was running in second position behind eventual winner Dave Darland, when the No. 20 Mopar machine suffered a mechanical issue to retire him from the event. Drake inherited second following Wise's mishap, and after clipping the wall in Turn Four, he retired the No. 20s Mopar machine. Drake was credited with a 17th place finish, while Wise was scored in 19th.

Wise continues to maintain second place in the USAC National Midget points. The series will return to action on November 11 at Tucson (Ariz.) Raceway.

Drake closes Silver Crown season sixth

Jay Drake and the No. 11 Mopar from Stewart-Snider Motorsports earned an 11th-place finish in the USAC Silver Crown portion of the 4-Crown Nationals event, which concluded the series' season over the weekend at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. Drake qualified 16th and finished second in the semi-feature to earn a starting spot in the feature event. Drake, who had won three USAC Silver Crown feature events earlier in the season, finished sixth in the point standings overall. Dave Steele, who drives Mopar sprint and midget cars, was crowned the series champion on Saturday night.

Tyler Walker and the Dodge-powered No. 19 Kasey Kahne-owned machine was scored in 25th position after succumbing to mechanical issues early in the feature event. Walker had hoped to earn his fourth straight USAC Silver Crown Series win at Eldora Speedway over the weekend.

For more information regarding the USAC Sliver Crown Series event finale, log on to


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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck , NHRA , SCCA , USAC , World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Whit Bazemore , Gary Scelzi , Larry Morgan , Ted Musgrave , Tim Shaffer , Danny Lasoski , Kasey Kahne , Dave Steele , Sammy Swindell , Kenny Koretsky , Cory Kruseman , Jay Drake , Allen Johnson , Johnny Gray , Tyler Walker , Josh Wise , Davey Ray , Jerry Toliver , Don Schumacher , Dave Connolly , Steve J
Teams Williams