Mopar Speed News Monday, February 14, 2005 NHRA FC Bazemore Posts Semifinal Appearance at Winternationals Season Opener Team Mopar and Don Schumacher Racing's NHRA POWERade Funny Car Series trio made an impressive start to the 2005 racing...
Mopar Speed News
Monday, February 14, 2005
Bazemore Posts Semifinal Appearance at Winternationals Season Opener
Team Mopar and Don Schumacher Racing's NHRA POWERade Funny Car Series trio made an impressive start to the 2005 racing season at Pomona Raceway over the weekend. Gary Scelzi, Whit Bazemore and Ron Capps all qualified in the Top-10 for the 45th Annual CarQuest Auto Parts Winternationals event, even after rain washed out Friday's racing action.
Bazemore qualified the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus Funny Car in eighth position and advanced through the brackets to reach the semifinal round. He bested teammate Ron Capps in the first round, advancing easily due to Capps' mechanical woes, and in the second round Bazemore laid down a run of 4.780 seconds/321.19 mph en route to defeating Tony Pedregon. In the semifinal round, Bazemore posted good numbers in the middle of the run but couldn't quite pull off the win against Tommy Johnson Jr.
Scelzi steered his Oakley Mopar Dodge Stratus Funny Car to a sixth position overall during qualifying, only to suffer a heartbreaking first-round loss to Phil Burkart. The defeat wasn't without some celebration, though, as Scelzi posted a career quickest ET of 4.717 seconds and an overall career best speed of 331.53 mph during the run. It was a strong start for a team known for pushing the envelope in the series.
Capps suffered an oil leak in the first round against teammate Bazemore. After laying down oil at the line, Bazemore was awarded the bye. The team proved to be a contender early on though, as Capps qualified the Brut Dodge Funny Car in ninth position overall.
The NHRA POWERade Funny Car Series moves on to Firebird Raceway in Chandler, Ariz., Feb. 25-27.
Whit Bazemore posted victories against teammate Ron Capps and Tony Pedregon as he powered his way to a semifinals appearance at the NHRA POWERade 45th Annual CarQuest Auto Parts Winternationals.
"What a way to remember your career best ET and mile an hour. It doesn't happen very often, but it does happen. But the changes we made to the Mopar/Oakley Dodge worked extremely well. The car has never been that smooth and that tune-up is not going to go away. We're going to shake it off and dust ourselves off."
--Gary Scelzi, on posting a career best ET and speed, yet still coming up short against Phil Burkart.
Allen Johnson Leads Trio of Team Mopar Pro Stockers at Pomona Winternationals
Team Mopar's NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Series triple threat was lead by veteran Allen Johnson as he advanced to the second round of eliminations in the 45th Annual CarQuest Auto Parts Winternationals at Pomona Raceway over the weekend. Johnson, who qualified fifth, earned a first round victory against Jason Line in the J&J Racing Team Mopar Dodge Stratus R/T. He was defeated by eventual winner Dave Connolly in the second round.
Don Schumacher Racing's Richie Stevens Jr. got a prompt "welcome back" notice during his return to the NHRA Pro Stock Series. Stevens qualified the Team Mopar Dodge Stratus R/T machine in 10th place to place himself solidly in the field of 16 competitors. He was paired against Greg Anderson in the first round of eliminations. After being staged in the less-than-favorable right lane, Stevens was defeated as the car shifted to the right on the start.
Jeg Coughlin Jr. qualified the Jeg's Mail Order Mopar Dodge Stratus R/T in 13th position to position himself to make his 400th elimination round appearance. Coughlin faced off against Dave Connolly in the first round, and after the car broke loose in the middle of the run, he wasn't able to gain ground.
"No worries. The beat goes on for this team," Coughlin remarked after his outing. "We've decided to make some more shakedown runs before Phoenix. We now know where we stand in relation to the field and we've narrowed our focus down to two or three things that we know we need to correct. Once we do that, we'll be able to compete with anyone."
The NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Series continues the 2005 season in two weeks at Firebird Raceway in Chandler, Ariz. The Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals are scheduled for Feb. 25-27.
Francis Shows the Way with Victory at East Bay
Steve Francis added to his early season success by grabbing the 29th Annual Winternationals overall title at East Bay Raceway last week in NARA-sanctioned racing. Competing from Feb. 7-12, "The Kentucky Colonel" picked up one feature event victory, four Top-five finishes, four Top-10 finishes, three heat race wins, two B-main wins and was named the PPM Racing Products Hard Charger of the Race three times during the week.
In six nights of competition, Francis' consistency aided him in his drive for the title. The No. 15 team earned their second overall event championship of the 2005 season, as they also won the Early Thaw event in January. Francis' lone victory en route to the Winternationals title came on February 11.
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series will make its season debut this week at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. Francis will compete with the World of Outlaws "Dirty Dozen" on Feb. 17-18. The No. 15 team will also compete Feb. 14-16 and Feb. 19 in UMP Sanctioned events at Volusia.
Danny Lasoski nabbed two Top-10 finishes at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida during the WoO Sprint Series season opening event.
Lasoski Grabs Top-10 Finish in Event Finale at Volusia
Danny "The Dude" Lasoski and the No. 20 team earned two Top-10 finishes in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series American season opener at Volusia Speedway Park last weekend. Lasoski drove the Bass Pro Shops Mopar-powered machine to a fifth-place finish on the first night of the two-day event and ended the weekend with a seventh-place finish in the event finale.
Lasoski and the No. 20 team also competed in two All Star Circuit of Champions sanctioned events last week. The team picked up a sixth-place finish on Feb. 8 and a 14th-place finish on Feb. 9. The week-long run for the World of Outlaws and All Star Series at Volusia completes the Florida Speedweeks event for the winged warriors.
Lasoski and company will head to the West Coast as the World of Outlaws Series resumes action on Feb. 25 at the Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif., and at Bakersfield Speedway on Feb. 26.
Musgrave Is Back in the Saddle for Mopar
Ted Musgrave and the Ultra Motorsports No. 1 Mopar Dodge Ram team are geared up and ready to begin the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. Yes, you read that correctly, Musgrave is back in the No. 1 truck. Ultra Motorsports temporarily shook the NCTS up a bit during the off season, announcing that Musgrave would pilot the No. 2 Team ASE Dodge, but all bets are off this weekend as Musgrave has moved back to the No. 1 Mopar sponsored machine.
The No. 1 team will qualify for the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 at the Daytona International Speedway on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. EST. Musgrave qualified 16th for the 2004 event, and after being involved in a multi-truck wreck, the team was credited with a 26th-place finish. They look to improve on last year's start in 2005.
The Florida Dodge Dealers 250 is scheduled to take place at the Daytona International Speedway on Friday. The green flag will drop at 8:15 p.m. EST, with live coverage of the event beginning on Speed Channel at 8 p.m. EST. For more information regarding Musgrave or the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, log on to www.tedmusgrave.com or www.nascar.com.