Mopar Speed news 2004-07-06

Mopar Speed Tuesday, July 6, 2004 USAC Team Mopar sweeps Pikes Peak, Steele sets world speed record Team Mopar set a new world record and scored a triple event win over the weekend at Pikes Peak International Raceway near Fountain,...

Mopar Speed
Tuesday, July 6, 2004

Team Mopar sweeps Pikes Peak, Steele sets world speed record

Team Mopar set a new world record and scored a triple event win over the weekend at Pikes Peak International Raceway near Fountain, Colo.

Dave Steele drove his No. 20 Mopar from Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises to the fastest lap ever clocked in a pavement sprint car: 144.980 mph (24.831 seconds) around the one-mile oval. Steele broke the record of 144.950 mph that Mopar teammate Jay Drake set in 2003 behind the serious power of a similar Gary Stanton-built 410 c.i. Mopar V8.

Steele went on to win the 20-lap, rain-shortened sprint car event, with Drake bringing home the No. 20s Mopar in the runner-up spot. Their TSRE cohort Cory Kruseman crossed the finish line in 13th position.

Steele also captured the USAC National Midget Car Series portion of the event, driving his No. 2 Mopar from Nicholas Motorsports into the lead on the final lap to take the victory. Drake drove the No. 11 Mopar from Wilke-PAK Motorsports to a seventh-place finish. Josh Wise and the No. 20 Mopar team from Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises also finished in the top-10, earning a ninth place feature event finish.

Drake finished off the stellar event for Mopar with a win in the Weld Racing USAC Silver Crown Series feature event. The No. 11 Mopar team from Stewart-Snider Motorsports earned their first win in the 2004 season, leading the final 17 circuits of the 60-lap event. The win was a repeat performance for Drake, who won this event in 2003. J.J. Yeley earned a fifth place finish in the No. 111 Mopar entry in an off-weekend from his NASCAR duties.

Pikes Peak International Raceway honored the entire Mopar-sponsored team from Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises in a formal ceremony, announcing them as the new world speed record holders on Sunday evening. The team also participated in a downtown Fountain, Colo., appearance for fans on Friday evening that featured Steele, Wise, Drake and Kruseman, as well as the crew, transporter and show cars.

The USAC National Midget Car Series returns to action tomorrow at the Indianapolis Speedrome, with the USAC National Sprint Car Series competing at Toledo (Ohio) Speedway this Friday and at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Saturday. The Silver Crown competitors' next race is scheduled for July 23-24 at the Milwaukee (Wis.) Mile.

For the second year in a row, Team Mopar celebrated the Fourth of July with a ton of fireworks at Pikes Peak International Raceway.

In three races, chalk up three wins, one world record, and seven top-10s for the boys in Mopar blue.

Dave Steele (above) took the title of fastest non-winged sprint car driver in the world from Mopar teammate Jay Drake when he clicked off a lap at 144.980 mph on Saturday.


The Paul Kistler-built engines under the hood of Danny Lasoski's No. 20 car continue to remain strong, allowing Lasoski to chip away at Steve Kinser's WoO point lead.

Lasoski racks up top-five, helps raise money for children

Danny Lasoski and the Mopar-powered No. 20 team picked up their 18th top-five finish of the season last Monday night at Joplin 66 Raceway in Missouri. "The Dude" qualified second quick en route to a fourth place A-main finish.

Mother Nature won out over the World of Outlaws sprinters for the remainder of the week, washing out events at Batesville (Ark.) Speedway, Sedalia (Mo.) State Fairgrounds Speedway, and the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track.

Rain did not dampen the Michael Ross Memorial Foundation golf tournament, held June 29 at the Sedalia (Mo.) Country Club. Race drivers, foundation supporters and track officials gathered to raise money in the memory of Michael Ross, the late son of Tony Ross (Lasoski's team manager). The organization raised over $90,000 last week that will benefit the Bay Cliff Health Camp in Big Bay, Mich. The camp is the only facility of its kind in the United States that accepts children with any kind of physical handicap for the purpose of providing therapy. For more information, log on to

The World of Outlaws will resume action today at Huset's Speedway in Brandon, S.D. The series will then move to Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D., for the three-day Duel in the Dakotas event, which runs Thursday through Saturday.

Francis picks up a pair of top-fives in Portsmouth

Steve Francis drove his No. 15 Mopar-sponsored Dodge Intrepid late model to fourth- and second-place finishes at Portsmouth (Ohio) Raceway Park on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. On Sunday Francis led the first 86 laps before having to settle for second place. Francis also notched a seventh-place finish yesterday at Challenger Raceway in Indiana, Pa.

The "Kentucky Colonel" is currently third in the WoO Late Model standings. WoO Late Model competitors are scheduled to be off until July 16, when they will get back into action at Outlaw Motor Speedway in Muskogee, Okla.

Steve Francis continues to turn in solid performances behind the power of his Stanton Racing Mopar engine. Francis is third in WoO Late Model points.


Ted Musgrave was unable to muster any Independence Day fireworks in Kansas after a powerful victory at the Milwaukee Mile the week before.

Ted Musgrave earned five bonus points for leading a lap early in the race at Kansas Speedway on Saturday, but got caught up in an accident in Turn 2 on Lap 36, preventing a top finish for the No. 1 Mopar Dodge Ram. The team had hoped for a repeat of their hard-earned victory at the Milwaukee Mile on June 26.

The strong Mopar team from Ultra Motorsports was able to get the Dodge back on track to pick up valuable positions, and Musgrave brought the truck home in 30th spot. Musgrave is ninth in NCTS points.

Next up on the NCTS schedule is Kentucky Speedway, where Musgrave finished second last year. Live television coverage on Speed Channel is set to begin at 8 p.m. Eastern this Saturday.

Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals to celebrate 25th anniversary

It's that time of year again: time for Mopar to headline one of summer's most high-flying events at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, scheduled this year for July 16-18.

The 2004 Mopar Mile-High Nationals marks the silver anniversary of a national NHRA event at Bandimere. Since 1979, the picturesque facility in Morrison, Colo., has played host to nitro-burning Top Fuel and Funny Cars and hard-core Pro Stock vehicles. Pro Stock motorcycles have since been added to the schedule.

Mopar has been on board for this NHRA POWERade event near Denver since 1989, making it the longest running sponsor of a national NHRA event.

In addition to the exciting on-track action scheduled this year, the third annual Mopar Big Block Party will take the streets of downtown Golden, Colo., by storm on Thursday evening, July 15. Team Mopar drivers will be on hand to sign autographs, and there will be an assortment of culinary delights to fill drag racing fans' bellies. Capping off the evening will be a performance by platinum-selling rock group 10,000 Maniacs. Tickets for the Mopar Big Block Party will be available on-site in Golden the day of the event, or stay tuned to for more details.

Earlier this summer Bandimere hosted the inaugural Mopar Mountain Madness event. This NHRA Summit Sport Compact series event opened a new chapter in the relationship between Mopar and Bandimere Speedway. True to form, Mopar driver Scott Mohler captured the All Motor class trophy with a fine piece of driving, bringing home the hardware for his sponsor.

Tickets for the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals are still available. Visit Bandimere's Web site or call (800) 664-UWIN.

Pro Stock driver Larry Morgan will enter the Mopar Mile-High Nationals leading Team Mopar drivers in the point standings. Our spies tell us that Morgan was one of the front runners among Pro Stock competitors during testing at Bandimere Speedway last week.

Mopar also carries associate sponsorship on two record-holding Dodge Funny Cars from the Don Schumacher Racing stable.

Mopar has lots in store for the 25th running of the Mile-High Nats. Stay tuned to for more.


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About this article
Series NASCAR , NHRA , USAC , World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Larry Morgan , Ted Musgrave , Danny Lasoski , J.J. Yeley , Dave Steele , Cory Kruseman , Jay Drake , Josh Wise , Don Schumacher , Steve Francis