Mopar Speed Monday, February 28, 2005 NHRA PS Johnson Grabs Long-Awaited Victory at Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals "It's been a while since Mopar has won a race in Pro Stock, so it's nice to put them back in the winner's circle. Maybe...
Monday, February 28, 2005
Johnson Grabs Long-Awaited Victory at Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals
"It's been a while since Mopar has won a race in Pro Stock, so it's nice
to put them back in the winner's circle. Maybe between all of us Mopar
drivers, now we can start adding some up for them."
Allen Johnson, on his victory in the Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals, which gave Mopar its first Pro Stock win since Larry Morgan scored a victory in his Hemi-powered Dodge Neon R/T at the 2002 Fram Autolite Nationals in Sonoma, Calif.
Team Mopar's Allen Johnson drove his Hemi-powered J & J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T to victory Sunday in the Pro Stock finals of the NHRA POWERade Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals, held at Firebird Raceway in Chandler, Ariz. Johnson defeated Ron Krishner in the finals with a 6.801 et and a speed of 202.36 mph.
The long overdue win gave Johnson his first victory since 2002 and put the Team Mopar driver on top of the Pro Stock points standings, the first time in Johnson's nine-year career that he has held the position. The victory also put Mopar in the Pro Stock winner's circle for the first time since 2002.
"I think parity is back in Pro Stock," said Johnson. "We've been dominated by Greg [Anderson] for the last two years, so the rest of us are pretty anxious to get some wins ourselves. This was a big win for our program and for Mopar."
Team Mopar and Don Schumacher Racing drivers Richie Stevens Jr., and Jeg Coughlin Jr., posted impressive outings as well. Stevens grabbed the No. 1 qualifying spot and posted career bests with an et of 6.735 and speed of 205.35 mph, setting track records in the process. In the first round, Stevens defeated rookie Erica Anders to advance to an all-Mopar second-round matchup with teammate Coughlin. Coughlin pulled out the victory and moved on to the semis against Mopar teammate Johnson, who grabbed the victory on his way to the overall event win.
Next up is the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., March 18-20.
Musgrave Posts Another Top-Five Finish at Fontana
Ted Musgrave and the No. 1 Ultra Motorsports Mopar Dodge Ram team turned in another impressive run in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Friday night Musgrave scored his second consecutive fifth-place finish in the American Racing Wheels 200 at California Speedway. The veteran's solid performances have left him sitting prominently in fourth place in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship chase.
Musgrave qualified the No. 1 Mopar Dodge Ram in the 16th position at 176.315 mph. He fought steadily from his eighth row starting position to the front, and remained in the top half of the field for the greater part of the event. By lap 30 he was running in second place, and as caution flags and pit stops shuffled the running order, Musgrave was in eighth place at lap 90. He picked up three positions in the final 10 laps to earn the team's second straight Top-five finish.
Steve Park picked up the second season victory for Dodge Motorsports, driving the No. 62 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Dodge Ram to his first win in exactly four years. Park last stood in victory lane on February 25, 2001, at Rockingham Speedway, after winning a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event. Fellow Dodge Motorsports driver Bobby Hamilton came across the line in second place, marking the second consecutive 1-2 Dodge finish of the 2005 season. Four of the Top-10 finishers were piloting Dodge Rams, as Ultra Motorsports' Jimmy Spencer drove the No. 2 Team ASE Dodge Ram to a seventh-place finish.
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will return to action March 18 in the World Financial Group 200 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Capps Blasts Into Final Round of the NHRA Nationals
"There was a lot of adrenaline pumping today. All in all, putting a race
on like that for the fans was pretty awesome. To come out on the losing
end hurts a little bit, but it's OK. We made huge, huge gains."
-Ron Capps, discussing his near win against John Force.
It was oh-so-close to ending just the way Team Mopar and Don Schumacher Racing driver Ron Capps had pictured it. Capps found himself facing 13-time Funny Car champion John Force in the final round, and seeking his first Funny Car win since his last victory right here in Phoenix in 2003. Capps launched first at the light, with a stunning .060 reaction time to Force's .095. Capps was ahead at half-track, but Force ran him down for the triumph, collecting the win by a margin of .0196 of a second. The numbers: 4.802/324.12 for Force; 4.856/321.27 for Capps.
"I actually thought we won," said a disappointed Capps. "You are tucked back in that Dodge body so far that you can't see the guy next to you. Even in a close race you can't hear him, so I thought the light was burned out on the guardrail when I went through there. Then I saw John's light at the last second; it was on, so I knew it had to be a close race."
Capps put together a stellar outing, defeating Pomona winner Tommy Johnson, Robert Hight and Phil Burkart Jr., on the way to his finals appearance.
Don Schumacher teammates Whit Bazemore and Gary Scelzi posted early round wins, with Bazemore besting the defending event champion and No. 3 qualifier Del Worsham before bowing out in his match against Burkart. Scelzi handily dismissed Tim Wilkerson in the first round with a winning 4.763/328.54 lap. Scelzi was defeated in the second round in a matchup against Force.
Rounding out a spectacular weekened for Mopar-powered cars in NHRA POWERade competition, the Hemi-powered U.S. Army dragster of Tony Schumahcer grabbed the event win in the Top Fuel division, defeating Morgan Lucas and regaining the Top Fuel points lead. Schumacher drove his Hemi-powered dragster to the Top Fuel championship in 2004.
Next up in NHRA Funny Car action is the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., March 18-20.
Lasoski Picks Up 11th Place Finishes at Thunderbowl, Bakersfield Speedway
Danny Lasoski and the No. 20 Tony Stewart Motorsports team picked up a pair of 11th-place finishes in World of Outlaws Sprint Series competition on the left coast over the weekend. "The Dude" qualified in third position at the Tulare Thunderbowl in Tulare, Calif., and was headed to the front of the third heat race when he was collected by Kevin Swindell. The tussle resulted in the No. 20 machine being sent to the pits to repair a bent left front wheel and drag link. Lasoski was unable to restart the heat and had to run the B-main, where he picked up a second-place finish.
The A-main event saw Tim Shaffer in the Mopar-powered No. 6 Casey's General Stores machine get his first victory of the season. Shaffer picked up the lead with five laps left to drive the Lonny Parsons-owned machine into victory lane. Shaffer's last victory came in October of 2004. Lasoski battled his way to an 11th place finish in the A-main event.
The series moved on to Bakersfield Speedway for Saturday night's racing action. The event marked the first time in 10 years that the World of Outlaws Sprint Series had taken the green flag at the facility. Lasoski again qualified in third position and pulled off a second place finish in the B-main to transfer to the A-main starting field. "The Dude" utilized traffic and a tacky track to bring the No. 20 machine across the finish line to an 11th-place finish.
The World of Outlaws Sprint Series will resume action this weekend in the Cactus Classic at Manzanita Speedway on March 4-5. It then moves on to The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the J.D. Byrider World of Outlaws Nationals on March 10-11.
USAC Mopar to Sponsor USAC Event at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway
Mopar has announced that it will sponsor the second running of the Mopar Sprint Car Nationals at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway this fall. Scheduled for October 12, 2005, the event will feature the wingless warriors of the USAC National Sprint Car Series as well as the newly formed CRASHCar Series.
The mud-slinging machines of the USAC National Sprint Car Series will again invade the land of NASCAR, as the event is to be held in conjunction with the fall NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The Mopar Sprint Car Nationals event showcases the thrilling speed and excitement of open-wheel racing at one of the country's premier dirt track facilities.
The event will mark the third appearance by the USAC National Sprint Car Series at the four-tenths-mile oval. Last season's event boasted both a strong field of competitors and fan attendance, who witnessed USAC standout Levi Jones take the title. Expected entries for the Mopar Sprint Car Nationals include Team Mopar stars Jay Drake and Josh Wise, as well as Dave Darland, Bud Kaeding and Levi Jones.
Tickets can be purchased for the event by calling (800) 455-FANS. For more information regarding the Mopar Sprint Car Nationals, log on to www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or www.moparspeed.com.
Hubinette Drives Mopar Viper Competition Coupe to Second Straight Viper Racing League Victory
Samuel Hubinette continued his winning ways at ButtonWillow Raceway on February 19-20, as "The Crazy Swede" picked up his second straight victory in Viper Racing League competition. Hubinette piloted the Mopar Viper Competition Coupe, owned by Marko Radosavljevic, to a victory in the GT-WC class of the Michelin Challenge Series.
After a practice day on Friday, Feb. 18, Hubinette took the Mopar Viper Competition Coupe through its paces on Saturday. While running laps for qualifying, the transponder attached to Hubinette's machine didn't register any data, forcing the team to start the race in the rear of the field. Starting the race at the tail of the 14-car field, Hubinette powered his way to the lead within two laps of taking the green flag. He went on to win Saturday's event.
Hubinette's victory on Saturday mandated that he begin Sunday's race from the rear of the field. After moving the starting time up due to impending weather, Hubinette again drove straight to the front. He passed the entire field in just three laps and went on to again claim the victory.
Hubinette and the Mopar Viper Competition Coupe will return to Viper Racing League action on March 12 and 13 at Thunderhill Park in Willows, Calif.