Mopar Speed news 2005-04-25

Mopar Speed Monday, April 25, 2005 woo Lasoski Scores Sixth-Place Finish at 81 Speedway Danny Lasoski and the No. 20 team picked up another Top-10 finish over the weekend to maintain their sixth-place standing in the World of Outlaws Sprint ...

Mopar Speed
Monday, April 25, 2005

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Lasoski Scores Sixth-Place Finish at 81 Speedway

Danny Lasoski and the No. 20 team picked up another Top-10 finish over the weekend to maintain their sixth-place standing in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series Championship. "The Dude" kicked off the weekend with a 15th-place finish at the Outlaw Motor Speedway in Oklahoma on Friday night and followed the effort up with a sixth-place finish at the 81 Speedway in Kansas on Saturday night to wrap up the weekend.

Sammy Swindell and the Forbrook Motorsports No. 5 team started the weekend off with a fifth-place finish at the Outlaw Motor Speedway and wrapped up the weekend with an 11th-place finish at the 81 Speedway on Saturday. Swindell also earned a victory in the second dash event on Friday night to lock the No. 5 team into the A-main event.

Brandon Wimmer and the Wimmer-Luck Motorsports team continued to gain experience, as the 17-year-old high school senior picked up a heat race win on Saturday night. Wimmer made the A-main event on both nights, earning a 17th-place finish on Friday and an 18th-place finish Saturday night.

Lasoski and the World of Outlaws Sprint Series move on to the famed Knoxville Raceway in Iowa this weekend, with preliminary action for the Spring Nationals scheduled for this Friday. The event finale will take place on Saturday. Race fans can also catch the action from 81 Speedway on The Outdoor Channel on May 4. The broadcast is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. EST.

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Francis to Chat on "Dirt Nation" Radio Program Tonight

Steve Francis and the No. 15 team had to put the brakes on their racing efforts last week, literally. Following 80-degree temperatures early in the week, Mother Nature blasted "The Kentucky Colonel's" plans with wind and snow. Francis will at least have the chance to talk about racing action tonight, as he is scheduled to be a guest on the "Dirt Nation" radio program. Race fans can log on to www.racetalklive.com to listen to the hot topics of late model racing, as well as call 877-899-7223 to participate in the show. "Dirt Nation" airs weekly from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST.

Francis, who has four feature wins so far in 2005, will resume action this week with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series. The No. 15 team will travel to Lernerville Speedway in Pennsylvania this Friday, and will wrap the weekend up at Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland on Saturday.

Team Mopar would also like to send their condolences to Francis and the No. 15 team for their recent loss of publicist Brandon McCullers. McCullers succumbed to cancer on April 1, 2005, at St. Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. The late publicist had worked in the late model arena for five years. In addition to his duties with Steve Francis Racing, McCullers had also worked for Victory Lane Communications and was an occasional columnist for the Dirt America Web site. He was also employed by Reinhardt College in Waleska, Georgia.

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Funny Car Drivers Ready to Rumble at Thunder Valley Nationals

Team Mopar and Don Schumacher Racing driver Whit Bazemore are riding high.

Fresh off his victory at the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals in Las Vegas, Bazemore enters this weekend's O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn., on top of the Funny Car points standings, with a 61-point cushion separating him from defending champion John Force. Bazemore, driving the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus R/T, has won two of five Funny Car events this season to go along with one semifinal and two quarterfinal appearances.

Bazemore's teammates Ron Capps and Gary Scelzi are also putting together stellar seasons of their own. Capps blasted away at the competition in Vegas in his Brut Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car, defeating Force in the first round and powering into the semifinals, which boosted him to sixth in the Funny Car points standings. Capps also made a final round appearance earlier in the season at the NHRA Nationals in Phoenix. Scelzi was the Top Qualifier in Vegas in his Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus R/T, and he advanced to the quarterfinals, good for eighth place in the points standings.

Qualifying coverage of the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals can be seen this Saturday on ESPN2 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST. Coverage of the elimination rounds will also be broadcast on ESPN2 on Sunday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST.

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Pro Stockers Look for Spark at Thunder Valley Nationals

When the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals begin this weekend at Bristol, Tenn., Team Mopar's Pro Stock trio of Allen Johnson, Jeg Coughlin Jr., and Richie Stevens Jr., will look to resume the success they experienced early on in the 2005 NHRA POWERade Pro Stock season.

Johnson, driving his Dodge Stratus R/T for J and J racing, which he co-owns with his father, Roy, will attempt to re-create the magic he displayed while winning the NHRA Nationals in Phoenix in February. The win gave Johnson his first victory since 2002 and, accompanied with two quarterfinals appearances, has placed him at eighth in the Pro Stock points race.

The Don Schumacher Racing duo of Coughlin and Stevens currently sit at ninth and twelfth, respectively, in the championship race and, like Johnson, will also look to recapture their early success at Phoenix this weekend. Stevens, in his Team Mopar Dodge Stratus R/T, was Top Qualifier at Phoenix and advanced to the quarterfinals. Stevens tested very well at Bristol last week and feels that he is ready for this weekend's competition.

Coughlin posted a semifinals finish at Phoenix in the Jeg's Mail Order Dodge Stratus R/T and has been hot recently, posting back-to-back quarterfinals appearances in the last two events. He has his sights set on advancing deeper into the elimination rounds at Bristol.

Qualifying coverage of the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals can be seen this Saturday on ESPN2 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST. Coverage of the elimination rounds will also be broadcast on ESPN2 on Sunday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST.

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Musgrave Takes Aim at Win, Earnings Mark at Gateway

Ted Musgrave will be looking to notch his first win of the season, and also notch his name in the record books, when the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rolls into Madison, Ill., for the Dodge Ram Tough 200 at Gateway International Raceway this Saturday.

Musgrave, who currently sits at third in the points race, is poised to reach the $3 million mark in NCTS winnings in the fewest starts of any driver in the history of the series. His front-running finishes have aided him on his bid to enter the record books, as he hasn't finished outside of the top-10 in the first four events of NCTS season. A win this weekend will launch Musgrave over the $3 million mark.

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Drake and Wise Prepare for Battle in "Border Wars"

The Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises duo of Jay Drake and Josh Wise will resume action in the USAC National Sprint Car Series this week after Mother Nature sidelined the series for much of the past few weeks. The No. 20 and No. 21 teams will travel to the bullring of the Gas City I-69 Speedway in Indiana this Friday, before heading to Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway in Ohio on Saturday for the second leg of the "Border Wars" series.

Drake, who captured the "Border Wars XX" title in 2004, will make his first dirt track run in the No. 21 Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises machine this weekend. The weekend's events will also continue Drake's defense of his 2004 USAC National Sprint Car Series Championship.

Wise will make his first "Border Wars" appearance for Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises, as well as make his debut on the dirt in the No. 20 machine. This weekend's events will also see Wise resume his hunt for the 2005 USAC "Triple Crown" title.

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About this article
Series NASCAR , NHRA , USAC , World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Richie Stevens Jr. , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , Gary Scelzi , Ted Musgrave , Danny Lasoski , Sammy Swindell , Jay Drake , Allen Johnson , Josh Wise , Don Schumacher , Steve Francis