Mopar Speed Monday, June 13, 2005 NHRASC Mohler Conquers Again at Mopar Mountain Madness For the second year in a row, Team Mopar driver Scott Mohler proved himself master of the Mopar Mountain Madness NHRA Sport Compact Nationals at Bandimere...
Monday, June 13, 2005
Mohler Conquers Again at Mopar Mountain Madness
For the second year in a row, Team Mopar driver Scott Mohler proved himself master of the Mopar Mountain Madness NHRA Sport Compact Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado.
Mohler drove his Team Mopar and Mohler Motorsports Neon to victory in the NHRA Xplod Sport Compact All Motor division, besting Tony Shagady in the final elimination round with an ET of 11.141 and a speed of 124.51. Mohler successfully defended his 2004 All Motor Mopar Madness title and gave Mopar its second win as title sponsor of the event. Mohler now has eight career victories and 16 final round appearances, and has posted a win all four seasons in which he has competed.
"This win is unbelievable! It's been a long time coming this year, with a lot of hard work and team work," said Mohler, who also defeated Shawn Hillier and Scott Kelley in his march to the finals. "My parents have put so much into this team, it's great to win for them as well as Mopar. I guess it's just in the stars. It's incredible to win this event two years in a row."
In the Hot Rod division, Mike Crawford wheeled his Darrell Cox Racing SRT4 to a win over Kenny Tran's Honda in the first round to advance to the semifinals, before bowing out to Gary Gardella. Shaun Carlson qualified his Team Mopar NuFormz Racing SRT4 in the third position in the Pro FWD division with an ET of 8.667 and a speed of 175.07. Mechanical difficulties prevented Carlson from advancing in the elimination rounds.
Next up for the NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series is the South Florida NHRA Sport Compact Nationals at Moroso Motorsports Park in West Palm Beach, Fla., on August 20-21.
Scelzi Blows Away the Competition in Chicago
Guiding the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus Funny Car down the quarter-mile at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., during the NHRA Nationals, Gary Scelzi simply blew away his competition en route to his second victory of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season. The victory marks the 31st professional win of his career and his sixth in Funny Car.
With points leader John Force eliminated in the first round, Scelzi, who came into this event third in points, was on his way to not only shaving Force's lead, but taking over second place from Robert Hight after defeating Bob Gilbertson in the first round, with a 4.755-second ET at a remarkable 330.39 mph.
Scelzi demoralized Hight in the second round by changing lanes at the last minute and easily took the win with a 4.801/327.98 to Hight's losing 6.466/139.29. The semifinal round match was a close one, but Scelzi emerged the victor against Tommy Johnson Jr. In the final round, the red hot Scelzi took the reins against the youngster Eric Medlen and lit up the track with a 4.740-second pass and another stellar 330.80 mph run to Medlen's 4.805/321.73. Scelzi not only moved back into second place, but he carved into John Force's lead and is now just 64 points behind the 13-time Funny Car champion.
"When Force went out -- and that is not going to happen very often -- we had to capitalize on it," said Scelzi. "And I said, 'God, we have to win this race.' We won the first round and everyone was saying that's great. But we knew it wasn't great, we had to keep on going. And we did. We got almost the maximum amount of points and hopefully we're going to make this a dogfight all the way to the end."
Ron Capps was a possible victim of a crosswind in the first round of eliminations, as the Brut Dodge Stratus Funny Car made a hard move to the left at the end of the grandstands on the quarter mile in his defeat against Del Worsham. Don Schumacher Racing teammate Whit Bazemore failed to qualify the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus Funny Car for a POWERade Drag Racing Series event for the first time since Reading, Pa., in 2003. Bazemore has won twice this season and led the Funny Car point standings through three events. Bazemore and Capps are currently tied for seventh in the Funny Car points standings.
Next up is the K&N Filters NHRA Supernationals in Englishtown, N.J. June 17-19.
Steele Dominates in Victory at IRP
It didn't take Dave Steele long to head to the front in the Thursday Night Heat USAC National Sprint Car event at Indianapolis Raceway Park on June 9. And once he was there, he never looked back.
Driving his No. 2 Team Mopar and Nicholas Motorsports car, Steele took the lead on lap three from Dave Darland and that was all she wrote, as he led the remaining 27 laps of the 30-lap event on his way to claiming the checkered flag. The win was Steele's second Sprint victory of the season; he currently sits at eighth in the USAC Sprint points standings.
The Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises combo of Josh Wise and Jay Drake scored impressive outings as well, with Wise setting fast time in qualifying. However, Wise had to battle for a hard-fought fourth-place finish after suffering damage in a heat race; the top-five finish moved Wise up one spot to sixth in the Sprint points standings. Teammate Drake recorded a 12th-place finish, enabling him to maintain his hold on the top spot in the Sprint points race. The Hoffman Racing No. 69 car driven by Brian Tyler also had a notable outing, cracking the top-10 and finishing in ninth place.
The Kenny Irwin Memorial USAC Sprint event scheduled for Sunday, June 12, at Winchester Speedway in Indiana was postponed due to rain. The series will return to action this Friday in the Buckeye Nationals at Limaland Motorsports Park in Ohio and on Saturday at the famed Eldora Speedway, also in Ohio, where Drake and Wise will attempt to give team owner Stewart a win at his home track.
For more info on Drake, Wise, Hoffman Racing or USAC Racing, log on to jaydrake.com, joshwiseracing.com, hoffmanracing.com or usacracing.com.
Coughlin Jr. Takes Second at Route 66 Raceway
Jeg Coughlin Jr. qualified the Jeg's Mail Order/Mopar Dodge Stratus R/T No. 7 at the NHRA Nationals in Jolliet, Ill, then steered his way to the final round and a second-place finish.
Coughlin led final round competitor, Jason Line, for most of the length of the quarter-mile track, but Line was able to squeeze by Coughlin Jr. at the finish.
"Every race was tough today," Coughlin Jr. said. "But that's the way we like it. In the final, I really thought I had Jason. I knew I was ahead at the tree and we were in the race all the way down the track. It was so close at the finish line, I had to look at the win lights to see who had won."
Richie Stevens Jr. reached the semifinal round at the NHRA Nationals for the second time this season in the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T Pro Stock racer. Stevens' strong finish from the ninth qualifying position moved him up to sixth in the Pro Stock point standings. On his way to the semis, he defeated Team Mopar teammate Allen Johnson in the J and J Dodge Stratus R/T with a 6.781/203.61 lap in the opening round while oiling down the track with rear-end fluid, then defeated Bruce Allen with a 6.793/203.19 pass.
"We did pretty well," said the New Orleans native in his first season with Don Schumacher Racing. "We came from the bottom half of the field and went some rounds, and gained some points."
The NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Drag Racing Series moves onto Englishtown, N.J., June 17-19.
Hubinette Advances to "Elite 8" in Houston
Samuel Hubinette and the Mopar SRT10 Dodge Viper Team advanced to the "Elite 8" round of the Drift Houston event on Saturday, June 11. After qualifying the Snake in the sixth position, Hubinette entered the "Sweet 16" in sixth place. Squaring off in the first round of eliminations, Hubinette defeated Hubert Young to advance to the "Elite 8" round.
Hubinette put down a good run against Tanner Foust in the second round of eliminations, but when the judges' decision came down, Foust was awarded the victory. "The Crazy Swede" had been solid throughout the competition, providing the audience with an awesome smoke show courtesy of Yokohama Tires.
"As a team, we had a good weekend," Hubinette said. "We didn't make the top four, but we were able to gain points and more experience with the car by making it to the "Elite 8." We're still learning what the judges are looking for in terms of tandem drifting, and we're going to adapt the Mopar SRT10 Dodge Viper, as well as my drifting style, to suit the judges. I'd also like to thank Yokohama Tires, Archer Racing and DC Performance for all of their help with our drifting efforts this past weekend. We're pleased with our efforts and we're looking forward to heading to Infineon in July."
The fourth round of the Need for Speed Underground Formula D Series Championship is scheduled for July 9 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. The Mopar SRT10 Dodge Viper that Hubinette competes with this season is maintained and prepared by DC Performance and Archer Racing.
For more information regarding Hubinette or the Need For Speed Underground Formula D Series Championship, log on to toxicdrift.com or formulad.
Musgrave Finishes 14th at Texas, Retains Hold on NCTS Points Race
Ted Musgrave and the No. 1 Ultra Motorsports team climbed to a 14th-place finish in the Chex 400 at the Texas Motor Speedway over the weekend. Musgrave, who qualified the No. 1 Mopar Dodge Ram in the 26th position battled throughout the course of the race to maintain the top position in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points chase.
Musgrave will carry a 17-point lead over second-place Ricky Craven, as the series moves on to the Michigan International Speedway for the Paramount Health Insurance 200 on June 18. The No. 1 team will have something of a "hometown" advantage as they take to the track, as their sponsor, Mopar, is based in Center Line, Mich. Musgrave finished second in last year's event at MIS.
Live coverage of the Paramount Health Insurance 200 is set to begin on Speed Channel at 3 p.m. EDT on June 18. MRN coverage is slated to begin at 3:15 p.m. EDT. The 100-lap/200-mile event will see the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitors do battle on the two-mile Michigan facility.
Lasoski Posts Solid Outings in WoO Midwest Competition
Danny "The Dude" Lasoski and the No. 20 Tony Stewart Motorsports team turned in two solid performances last week to maintain their fifth-place standings in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series championship. Lasoski brought the No. 20 machine home to a 14th position at I-96 Speedway in Michigan on June 9. Brandon Wimmer picked up a win in the first heat race event for Wimmer-Luck Motorsports en route to a 17th-place finish in the A-main event.
The series moved on to Sheboygan County Fair Park in Wisconsin on June 11, where Mother Nature almost stole the show. A thunderstorm KO'd qualifying for the night, and the heat race events were lined up according to the qualifying order draw. Lasoski and Wimmer both transferred to the A-main event, where Lasoski was credited with a 24th-place finish and Wimmer took the checkered flag in 16th place. Wimmer also picked up a victory in the B-main event on the night.
Lasoski, Wimmer and the World of Outlaws Sprint Series is slated to compete at Kokomo Speedway in Indiana on June 14, before traveling to Eagle Raceway in Nebraska on June 17-18 for the Eagle Nationals. Lasoski is the defending Eagle Nationals champion and will look to make it two in a row this week.
Francis Drives to Top- Five Finish at Deer Creek
Steve Francis and the No. 15 team gained another Top-five finish at Deer Creek Speedway in Minnesota, as "The Kentucky Colonel" drove his Mopar-powered machine to a second place finish on June 6. Qualifying well and starting on the pole for the A-main feature event, Francis rode to the checkered flag at the front of the field.
Francis' appearance at Eldora Speedway in Ohio for "The Dream" event didn't end so happily. The No. 15 team qualified impressively, turning a lap good enough to rank them 36th out of over 125 cars. After finishing fifth in the sixth heat race, Francis was delegated to the B-main event. Starting 12th in the B-main, Francis was caught up in an on-track altercation to not make the transfer spot. A disappointed Francis was not part of the A-main feature event field for "The Dream" for the first time in his career.
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series and Francis will resume action this week at KC Raceway in Chillicothe, Ohio, on June 17-18.
Lasoski Autograph Signing Set for Indiana Dealership
Team Mopar's Danny "The Dude" Lasoski is scheduled to sign autographs at the McGonigal dealership in Kokomo, Ind., this Tuesday, June 14. The Tony Stewart Motorsports team will be on hand to greet fans from noon to 1 p.m. CDT at the team's transporter display. Race fans will be able to purchase driver T-shirts and have photos taken with the team, as well as enjoy a live radio remote from Kokomo's WWKI 100.5 FM station.
The appearance by Lasoski and the Tony Stewart Motorsports team will kick off the World of Outlaws Sprint Series event scheduled at the Kokomo Speedway later that evening. The event marks the first time in nine years that the World of Outlaws Sprint Series has competed at the Kokomo Speedway. It will also be the first time Lasoski and others have seen the newly configured one-third-mile facility.
Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws Series champion, is currently fifth in the 2005 series' points chase. "The Dude" has four Knoxville Nationals titles to his credit, and he joined forces with team owner Tony Stewart in 2002. The team competes with Mopar power built by Paul Kistler of Kistler Engines.
The McGonigal dealership is located at 1220 East Boulevard in Kokomo, Ind. Race fans can contact the dealership by phone at (765) 459-0381 for other inquiries.