Mopar Speed news 2005-06-27

Mopar Speed Monday, June 27, 2005 NHRA FC Gateway Leads to Victory for Capps For Don Schumacher Racing and Team Mopar driver Ron Capps, the sweet smell of success came tinged with the scent of Brut cologne. Capps, driving the Brut Dodge ...

Mopar Speed
Monday, June 27, 2005

Gateway Leads to Victory for Capps

For Don Schumacher Racing and Team Mopar driver Ron Capps, the sweet smell of success came tinged with the scent of Brut cologne.

Capps, driving the Brut Dodge Stratus Funny Car, was doused with his sponsor's cologne, in place of the traditional champagne, after taking the win in the NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway in Illinois over the weekend. The victory was Capps 15th career win and first since Phoenix in 2003, and came despite the absence of Capps' crew chief, Ed "Ace" McCulloch, who was out recuperating from recent surgery.

Capps' route to victory wasn't an easy one. After qualifying second, he drew defending Funny Car champ John Force in the first round. Capps posted a 5.034/297.35 pass to dispatch the always-dangerous Force. He then bested Tony Bartone and Tony Pedregon on his way to a final match-up against Tim Wilkerson, where he saved his best for last, defeating Wilkerson with a 4.862/321.04 pass, the quickest and fastest of the elimination rounds. The win moved Capps up to fourth in the points standings.

"I feel like a lucky jockey," said Capps. "I have a great horse under me now. You can't win the Kentucky Derby riding a mule. We've been in the points hunt, but in these last three or four races it's just been a fun car to drive."

Capps' Don Schumacher Racing teammates Whit Bazemore and Gary Scelzi both suffered first-round losses, yet moved up in the points standings. Bazemore, driving the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge and adjusting to new crew chiefs Dan Olson and Todd Okuhara, qualified sixth and was able to move up to seventh place in the points standings. Scelzi drove his Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus to the pole, his third of the season, with a pass of 4.797/325.14. He had the edge against first round opponent Terry Haddock before a mechanical problem midway through the run dashed his chance for victory. Scelzi managed to hold on to second in the points race and gained seven marks on leader Force.

"It's very disappointing. It looked like it was on a really good run," remarked a dejected Scelzi. "It looked like it should have run a high 4.90 or something like that. It was just a tough break. Definitely a bad bit of luck on that one."

Mopar will sponsor the next event of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, the 26th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo., July 15-17. Look to future issues of Mopar Speed for more info on the event, as well as an in-depth Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals preview.

Coughlin Jr. Moves to Seventh in Points Battle After Gateway

Jeg Coughlin Jr. blasted to the quarterfinal round of eliminations at the NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill., where he narrowly missed a win over Greg Anderson by two-hundredths of a second. Regardless of the loss, Coughlin's weekend was a success, as he managed to move up one position, to seventh, in the NHRA POWERade championship points.

"Any time you move up the sheet instead of down, it's a good thing," Coughlin said. "You have to win rounds every race and we got one today, so we're happy about that."

Coughlin clinched the opening round victory against Vieri Gaines by posting an impressive .035- to .064-second reaction time. Coughlin beat Gaines with a 6.823 at 203.03 mph to Gaines' quicker but losing 6.805 at 203.28 mph. Coughlin then got an early jump on Anderson in the quarterfinal round, but Anderson caught and passed him for the win.

Richie Stevens Jr., had a tough day in final eliminations for the NHRA Nationals, as he lost in the first round against Greg Stanfield when Stanfield posted an outstanding .002 reaction time (.000 is perfect) to Stevens' .115. Stanfield's holeshot advantage proved insurmountable, despite Stevens' quicker and faster 6.802/203.58 mph pass. Stevens, however, hung on to the sixth spot in the Pro Stock points standings.

"I was just late at the light," said Stevens. "I hadn't been able to catch a good light all through qualifying and I guess I was just thinking about it here again and I was just late."

Allen Johnson steered his J and J Dodge Stratus R/T to a first round win against Ron Krisher with a 6.867 ET at 199.79 mph. Johnson was then eliminated in the second round by Kurt Johnson, who had a 6.738 ET at 204.60 mph to Johnson's 6.822 ET at 202.42 mph.

Mopar will sponsor the next event of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, the 26th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo., July 15-17. Look to future issues of Mopar Speed for more info on the event, as well as an in-depth Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals preview.

Musgrave Muscles His Way to Third-Place Finish at Milwaukee Mile

When the green flag dropped on the Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200 on Friday, Team Mopar driver Ted Musgrave and the No. 1 Ultra Motorsports team was gunning for their second straight win at The Milwaukee Mile. It was not to be, however, as Musgrave ran with the lead pack the entire race, but was unable to pass eventual winner Dennis Setzer, en route to a strong third-place showing.

Musgrave, who won at The Milwaukee Mile from the pole in 2004, remained at third in the points standings, only 44 points behind Setzer. The encouraging top-five Milwaukee outing comes after Musgrave relinquished the points lead in a heartbreaking finish at Michigan on June 18, where mechanical troubles dropped the No. 1 car from 2nd to 28th on the second-to-last lap of the event.

The July 4th holiday weekend will see the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series travel to Kansas for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway this Saturday, July 2. Live coverage of the race can be seen on Speed Channel beginning at 3 p.m. EDT.

Wise, Drake Score Top-Tens at Richmond

The USAC National Silver Crown Series event at Richmond International Raceway in Virginia on Saturday, June 25, saw four different drivers pick up Top-10 finishes for Team Mopar. Josh Wise and Jay Drake brought the No. 10 and No. 22 machines across the line in ninth and tenth-place to wrap up a solid outing for Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises. Wise is ranked third in USAC National Silver Crown Series points, while Drake is currently in fifth place.

Brian Tyler and the Team-Six-R crew put on a solid display throughout the event, landing the No. 21 machine on the podium in second place at race conclusion. Bud Kaeding, piloting the No. 19 machine for Evernham Motorsports' Kasey Kahne, posted a fourth-place run on the day. Tyler is currently second in USAC National Silver Crown Series points, while Kaeding sits in fourth position.

Hoffman Auto Racing also participated in the weekend event, as driver Eric Gordon drove the No. 69 machine to a 20th-place finish after qualifying in sixth position.

The USAC National Silver Crown Series will return to action this coming weekend on July 3 at the Pikes Peak International Raceway in Colorado with the "Rocky Mountain Classic."

Drake Maintains Points Lead After Richmond Event

The Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises duo of Josh Wise and Jay Drake had solid runs going in the USAC National Sprint Car Series event at Richmond International Raceway in Virginia on Friday, before magneto failures caused the pair to drop from competition. Drake was running a solid fourth place before the mechanical failure sidelined him for the day, and the No. 21 team was looking at picking up another Top-five finish to pad its series points lead. Drake was credited with a 17th-place finish at the end of the 60-lap event.

Wise was also headed to the front of the field when mechanical woes took him out of contention. The No. 20 team also would have earned another Top-five finish had things worked out better at the conclusion of the race. Wise was scored in the 13th position in his first outing at the 3/4-mile facility. The pair were able to maintain their position in the USAC National Sprint Car Series points chase, as Drake maintained his first place ranking and Wise is currently still ranked in the fifth spot.

Nicholas Racing's Dave Steele earned a third-place finish on the day in the No. 02 machine to bolster the team's points ranking. Steele, who qualified eighth, stayed out of trouble and solidly worked his way to the front to pick up the podium finish. He is currently ranked ninth in USAC National Sprint Car Series points, competing in pavement events only.

The Hoffman Auto Racing No. 69 machine also picked up a Top-10 finish, as weekend pilot Brian Tyler finished the event in eighth. Tyler took the weekend as an opportunity to continue the success that the No. 69 team has seen thus far in 2005.

The USAC National Sprint Car Series will resume action on July 8 at Toledo Speedway in Toledo, Ohio.

Lasoski Captures Sixth-Place Finish at Missouri State Fair Speedway

Danny Lasoski and the No. 20 Tony Stewart Motorsports team posted a solid sixth-place finish at the Missouri State Fair Speedway on June 22 to kick off last week's World of Outlaws Sprint Series action. In addition to racing, "The Dude" was busy playing host to several thousand of his closest friends, as he and his team manager, Tony Ross, were also the promoters of the "Arctic Cat Summer Nationals" event in Sedalia, Mo. The racing event was part of a fundraising effort that benefited the Michael Ross Memorial Foundation, which was established in memory of Ross' son.

Sammy Swindell and the No. 5 Forbrook Motorsports team rejoined the World of Outlaws Sprint Series tour for the event, wasting little time in making their presence known. Swindell qualified third and won the first dash event en route to a fourth-place finish in the A-main event. The No. 5 team also led the first 10 laps of the feature event to cap the team's evening.

Brandon Wimmer and the No. 7w Wimmer-Luck Motorsports team earned a victory in the first heat race to lock themselves into the A-main event. Wimmer was credited with a 20th-place finish on the night.

Moving on to Knoxville Raceway in Iowa for the weekend, Lasoski found himself once again at his personal playground. "The Dude" was passing for second in the third heat race when the motor let go, forcing him to run the B-main event. The No. 20 team recovered to pick up a second-place finish in the B-main event. Ending a frustrating evening on a high note, Lasoski drove to a sixth-place finish in the A-main event to close the evening.

Swindell also turned up the heat at Knoxville, as the Forbrook Motorsports team came together for a third-place A-main finish. The No. 5 team battled back from a 13th-place qualifying effort to earn a podium finish. Swindell and Forbrook will be gunning for a victory in the Knoxville Nationals in August.

Rain washed out Saturday night's event finale, and the results from Friday's preliminary action were used to determine the outcome of the event. Lasoski maintained his fifth-place standing in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series points chase, while Wimmer is 18th and Swindell is 19th.

The World of Outlaws Sprint Series will return to action on June 28 at Huset's Speedway in South Dakota. They then move to the Red River Valley Speedway in North Dakota on July 1-2, wrapping up the holiday weekend at Cedar Lake Speedway in Wisconsin on July 4.


Dodson Wins Fourth Straight with Mopar Power

Cameron Dodson picked up his fourth straight Auto Value Super Sprints Series victory at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan over the weekend. The 16-year-old standout from Greenfield, Ind., kick-started the evening by setting quick time in the RAM Engineering No. 50m machine, turning a lap of 13.326 seconds to pace the field. Dodson then went on to pick up a heat race win en route to locking himself into the Feature event.

Showing the patience of a veteran, Dodson stayed near the front of the field throughout the duration of the 30-lap event. Working on a pass for the lead for over three laps, Dodson made the high line stick on lap 28 to earn the lead. Leading only two laps of the feature event, Dodson made sure they were the most important two laps of the night, as he crossed the finish line for the win. The victory helped Dodson maintain his Auto Value Super Sprint Series championship points lead, and he also earned "Rookie of the Race" honors for the night.


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About this article
Series NASCAR , NHRA , USAC , World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Jeg Coughlin , Richie Stevens Jr. , Kurt Johnson , Tony Pedregon , Tony Bartone , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher , Ted Musgrave , Dennis Setzer , Danny Lasoski , Kasey Kahne , Greg Stanfield , Dave Steele , Brian Tyler , Bud Kaeding , Sammy Swindell , Tim Wilkerson , Jay Drake , Vieri Gaines , Allen Johnson , Eric Gordon , Josh Wise , Don Schumacher , Cameron Dodson