ProRally: Mopar Speed news 2004-10-18

Mopar Speed Monday, October 18, 2004 WoO Danny Lasoski wins at 81 Speedway "I have to thank my car owner, Tony Stewart, for giving me everything I need to run this deal. JD Byrider, Home Depot and Mopar have been great for us, and next year we...

Mopar Speed
Monday, October 18, 2004

Danny Lasoski wins at 81 Speedway

"I have to thank my car owner, Tony Stewart, for giving me everything I need to run this deal. JD Byrider, Home Depot and Mopar have been great for us, and next year we have the big mouth bass--Bass Pro Shops coming on board. Kistler Engines, Eagle Chassis, and Hoosier Tires do the job for us, and I really have to thank my guys. I've got the best crew chief in the business with Jimmy Carr, and Todd Splain, and Mike Kuemper. We've been struggling here the last month, but these guys never gave up on me, and I'm really proud of that."
    -- Danny Lasoski expresses gratitude to his team for their support in helping him win at 81 Speedway in Wichita, Kan.

Danny Lasoski drove the Mopar-powered No. 20 from Tony Stewart Motorsports to a Series A-main victory at 81 Speedway in Wichita, Kan., on Saturday night to earn his 10th A-main win of the season. "The Dude" took the lead on lap 13 of the 30-lap feature and never looked back, as he crossed the finish line 15 car lengths ahead of second-place finisher and fellow Mopar-driver, Tim Shaffer. The event marked the first time the series had appeared at the speedway since 1992.

"I thought I was pretty quick on the top when I got by [Tim] Kaeding," said Lasoski. "But then I saw the King sneaking up on the bottom side, and I got running really good down there in three and four, and on the top in one and two. I'm just glad to see all these people out here in the stands--it's been a long time since we've been to Wichita."

Lasoski and company also scored a 10th-place, A-main event finish at State Fair Speedway in Oklahoma City, Okla, on October 15. The No. 20 team set quick time for the event, posting a 16.147 second lap around the half-mile oval. The team's efforts allowed them to maintain their second-place standing in the World of Outlaws Series points battle.

The World of Outlaws Series heads to Louisiana to compete at Thunder Valley Speedway in Union Hill on October 22.

Ted Musgrave finishes in the top-10 in Texas

Ted Musgrave continued his pursuit of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, as he drove the No. 1 Ultra Motorsports Mopar Dodge Ram to a sixth-place finish. Musgrave also picked up a third-place position in the series' championship points chase and established himself as a contender for the series title.

The No. 1 Mopar Dodge Ram team had two great runs at the Texas Motor Speedway this season. Musgrave earned his first Bud qualifying pole position award at the facility in June. The team finished second in the spring race, as a loose wheel kept them from overtaking eventual winner Dennis Setzer. Musgrave had hoped to recapture his opportunity to visit the winner's circle in Texas this past week, but the team came away from the event with a sixth-place finish and high hopes for the championship. The No. 1 Mopar machine started the race from the eighth row in 15th position.

As the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series heads to the Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va., this weekend, Musgrave is only 165 points behind leader Bobby Hamilton in the chase for the championship. After 21 of 25 events, Musgrave is still mathematically eligible to earn the championship title. Musgrave and the No. 1 Mopar Dodge Ram team will look to improve on their 15th-place finish at the facility in April. Coverage of the race at Martinsville Speedway will be live on Speed Channel beginning at 1 p.m. EST.

J.J. Yeley takes a top-five finish in Concord, N.C.

Team Mopar racked up a series of impressive stats over the weekend as the USAC National Sprint Car Series headed south to North Carolina and Georgia. The team collected one pole award, three top-five finishes, four top-10 finishes, three heat race wins, and one semi-feature win.

J.J. Yeley and the No. 75 Stanton Racing team earned a hard-fought fifth-place finish in the Mopar Sprint Car Nationals at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. He was joined by the Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises trio of Jay Drake, Cory Kruseman and Josh Wise in the feature event. The three were credited with 18th, 19th, and 20th positions respectively.

Drake, who had set quick time for the event and won the semi-feature en route to a feature race appearance, was retired from the race after being involved in an on-track altercation. Kruseman won the second heat race of the evening, but he also had to retire from the feature event with damage. Wise drove from the tail of the fourth heat race to pick up an impressive win to lock in to the feature, but a broken front end caused him to retire on lap 18.

The team fared much better at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Ga., on Saturday, as Yeley finished second in the feature event. He was followed to the line by Kruseman in the No. 21, who came across in third, while Drake took the checkered flag with the No. 20 Mopar in ninth place. Yeley also picked up a heat race win in the third heat of the evening. Wise flipped the No. 20s Mopar during practice and was unable to compete in the event due to extensive car damage.

Drake remains securely in the lead of the USAC National Sprint Car Series championship chase over second-place Bud Kaeding. Kruseman, who is currently in third position, is only 35 points behind Kaeding and will look to overtake the second position when the series heads to the Perris Auto Speedway, in Paris, Calif., October 28‚30.

Steve Francis competes in Kentucky

Steve Francis competed in Dirt Track World Championship Series competition over the weekend, as the No. 15 team earned an 18th-place finish at the Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway in Calvert City, Ky. "The Kentucky Colonel" was involved in a first lap crash that hindered his chances for a victory in the event, but he continued on in the feature event to post the top-20 finish.

Francis will return to the Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway on October 22--23 for the Bluegrass Nationals and Commonwealth Cup events. The No. 15 team will return to World of Outlaws Late Model Series competition on October 29--30 at the Delta Bowl Speedway for the season finale. Francis is currently second in World of Outlaws Late Model Series points.

Shepherd looks forward to racing at Lake Superior.

Lake Superior race ends championship SCCA ProRally season for Mopar/Dodge

A very successful 2004 season comes to a close for the Mopar Dodge SRT-4 SCCA ProRally teams with the Lake Superior race at Houghton, Mich., on October 22--23.

Doug Shepherd and co-driver Pete Gladysz, with five overall victories in 2WD and Group 5, will compete at the event in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, along with Chris Whiteman and co-driver Mike Paulin.

Thanks to both teams, Mopar and Dodge have already wrapped up the overall SCCA ProRally manufacturer title. Shepherd and Gladysz also claimed top driver and co-driver nods in 2WD and Group 5 in an SRT-4 that features parts upgrades, such as the Stage 3 Turbo Kit and Stage 3 Suspension Kit from Mopar Performance.


Kasey Kahne dominates in North Carolina; bad luck blocks win

Kasey Kahne led a race-high 207 laps in his No. 9 Mopar Dodge during the UAW-GM 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., but a blown right front tire on lap 268 prevented him from grabbing his first win.

Kahne's car, featuring the first-ever appearance of the Mopar "bling-bling" paint scheme on a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series entry, was considered the car to beat until the untimely blow-out accident. Kahne also drove his No. 9 Mopar Dodge to the front row in qualifying, notching second place on the starting grid.

"The 9 car was so fast I almost pretended I was leading the race," said Dale Earnhardt Jr. "Trying to catch him, I just burned my car up."

"That was the best car I had in my life," said Kahne.

Added crew chief Tommy Baldwin: "We had a great car, but we just haven't been able to have the cards our way."

Despite the bad luck that has plagued Kahne throughout the year, his rookie campaign ranks as one of the best in modern NASCAR history, comparable to the rookie seasons of NASCAR stars Tony Stewart and the deceased Dale Earnhardt Sr. Kahne, who has claimed 10 top-five finishes, including five second-place finishes, leads the race for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year award, and just narrowly missed qualifying for the Chase for the Nextel Cup ten-race playoff.

"We're proud that Kasey Kahne carried the Mopar logo for the UAW-GM 500," said Kevin Miller, Senior Brand Manager, Performance Parts Portfolio and Brand Strategy for Mopar. "The race drivers who compete under the Mopar banner are among the best in the business, and Kasey Kahne is indicative of what the Mopar brand stands for."

The next Nextel Cup Series race will take place at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va., on October 24.

"That was the best car I had in my life."
    -- Kasey Kahne speaks highly of the Mopar No. 9 Dodge he drove in Concord, N.C.

Kahne is presently in the lead for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year award.


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About this article
Series NASCAR , SCCA , USAC , World of Outlaws
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Bobby Hamilton , Tony Stewart , Ted Musgrave , Dennis Setzer , Tim Shaffer , Danny Lasoski , Kasey Kahne , J.J. Yeley , Bud Kaeding , Cory Kruseman , Jay Drake , Josh Wise , Steve Francis , Tommy Baldwin