Mopar Speed Monday, October 25, 2004 SCCA ProRally Shepherd/Gladysz win legendary Lake Superior season finale race A very successful 2004 season came to a close for the Mopar Dodge SRT4 SCCA ProRally teams over the weekend at the tenth annual...
Monday, October 25, 2004
Shepherd/Gladysz win legendary Lake Superior season finale race
A very successful 2004 season came to a close for the Mopar Dodge SRT4 SCCA ProRally teams over the weekend at the tenth annual Lake Superior race at Houghton, Mich. Despite the cool temperatures, wind and rain, Mopar's Doug Shepherd and co-driver Pete Gladysz captured another top-five finish overall (their third) and a Group 5 win (Shepherd's sixth, Gladysz' fifth). The only other Group 5 entry, the Mopar Dodge team of Chris Whiteman and co-driver Mike Paulin, was knocked out the first day during the third stage.
Shepherd and Gladysz used their experience, local road knowledge and night driving skills to survive the high speed and windswept roads to run third overall throughout day one. Day two opened with continual rain and sliding through one of the rough Keewenaw stage roads, which resulted in a separated halfshaft from successive jumps into deep, water-filled holes, and a wounded rear crossmember from the rocky road edges. The resultant loss of 90 seconds moved them down in the order, but they were still able to achieve their second straight fourth overall finish: first in Group 5 and 2WD. They gave Mopar and Dodge a perfect season, with nine victories in nine races on the two-wheel-drive battleground.
"Friday night's smooth yet twisty Ottawa Forest roads were well suited to the high horsepower delivered from SRT4. The car's handling and balance does allow it to compete effectively against the high-horsepower, four-wheel-drive machines," Shepherd said.
Chris Whiteman and Mike Paulin were moving up quickly in another Dodge SRT4 until a tricky, high-speed, right-hand corner caught them by surprise. They slid over the bank and down off the road and were unable to finish.
Thanks to both teams, Mopar and Dodge won the overall SCCA ProRally manufacturer title. Shepherd and Gladysz also claimed the top driver and co-driver spots for the year in 2WD and Group 5 in their SRT4, which features parts upgrades from Mopar Performance, such as the Stage 3 Turbo Kit and Stage 3 Suspension Kit. The overall manufacturer championship marks the first time since 1977 (when they tied with Datsun) that the Dodge boys have topped SCCA ProRally competition. Last season, the Goodguys took home the manufacturer honors in Overall 2WD, Group 5 and Group 2. In 2004 the Overall 2WD and Group 5 trophies will again go home to Auburn Hills.
"This has been a tremendous season for the Mopar/Dodge Pro Rally Teams
and for the Dodge SRT4. Our goals were to again win the Group 5 and
Two-Wheel-Drive Rally Championship and to develop the SRT4 and its Mopar
Performance lineup of parts into the best performing two-wheel-drive car
in the country."
Pete Gladysz reflects on his championship SCCA ProRally season.
Musgrave takes a top-five in Martinsville
Ted Musgrave continued his charge to the front of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings over the weekend, posting a fifth-place finish at Martinsville Speedway. The No. 1 Ultra Motorsports team gained 165 placement points and 10 bonus points for its efforts on Saturday. Musgrave drove the No. 1 Mopar Dodge Ram to the front of the field early on and led a total of 101 laps during the race. Jamie McMurray drove the No. 2 Ultra Motorsports entry to the win, while Dennis Setzer took over first place in the point race.
Heading to the next event at the Phoenix International Raceway this weekend, Musgrave is only 91 points out of the lead in third position. In the series' appearance at the facility last October, Musgrave won the pole and finished second. The No. 1 Mopar Dodge Ram team is still mathematically in the hunt for the 2004 title as they enter the last three races of the season.
Live coverage from Phoenix International Raceway begins at 5:15 p.m. EST on the Motor Racing Network, and at 5:30 p.m. EST on Speed Channel.
Francis victorious at Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway
Steve Francis and the No. 15 team picked up a victory in the Commonwealth Cup at the Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway, in Calvert City, Ky., on Saturday night. "The Kentucky Colonel" grabbed $20,000 for the win in the open series event. Francis also drove the No. 15 machine to a second-place finish in the unsanctioned Bluegrass Nationals event at the facility on Friday.
Francis will head to the Delta Bowl Speedway in Tunica, Miss., October 29-30 for the World of Outlaws Late Model Series season finale. The series' awards banquet will be held in Tunica, on October 31. Francis is currently second in World of Outlaws Late Model Series points.
Rain postpones races
Danny Lasoski and the No. 20 team had the weekend off unexpectedly, as Mother Nature prevailed over the World of Outlaws Series. The events scheduled for October 22 and October 23 at Leesville Speedway and Houston Raceway Park were both rained out as heavy rain blanketed the Texas region.
The No. 20 team will resume action this week at the Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif. "The Dude" trails point leader Steve Kinser by 218 markers as the series heads West for the final two weeks of the 2004 season. Lasoski posted a ninth-place finish in the series' last appearance at the facility in 2003.
Carlson, Mohler rip it up at Pomona Raceway
Shaun Carlson qualified his Mopar Dodge SRT4 third last weekend at the NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series event at Pomona Raceway in Pomona, Calif. He won the first round of eliminations with an ET of 7.800 and a speed of 150.31 mph. He lost the second round to Ed Bergenholtz, as he was a no-show at the line. The car suffered problems in the first round and they were unable to correct them for the second round.
Scott Mohler raced his Mopar Dodge Neon in the All Motor division to qualify third and win the first round of eliminations with an ET of 10.033 and a speed of 134.43 mph. He lost in the second round to Norris Prayoonoto.
Jones qualifies sixth at the world finals.
Rick Jones qualified his Quarter Max/Mopar Stratus in the sixth spot after the first round in the IHRA Bethesda Softworks World Finals in Rockingham, N.C., posting an ET of 6.492 and a speed of 212.90. Jones advanced to the elimination rounds on Sunday, before bowing out in the 12th and final race of the IHRA season.
Jones, who grabbed a win earlier in the season in the IHRA Motor City Nationals in Milan, Mich., finished sixth in the final IHRA Pro Stock point standings. In addition to helming his Mopar Stratus, Jones' company, Rick Jones Race Cars, builds the chassis for all three Team Mopar NHRA POWERade Pro Stock cars.
Mopar to host virtual dirt track challenge at SEMA
For those who have ever watched an open wheel racing event and thought "I can do that," Mopar presents an opportunity to back up their claim. On November 2-3 the Mopar Virtual Dirt Track Challenge will take place during the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
SEMA show attendees will have an opportunity to go head-to-head against themselves and NASCAR champion Tony Stewart in the Mopar Virtual Dirt Track Challenge. Competitors inside the cockpit of the No. 20 or No. 21 Mopar sprint cars will take on the high-banks of the famed Eldora Speedway, courtesy of the Ratbag World of Outlaws Sprintcars game.
Qualifying for the Mopar Virtual Dirt Track Challenge will begin at 9 a.m. PST on Tuesday, Nov. 2, and continue through the show's close at 5 p.m. that evening. Time trials will resume at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 3, and conclude at 12:30 p.m. Competitors are allowed one qualification attempt per day. The top eight qualifiers will be placed in a tournament bracket that will feature single eliminations, and the eventual winner will face Stewart in the final round. The bracket elimination round is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m., and the final round is scheduled for 2 p.m.
If Stewart's opponent is able to defeat him in the final round, he or she will win his or her choice of an all-inclusive trip for two to either the Chili Bowl in Tulsa, Okla., USAC's Copper World Classic in Phoenix, Ariz., or the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif. If Stewart is victorious, his opponent will receive a Playstation 2 game system, courtesy of Mopar. Each of the top eight qualifiers will receive a "MoPowered" T-shirt, and the top qualifier will also receive a Mopar hat.
Mopar's display for the SEMA show is located at booth No. 42327 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Participants are responsible for their timeliness during the qualifying and final rounds. Any final round participant who is absent during the designated time of competition forfeits his or her opportunity to compete.
The top qualifier in the Mopar Virtual Dirt Track Challenge will go head-to-head against racing legend Tony Stewart.