Mopar Speed news 2004-07-26

Mopar Speed Monday, July 26, 2004 USAC Drake wins at Milwaukee, Yeley captures trophy for Stanton Jay Drake won his second straight USAC Silver Crown Series event Saturday at the Milwaukee Mile 100. Drake posted the fastest lap in ...

Mopar Speed
Monday, July 26, 2004

Drake wins at Milwaukee, Yeley captures trophy for Stanton

Jay Drake won his second straight USAC Silver Crown Series event Saturday at the Milwaukee Mile 100. Drake posted the fastest lap in qualifying, but started the race in fourth position after a decision was made by USAC to award Bobby East the pole due to a timing issue. The Mopar team from Stewart-Snider Racing held its ground as Drake drove to the front to capture the win, moving himself into seventh place in the USAC Silver Crown point standings.

The Milwaukee Mile was also kind to Dave Steele and the No. 2 Mopar team from Nicholas Motorsports. Steele led seven laps en route to a second-place finish in the USAC National Midget Series feature event. The pavement specialist also moved into the top-10 in Midget points. Wilke-PAK Motorsports' Tracy Hines drove the No. 11 Mopar to a fourth-place finish.

The No. 20 and No. 21 Mopar teams from Tony Stewart Motorsports continued their quest for the Indiana Sprint Week title, competing in four events to wrap up the seven-race series. Drake won a heat race at Gas City (Ind.) I-69 Speedway last Wednesday before rain washed out the event for the second time in a week. Cory Kruseman and the No. 21 Mopar team grabbed a solid fourth-place finish at Bloomington (Ind.) Speedway on Thursday, with Drake following in 15th place. Friday at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway Drake earned a seventh-place finish, while Kruseman was credited with a 15th-place finish.

J.J. Yeley capped off the Indiana Sprint Week series with a victory at Terre Haute in the No. 75 Mopar owned by engine builder Gary Stanton.

Yeley powered by the field to take the win, with Kruseman coming across the line in third place. Drake drove an outstanding race, starting in the back of the field and battling up to sixth position by race end. Kruseman earned third place overall in Indiana Sprint Week points, with Drake finishing the series in fifth place. Yeley was ranked in 10th position at the end of the series. Drake continues to lead the USAC National Sprint Car Series point standings with teammate Kruseman holding second.

Wilke-PAK Motorsports' Davey Ray and Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises' Josh Wise will compete in USAC National Midget competition this week, starting at Eagle Raceway in Nebraska on Tuesday. The series will then head to the Belleville (Kan.) Highbanks for the prestigious Belleville Nationals. The USAC National Sprint Car Series and Silver Crown Series have the week off.

"We're here to win this race, and running second wasn't going to do us any good, so it was either put it in the fence or drive in it, and the car really stuck."
    -- J.J. Yeley, who won the first and last events of Indiana Sprint Week in a car owned by Mopar open-wheel engine building guru Gary Stanton. In 2003 Yeley drove the No. 20 Mopar for Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises to 14 wins and the USAC Nationals Sprint Series championship.


Danny Lasoski used a brand-new Mopar 410 c.i. V8 engine to capture his first career victory at Williams Grove on Saturday. He now stands within 40 markers of leader and 17-time series champion Steve Kinser in the point standings.

Lasoski wins Summer Nationals

Danny Lasoski won the Summer Nationals finale at Williams Grove Speedway Saturday night to claim his sixth World of Outlaws feature event victory this season and his first at the Pennsylvania dirt track.

The Mopar-powered No. 20 team from Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises earned a 10th-place finish in the event preliminary on Friday night to set the stage for an impressive victory.

"The Dude" also earned a ninth-place feature event finish at Lernersville Speedway on July 20. Lasoski's consistency has him solidly in second position in WoO points, and his team has steadily gained ground recently on series leader Steve Kinser.

The No. 20 team will compete in four events in the Midwest this week, starting tonight at the Orange County Fair Speedway. The series will then move to Sharon Speedway Wednesday, Ionia Raceway Park on July 30 and the Sheboygan County Fair Park on July 31.

Scelzi and Bazemore each reach semifinals at Seattle

Both Mopar-sponsored Funny Cars from Don Schumacher Racing drove to the semifinals yesterday at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash., solidifying their high ranking in the championship battle.

Gary Scelzi knocked off Bob Gilbertson and Gary Densham in his Hemi-powered Oakley Dodge Stratus R/T, but was unable to get around John Force in their semifinal matchup. Scelzi stands fourth in points, and gained a bit on his teammate Bazemore, who is third.

Whit Bazemore, behind the wheel of his Matco Tools Dodge Stratus R/T, dismissed Ron Capps and Eric Medlen before falling to Cruz Pedregon in the semis. Bazemore is now only nine points out of second place in the standings. On July 17, Bazemore crushed the Funny Car ET record at Bandimere Speedway during the 25th annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals.

Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., will set the scene for the NHRA POWERade series event this weekend. Last season, Sonoma was the site of Scelzi's first Funny Car victory, a triumphant win which made him the first driver to reach victory lane in the NHRA's four fastest categories: Top Fuel, Funny Car, Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car. Television coverage of qualifying in Sonoma is scheduled to air on ESPN2 Saturday from 7 until 9 p.m. and Sunday from 3 to 5 a.m. Eliminations are set for 8 until 11 p.m. Sunday and 2 to 4 a.m. on Monday on ESPN2. All times are Eastern.

Gary Scelzi (right) and Whit Bazemore continue to turn in strong performances due, in large part, to the slipperiness of the Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car body. Earlier this season, Scelzi became the first Funny Car driver to eclipse the 330 mph mark, and Bazemore set the national ET record in the class when he blistered a 4.713-second assault on the quarter-mile in Joliet, Ill.

"We just got real loose out there. I had a two hundredths (of a second) better light than he did; it just got real loose. That right lane wasn't very good.

"We've got to make a change with the chassis [because] there's a little problem we have there. We'll just continue to make strides now that we have the resources from Don Schumacher Racing to [help] improve on our performance."
    -- Larry Morgan, Team Mopar driver and engine builder, on his loss to Dave Connolly after first eliminating Mark Pawuk in Pro Stock competition near Seattle.

Hemi power impressive in Seattle

The Hemi® power of Team Mopar member Larry Morgan continued to have a big impact on the Pro Stock division of NHRA POWERade series drag racing over the weekend, this time at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash.

Four Mopar-powered entries charged into eliminations yesterday, and three of them were built by Morgan. V Gaines led the way for the Dodge boys, knocking off Warren Johnson and Kenny Koretsky to reach his first semifinal of the season since switching over to a Dodge body four races ago. Gaines also qualified third, his best effort of the season.

Morgan scored a win against Mark Pawuk in the first round before slipping to Dave Connolly in the second frame. Morgan qualified fifth, extending his streak of qualifying in the top half of the field to all 14 races so far this season.

Koretsky put Rickie Smith on the hauler in the first round by a three-foot advantage at the stripe, but lost the battle of Hemi engines against Gaines in Round Two.

Allen Johnson qualified his Mopar Dodge Stratus R/T in the 13th spot, marking his ninth Sunday appearance of the season, but was unable to get by Dave Connolly in the first round.

Mike Corvo Jr., in his second race filling in for Johnson and Johnson's three-time Pro Stock champion Darrell Alderman, failed to qualify, despite tracking an impressive 6.85-second pass at 202.12 mph during Saturday's early session.

Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., will set the scene for the POWERade series event this weekend. Last season, Sonoma was the site of one of Johnson's six semifinal appearances. Television coverage of qualifying is scheduled to air on ESPN2 Saturday from 7 until 9 p.m. and Sunday from 3 to 5 a.m. Eliminations are set for 8 until 11 p.m. Sunday and 2 to 4 a.m. on Monday on ESPN2. All times are Eastern.

WoO Late Model
Francis at the top of standings

Steve Francis dominated the WoO Late Model Series event at Delaware International Speedway on Friday in his No. 15 Mopar-powered Dodge Intrepid before losing the lead on the final lap and finishing second.

"The car got tighter and tighter every lap," Francis said. "I drove it in there easy on that last lap, but I had no right front tire left and the car just pushed up. It was all over from there. I have won and lost races that way, it's just a part of racing."

Francis drove to a seventh-place finish Saturday night at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway. The "Kentucky Colonel" continues to hang very close to the lead in series points, and has been in the top-three for the past several events.

The WoO Late Models are scheduled to entertain crowds at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind., this Saturday and Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill., on Sunday.

The Gary Stanton-built Mopar powerplant in Steve Francis' late model Dodge Intrepid has helped Francis stay at the top of a tight battle in WoO Late Model Series in the point standings.


Ted Musgrave looks to impress the Detroit crowd in the NCTS event at Michigan International Speedway this Saturday. His No. 1 Mopar team from Ultra Motorsports has been on a roll as of late, scoring four top-seven finishes in his last five races.

Mopar trucks, rally cars, others return to action

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will head to Motown's backyard this weekend for a 200-miler at Michigan International Speedway. Ted Musgrave will fly Mopar colors proudly at MIS, where he finished a career-best second last year. Live television coverage is scheduled to air on Speed beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Team Mopar will return to SCCA ProRally competition this Friday and Saturday, traveling to the Maine Forest Rally. Rally legend Doug Shepherd, who won the Overall 2WD and Group 5 categories at Maine last year, will again jump behind the wheel of the No. 52 Mopar Dodge SRT-4 and attack 250 miles of flowing gravel logging trails used by local paper companies.

Shepherd will be joined by guest co-driver Joe Andreini, who has navigated in Dodge vehicles periodically since the 1970s. In fact, Andreini helped Shepherd to back-to-back Production GT championships in 1988 and 1989. Shepherd has claimed three Overall 2WD and Group 5 victories already this season with regular co-driver Pete Gladysz.

Rick Jones will represent Team Mopar in the Pro Stock class at the IHRA Canadian Nationals this weekend at Toronto (Ontario) Motorsports Park. Jones, who builds the chassis for the NHRA Pro Stockers of Team Mopar, won his first event of the season at the IHRA Motor City Nationals on July 18 in his Quarter-Max Dodge Stratus R/T.

Check out next Monday for an exclusive recap of all the Team Mopar action from the last weekend in July.


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About this article
Series NHRA , USAC , World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Darrell Alderman , Mark Pawuk , Warren Johnson , Bob Gilbertson , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , Gary Scelzi , Larry Morgan , Ted Musgrave , Gary Densham , Cruz Pedregon , Danny Lasoski , Steve Kinser , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Kenny Koretsky , Cory Kruseman , Jay Drake , Bobby East , Allen Johnson , Mike Corvo Jr. , Rickie Smith , Josh Wise , Davey Ray , Eric Medlen , Don Schumacher , Dave Connolly , Steve Francis
Teams Williams