Mopar Speed Tuesday, September 7, 2004 WoO Lasoski wins second straight Harvest Classic Danny Lasoski won his second straight "Harvest Classic" title at the Calistoga (Calif.) Speedway behind the wheel of the Mopar-powered No. 20 car from Tony...
Tuesday, September 7, 2004
Lasoski wins second straight Harvest Classic
Danny Lasoski won his second straight "Harvest Classic" title at the Calistoga (Calif.) Speedway behind the wheel of the Mopar-powered No. 20 car from Tony Stewart Motorsports.
Lasoski took the lead away from World of Outlaws point leader Steve Kinser on Lap 12 to win the 30-lap feature event. Taking the checkered flag with a full straight-away lead on the field, the No. 20 team pocketed $20,000 for their efforts. It was Lasoski's tenth victory of the season. "The Dude" earned tenth and fourth place finishes in preliminary competition en route to winning the finale on Sunday.
Earlier in the week, the team set quick time, their 13th of the year, at Cottage Grove (Ore.) Speedway to put themselves in position to score a fourth place A-main finish. Lasoski remains second in the World of Outlaws point race, but has gained considerably on leader Kinser in recent weeks by posting numerous solid finishes.
The World of Outlaws series moves on to the Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif., Thursday through Saturday for the 51st annual Gold Cup Race of Champions event. Lasoski's "Harvest Classic" win can be seen on The Outdoor Channel on September 29 at 8 p.m., EST.
"They tried to make it tough on us here. I don't know if (Steve) Kinser
broke a motor or what. All the credit goes to my guys Jimmy Carr, Todd
Splain, and Mikey --they do a great job for me, and I can't say enough
about this J.D. Byrider, Home Depot, Mopar team. The points seem to go
away and come back again all season long, and I just want to make it
exciting. This Kistler engine, Hoosier tires, Eagle chassis combination
is the best that you can get."
-- Danny Lasoski, after winning the Harvest Classic at Calistoga
Koretsky makes finals, five Mopars qualify
"We came to the U.S. Nationals with the goal of qualifying well, and we
were very successful in doing so. This team worked hard this weekend, and
we were rewarded with a second-place qualifying effort. We've done a good
job this season, and at this point, I'm working on getting everything
together on my end to make sure we qualify well at each event. Qualifying
consistently puts you in a position to run well, and that's what we've
done so far this season."
-- Larry Morgan, who scored a round victory yesterday at the U.S. Nationals and watched his engine client Kenny Koretsky narrowly miss winning the race.
Kenny Koretsky had his best performance of the year yesterday, driving to the final round of NHRA POWERade Pro Stock competition at the prestigious U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
In a race that saw Mopar qualify an impressive five cars, Koretsky lost the final to Greg Anderson by a mere five feet. Koretsky advanced to the money round at the expense of Mopar drivers Allen Johnson in the first round and Larry Morgan (who builds Koretsky's Hemi® engines) in the quarterfinals. Koretsky drove the Nitrofish Wear Dodge Stratus past Mike Edwards in the semis.
Morgan qualified second and dismissed Mopar driver Mike Corvo Jr. in round one before red-lighting against his client Koretsky in the quarterfinals. V. Gaines was unable to get past Mike Edwards in the first round.
Morgan leads the Mopar Pro Stock contingent in the point standings in fifth. Koretsky's solid performance at Indy moved him into the top-ten in points for the first time this season. Johnson, Gaines and Corvo are 14th, 16th and 24th, respectively.
The next race on the NHRA POWERade schedule is at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., Sept. 16-19.
Scelzi, Bazemore drive Dodges to semis; Schumacher, Brown win
Teammates Gary Scelzi and Whit Bazemore from Don Schumacher Racing both drove their Dodge Stratus Funny Cars into the semifinals at the 50th U.S. Nationals yesterday at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Scelzi knocked off point leader John Force with a holeshot victory in the second round. It marked the fifth straight race that the two have met in eliminations. Scelzi eliminated teammate Johnny Gray in the first round, beat Force, but was not able to get past Cruz Pedregon in the semifinals.
Two-time U.S. Nationals champion Bazemore drove his Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus to beat Tommy Johnson Jr. and Tony Pedregon. Bazemore cut a better light than Gary Densham in the semifinal round but was unable to stay ahead of his competitor after hazing the tires early in the run.
Scelzi and his Hemi-powered Oakley Dodge team are now only 206 points behind Force in second place in the Funny Car standings. Bazemore is right behind Scelzi in third place, so the remaining five events of the season will prove crucial to these Mopar-sposored teams' efforts in capturing a championship.
Tony Schumacher drove his Hemi-powered U.S. Army dragster to victory at the 50th Mac Tools U.S. Nationals yesterday at Indianapolis Raceway Park. It was the fourth time in five years that the Don Schumacher Racing driver has captured the Top Fuel class in the NHRA's most prestigious race. The only other Top Fuel driver to have more victories at the U.S. Nats is "Big Daddy" Don Garlits.
Antron Brown, rider of one of Schumacher's U.S. Army motorcycles, also brought home his second-career victory at the U.S. Nationals for the Schumacher camp.
The next race on the NHRA POWERade schedule is at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., Sept. 16-19.
"It's been a duel all year long and I like it. And I really enjoy racing him because he doesn't play any games and he's a 12-time champion and nobody else out here can say that.
"It's big. It's fun. It's exciting. You just get up to race the champ
because you know that his car is fast and John is the best driver out
here. He's always ready."
-- Gary Scelzi, after beating John Force at the U.S. Nationals. Scelzi now holds a 7-5 career win-loss advantage over Force.
Scelzi's Don Schumacher teammates Tony Schumacher and Antron Brown took home the big trophies in the Top Fuel and Pro Stock Bike categories, respectively.
Francis keeps finishing strong
Mopar driver Steve Francis sits atop the point standings in the WoO Late Model series.
Steve Francis won his heat race and finished second in the 50-lap feature at Atomic Motor Speedway in Oak Ridge, Tenn. on Saturday.
The driver of the No. 15 Mopar-sponsored Dodge Intrepid went on to turn in a tenth-place result at Portsmouth (Ohio) Raceway Park on Sunday.
Francis continues to lead the point standings in what he considers his best season. Sanctioned WoO Late Model competition is on-hold this week because many competitors will race in the historic World 100 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
Coughlin crowned Mopar Hemi® Challenge champion
Mopar crowned the first champion of the 2004 Mac Tools U.S. Nationals Friday night, as Jeg Coughlin Jr., took home a $10,000 paycheck for winning the fourth annual Mopar Super Stock Hemi Challenge. The NHRA POWERade series Pro Stock division veteran piloted his 1968 West Coast Hemis Plymouth Barracuda down the track at 149.80 mph with an E.T. of 8.790 to come out on top of the 22-car field. The victory marked not only Coughlin's first time competing in the event, but also his first time competing in the SS/AA class.
"By winning the Mopar Hemi Challenge, we've accomplished everything we set out to achieve in this race," Coughlin said. "We really climbed a mountain here. It was so exciting to see all the fans, cameras and especially the trophy after we got the win. This event is just outstanding, and to be named as the champion is something I'll never forget."
"These guys have got their act together," Coughlin said. "I sat in the car for the first time at Sonoma a few weeks ago, and my first run was yesterday afternoon. This West Coast Hemis team works extremely hard, and they gave me an outstanding car to drive. I can't thank them enough."
Fans were treated to a bit of Hemi nostalgia, as former SS/AA champions Herb McCandless, Ron Mancini and Arlen Vanke were recognized as Mopar's "Hemi Heroes" for the event. The trio was invited to serve as honorary starters during the first round of the competition.
The Mopar Super Stock Hemi Challenge was created to capture the spirit of the Hemi brand. Featuring 1968 Plymouth Hemi Barracudas and Hemi Dodge Darts, the event has grown from a field of 17 entrants in 2001 to this year's field of over 20 racing machines. Upon their production in 1968, the Plymouth Hemi Barracuda and Hemi Dodge Dart models were designed to be the ultimate performance vehicle of their time, and were utilized in Super Stock competition. Today's Super Stock Hemi engine produces well over 850 horsepower and features Mopar Performance engine blocks and cylinder heads.
Harry Holton of the West Coast Hemis group owns the 1968 Hemi Plymouth Barracuda that Jeg Coughlin drove to victory at the U.S. Nationals on Friday.
Holton and his son, Chris, shared time as crew chief on the machine. The team had little time to prepare, as Thursday's qualifying run was Coughlin's first attempt in an SS/AA machine.
Drake and Kruseman stay strong, Walker wins Crown event
Jay Drake continues to lead the USAC National Sprint series point standings behind the wheel of the No. 20 Mopar from Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises.
Jay Drake and Cory Kruseman maintained their first and third place respective standings in the USAC National Sprint Car Series with solid performances at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track over the weekend.
Drake finished fifth in the A-main after winning the B-Main earlier in the evening. The No. 20 Mopar team from Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises dominated much of the feature event before running out of fuel due to an excessive number of laps run under the caution flag. Kruseman, who was involved in an on-track incident during the first lap of the feature event which left him with a flat tire, maintained his composure to drive the No. 21 Mopar machine back through the field and finish 16th.
In USAC Silver Crown competition on Sunday at DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds, driver Tyler Walker won the Ted Horn 100 behind the wheel of a car owned by NASCAR Dodge star Kasey Kahne. Drake was credited with a 38th-place finish. After winning three events so far this season, Drake's No. 11 Mopar team Stewart-Snider Motorsports team is currently ranked sixth in points.
Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises drivers Drake, Kruseman and Josh Wise will be joined by Wilke-PAK Motorsports' Davey Ray for a USAC National Sprint Car and Midget Series doubleheader at Route 66 Raceway on Friday in Joliet, Ill. Wilke-PAK's Tracy Hines, Nicholas Motorsports' Dave Steele and Wise will then race in a USAC National Midget Car Series event at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway on Saturday. Drake, Kruseman and Steele will also compete in USAC National Sprint Car Series action on Sunday at the Music City Motorplex in Nashville, Tenn.
back on track
Additional Team Mopar racing action is also scheduled for this weekend.
Ted Musgrave will take the wheel of the No. 1 Mopar Dodge Ram in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on Thursday. Musgrave has two top-five finishes at Richmond in the last three races there. Musgrave is currently seventh in points. Check out live TV coverage on Speed Channel on Thursday beginning at 8:30 p.m., Eastern.
Rick Jones, chassis builder extraordinaire, will jump behind the wheel of his QuarterMax Dodge Stratus during IHRA competition this weekend at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H. Jones is currently fifth in the point standings.
Check out moparspeed.com next week for exclusive updates.
Ted Musgrave will race with other NCTS competitors at Richmond on Thursday evening.