Mopar Speed Friday, February 11, 2005 NHRA PS "I'm just looking forward to the first race. I haven't been to Pomona in a couple of years. It's good to be back there, and I'm glad to be part of this team. I think we'll have a car that will ...
Friday, February 11, 2005
"I'm just looking forward to the first race. I haven't been to Pomona in
a couple of years. It's good to be back there, and I'm glad to be part of
this team. I think we'll have a car that will qualify well, and if it's
capable of qualifying it's definitely capable of winning."
Team Mopar driver Richie Stevens Jr., on his return to Pomona, where he claimed a Pro Stock victory in 1998.
Team Mopar's NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Series competitors have quite an agenda as they gear up for the 45th Annual CarQuest Autoparts Winternationals this weekend. Richie Stevens Jr., Allen Johnson and Jeg Coughlin Jr., all have some unfinished business to attend to, and the trio is looking to get the 2005 season off to a smoking start.
Stevens will look to repeat his 1998 Pro Stock victory at Pomona in the Team Mopar Hemi-powered Dodge Stratus R/T. Stevens, who qualified in first position and advanced to the final round in the Pro Stock Superbowl in Houston, Texas, just one week ago, has proven himself a contender as the series heads to Pomona this weekend.
Johnson, whose team focused on its engine program in 2004, is looking for that dedication to yield big dividends this weekend. The J & J Racing team will also be a one car team in 2005, giving them more opportunity to focus on its Team Mopar HEMI-powered Dodge Stratus R/T.
"We took a lot of bumps and bruises in 2004 as we sorted out our engine program," Johnson said. "We're hoping that those growing pains will pay off in 2005. We're really excited about getting started; we're just taking this year one step at a time."
Don Schumacher Racing's second Pro Stock entry will be piloted by Coughlin, who will look to make his 400th round of NHRA Pro Stock Series competition this weekend with the beginning of the elimination rounds. Coughlin and the Jeg's Mail Order/Mopar Dodge Stratus R/T will seek its third Winternationals victory after winning the event in both 1999 and 2000.
Bazemore, Scelzi Thirst for First Winternationals Title
Teammates Gary Scelzi and Whit Bazemore have a lot in common. Both are competitors for Don Schumacher Racing in the NHRA POWERade Funny Car Series, and each pilots a Dodge Stratus in the series. The duo also shares another common thread. Both drivers are seeking their first NHRA Funny Car victories in the 45th Annual CarQuest Autoparts Winterntionals event at Pomona Raceway this weekend.
Scelzi and his crew chief Mike Neff are looking for the perfect combination in 2005 that will allow them to earn not only their first Winternationals victory, but their first NHRA Funny Car Series title as well. The team is looking for consistency, not changes, to bring them success this season.
Bazemore is seeking his first win at Pomona Raceway, and he and his crew chief Lee Beard are looking to pre-season testing to provide them with that opportunity. The team is looking to win its first NHRA POWERade Funny Car Series title in 2005 with the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus Funny Car.
"The testing went well and a win at the Winternationals would be a tremendous way to start the year," Bazemore said. "It's a race that has eluded me. Real success at Pomona has been very hard for me to achieve. I'm not sure why that is. We were runner-up a couple of times, once at the 50th Anniversary race and the World Finals, both in 2001."
"We're looking at the big picture," Bazemore said. "It's a long year, but it's important to have good results at every race, and to challenge for a championship we have to minimize the number of bad races."
"I've had a lot of success at Pomona in my Alcohol days and in my professional career. We won three Bud Shootouts and several races here. I won my first Alcohol national event here in 1985. I've got a lot of great memories of this place, it's a great race track.
It's an all-new car, and all-new Oakley 'Snow Camo' paint job, and all
the guys are revved up. It's been a short winter, but it's been a good
one and now it's time to see if the work we did over the winter paid off.
I'm ready to win my first Funny Car race."
Funny Car driver Gary Scelzi, anticipating success in the NHRA Funny Car season opener at Pomona.
Mopar, Lasoski Seek Strong Start to Season at Volusia
As Danny "The Dude" Lasoski prepares for the 34th Annual Winternationals at Volusia (Fla.) Speedway Park, the No. 20 team has already proven that they are fully prepared for an assault on the 2005 World of Outlaws Series title. With a victory during the series' Australian tour and two others following last week at Florida's East Bay Raceway Park, Lasoski and company have fully established themselves as contenders.
Lasoski will be seeking his 16th victory at Volusia, as the World of Outlaws Sprint Series hits the dirt at the facility this Friday. The No. 20 Tony Stewart Motorsports team will also be campaigning the new Mopar aluminum block under the hood as they tackle the grueling World of Outlaws Sprint Series schedule.
"The Dude," who debuted the new block at The Dirt Track @ Las Vegas last November with a victory, has now won four races in his last 10 event starts.