New Dodge Charger ready for debut

DODGE CHARGER SET TO LIGHT UP THE STRIP IN 2006 NHRA POWERADE FUNNY CAR SERIES DEBUT AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (March 13, 2006) -- When it comes to racing, nobody exhibits modern-era muscle more than the Dodge drag race teams competing in the...

DODGE CHARGER SET TO LIGHT UP THE STRIP IN 2006 NHRA POWERADE FUNNY CAR SERIES DEBUT

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (March 13, 2006) -- When it comes to racing, nobody exhibits modern-era muscle more than the Dodge drag race teams competing in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). So, after celebrating a 1-2 championship finish in 2005, Dodge has announced it will introduce the Dodge Charger to NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car competition in 2006, with its debut in the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., March 16-19.

The announcement comes a little more than one year following the public reveal of the 2006 Dodge Charger passenger vehicle at the 2005 North American International Auto Show and the introduction of the Dodge Charger race car to NASCAR Nextel Cup Series competition.

"The Dodge Charger is a perfect fit for the next generation of NHRA Funny Cars," said John Fernandez, Director -- Dodge Motorsports Operations. "Dodge has an incredible heritage in racing and the Charger name is synonymous with power and performance -- two key ingredients to winning in any form of racing.

"We want to build on the winning tradition that our NHRA teams established in 2005 and pave a way to even more success in 2006. With the amount of research and testing that went into developing the Dodge Charger production model -- the ultimate American muscle sedan -- as well as the Charger Funny Car, Dodge will continue to win both on the track and on the showroom floor this year."

The newly designed Dodge Charger Funny Car combines the latest in Dodge engineering advancements with an added boost of Dodge DNA. The race car features the same bold styling, signature grille and powerful performance found throughout the Dodge lineup, and it takes design cues directly from the 2006 Dodge Charger passenger vehicle. Dodge Motorsports worked closely with NHRA in developing the appearance and safety of the Dodge Charger Funny Car.

Don Schumacher Racing's stable of drivers expect to be as competitive as ever in the new Dodge Charger, which could mean a shot for returning champion Gary Scelzi to become the first driver in NHRA history to win back-to-back titles in both the Funny Car and Top Fuel divisions.

Scelzi will pilot the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger in 2006, with runner-up championship teammate Ron Capps in the Brut Dodge Charger, and NHRA veteran Whit Bazemore in the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger.

Dodge will introduce the Dodge Charger in National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Funny Car competition in 2006, with the race car making its debut at the NHRA Gatornationals, March 16-19 in Gainesville, Fla. Don Schumacher Racing driver -- and 2005 NHRA Funny Car champ -- Gary Scelzi will pilot the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger (above), with teammate Ron Capps in the Brut Dodge Charger. NHRA veteran Whit Bazemore will pilot the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger in 2006.

-dsr/js-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , Gary Scelzi , John Fernandez , Don Schumacher