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post #1 of 152 (permalink) Old 12-20-2013, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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Smile 2014 Motor Sports News

[12/19/13]

FOX Sports Opens New Year With Robust Motor Sports Offerings
From two wheels on dirt to stock cars and sports cars at iconic Daytona International Speedway, the racing season awakens in a big way from the shortest "offseason" in all of sports.
[via press release from FOX Sports]


WHAT OFFSEASON? FOX SPORTS OPENS NEW YEAR WITH ROBUST MOTOR SPORTS OFFERINGS

Monster Energy Supercross, NASCAR Daytona Testing and Famed Rolex 24 at Daytona all Live on FOX Sports 1 in January

NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductions, First Duel at Daytona Under the Lights, Two New Racing Series on '14 Calendar

FOX Sports launches its 2014 motor sports season with live and exclusive coverage of a jam-packed lineup of January events. From two wheels on dirt to stock cars and sports cars at iconic Daytona International Speedway, the racing season awakens in a big way from the shortest "offseason" in all of sports.

"Over the last year we've invested in a wide variety of racing that clearly demonstrates the commitment FOX Sports has to motorsports programming," said David Nathanson, General Manager & COO of FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2. "We extended long-running relationships with NASCAR, Monster Energy Supercross, ARCA and the MotoGP World Championship, while also securing multi-platform rights for two new racing series - United SportsCar Racing and the fully electric FIA Formula E Championship."

On Saturday, Jan. 4, the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, season opens on FOX Sports 1 at 10:00 PM ET. The first race of a newly signed multi-year agreement with Feld Motor Sports�, Anaheim marks the first event in a season that sees all races telecast live for the first time ever across the FOX family of networks.

Ralph Sheheen hosts the high-energy coverage, with Hall-of-Fame rider Jeff Emig offering analysis. Five-time 450cc Class Champion Ricky Carmichael joins the team in the booth for most events, with fellow legend Jeremy McGrath filling in throughout the season to offer color commentary.

In addition to Monster Energy Supercross, the FOX family of networks also is home to popular Feld Motor Sports properties AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael's Road to Supercross, and Monster Jam. For more information on Feld Motor Sports, please visit: www.SupercrossOnline, Home - THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF AMSOIL ARENACROSS and THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF ADVANCE AUTO PARTS MONSTER JAM MONSTER TRUCKS - Home

A few days later and nearly 2,500 miles away, the 2014 version of NASCAR cars and trucks take to the track at Daytona for preseason test sessions, with FOX Sports 1 providing 12 hours of coverage over three days from Jan. 9-11.

The NASCAR on FOX team of Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds and Mike Joy call the action while NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars are on the track Jan. 9-10 (1:00 PM ET to 5:00 PM ET, Live), with Bob Dillner and Matt Yocum reporting from the pits and Jeff Hammond reporting from the garage.

Setting up camp in the garage area, host Rick Allen and analyst Hermie Sadler offer a location for drivers, crew chiefs and other personalities to talk over the day's storylines.

NASCAR Nationwide Series tests air on FOX Sports 1 from 3:00 PM ET to 7:00 PM ET on Saturday, Jan. 11, with Allen, Hammond and Phil Parsons in the booth, and Sadler, Dillner and Ray Dunlap reporting from the pits. For more information on NASCAR, please visit: NASCAR Drivers, Standings & News : NASCAR Sprint Cup Series | NASCAR.com

FOX Sports 1 stays at Daytona as a new era of sports car racing is ushered in when the IMSA-sanctioned Tudor United SportsCar Championship opens its inaugural season with the famed Rolex 24 at Daytona on Jan. 26-27. A true "all-star" event, the Rolex 24 brings together dozens of champions from all forms of racing, piloting a variety of cars in this 24-hour motorized marathon. The event's five-decade legacy is among the legends of motor sport. For more information on United SportsCar Racing, please visit: IMSA | TUDOR United SportsCar Championship

In addition, FOX Sports 1 is the exclusive television home for live coverage of the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony from Charlotte (N.C.) on Wednesday, Jan. 29. This year's inductees include Tim Flock, Jack Ingram, Dale Jarrett, Maurice Petty and Fireball Roberts. The FOX Sports 1 daily news and information show NASCAR RACE HUB begins its sixth season on Monday, Jan. 27.

As part of all the February action from Daytona Speedweeks, the ARCA Racing Series returns to the track Feb. 15, as the FOX family of networks opens a monster schedule of NASCAR racing and shoulder programming from the "World Center of Racing," including live coverage of the Sprint Unlimited (FOX Sports 1), the inaugural night running of the Budweiser Duel at Daytona (FOX Sports 1), the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race (FOX Sports 1) and the 56th running of the Daytona 500 (FOX).

In March, multi-platform coverage of the MotoGP World Championship across the FOX family of networks, as well as Moto2 and Moto3, begins with the season opener from Qatar. U.S. rounds include Sunday, April 13 from Austin, Texas and the popular new Circuit of the Americas, as well as Sunday, Aug. 10 from Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For more information on MotoGP, please visit: motogp.com · World Champion interview: Pol Espargaro

And in September, FOX Sports helps introduce the world to the FIA Formula E Championship, the first fully electric, emission-free global racing series with two stops in the U.S. - Los Angeles and Miami, and two American race teams - Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing - on the grid. For more information on the exciting new series, please visit: Formula E - Home

Stay connected to FOX Sports motor sports all year through: FOX Sports 1, SPEED | The Motors On FOX Blog, as well as through Twitter with: @FOXSportsPR, @NASCARonFOX and individual accounts for FOX Sports personalities and partners.

About FOX Sports

FOX Sports is the umbrella entity representing 21st Century FOX's wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets. Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FOX Sports includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships. FOX Sports includes the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; FOX Sports 1; FOX Sports 2; Fox's 22 regional sports networks, their affiliated regional web sites and FSN national programming; FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Soccer 2Go; FOX Deportes and FOX College Sports. In addition, FOX Sports also encompasses FOX Sports Digital, which includes FOXSports.com on MSN, FOX Sports GO, Whatifsports.com and Yardbarker.com. Also included in the Group are FOX's interests in joint-venture businesses Big Ten Network, BTN 2Go and STATS, LLC, as well as licensing agreements that establish the FOX Sports Radio Network.


Read more at Breaking News - FOX Sports Opens New Year With Robust Motor Sports Offerings | TheFutonCritic.com

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Kurt Busch: Kurt Busch named Comeback Driver of the Year

Dec. 20, 2013

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Two seasons after his release from Penske Racing, Kurt Busch's career has risen from the ashes thanks to a gritty performance behind the wheel of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet.

Busch didn't win, but he did just about everything but. He wheeled the Denver, Colo.-based organization into the Chase, the first time a single-car team has qualified for NASCAR's postseason. Busch finished 10th in the final standings with a solid log of 11 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes. The performance earned Busch a spot in a fourth Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet for 2014.


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Cool SRT Motorsports Driver Lineup for 2014

Ryan Hunter-Reay and Rob Bell Complete SRT Motorsports Driver Lineup for 2014 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship

Both drivers will join team for endurance events, including the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, Jan. 25-26, 2014

Returning full-time drivers include Jonathan Bomarito, Dominik Farnbacher, Marc Goossens and Kuno Wittmer

Driver lineups set for both SRT Viper GTS-Rs


January 3, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -


Ryan Hunter-Reay, SRT Motorsports driver in 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship

Rob Bell, SRT Motorsports driver in 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship

SRT Motorsports announced today that Ryan Hunter-Reay and Rob Bell will join the factory two-car team for the extended endurance races in the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2014.

Hunter-Reay, the 2012 IndyCar Series champion, returns to the SRT Motorsports team he competed with in 2012 and is looking forward to getting the upcoming racing season off to a good start overall.

“The SRT Motorsports program has come such a long way in a short period of time,” Hunter-Reay said. “This is truly one of the most competitive forms of GT class racing in the world and for the Viper GTS-R team to earn three poles and a win last season is outstanding. I have a long history with the Riley Technologies family and am looking forward to working with the same group in 2014 to again represent SRT on the track.”

Hunter-Reay competes full-time in the IndyCar Series for Andretti Autosport. With 10 years and more than 150 career starts, he has recorded 11 victories behind the wheel of an Indy car. In 2012, he secured the series championship after capturing a league-leading four victories in the season. Hunter-Reay is the only driver to earn wins in IndyCar, CART, Champ Car, ALMS and GRAND-AM.

Early in his career, Hunter-Reay was the 1999 Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Champion. In 2002, he won three races in the Toyota Atlantic Series and then moved up to the Champ Car World Series in 2003 and scored his first win at Surfers Paradise in Australia. In 2004, he then led all 250 laps en route to victory at The Milwaukee Mile, the historic track where he also recorded back to back wins in 2012 and 2013.

Hunter-Reay has 16 previous starts in the former GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series where he owns one victory in 2007 at Miller Motorsports Park Toole, Utah, and four total podium finishes. He has seven starts in the Rolex 24 At Daytona with a best finish of second overall in 2013.

Hunter-Reay will join returning drivers Dominik Farnbacher and Marc Goossens in the No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R. Hunter-Reay and Goossens have a winning history together and were co-drivers in the 2007 Utah GRAND-AM victory driving a Riley Technologies-entered Riley Daytona Prototype that also carried No. 91.

A McLaren GT factory driver, Bell has been racing sports cars for more than eight years after working his way through the ranks of karting and single-seat race cars. During this time, he has driven for Ferrari, Aston Martin and Porsche, competing in all the major sports car series, including the European and American Le Mans Series and FIA GT. He has competed in the sports premier endurance races, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.

“After seeing the steady progress the SRT Motorsports team has made, I can’t wait to get behind the wheel at Daytona and compete against some of the best GT class teams in the world,” Bell said. “Being the new kid on the block that is joining a team as it continues to grow and get better with every race, I’m confident it won’t take long to feel right at home.”

A double European Le Mans Series (ELMS) champion, Bell began his career in the UK Formula Renault championship, taking two titles before moving into sports cars in 2005. Since this time he has completed five seasons in ELMS, taking the GT2 titles in 2007 and 2008. He has made six 24 Hours of Le Mans starts with a best finish of fourth in GT2 in 2009 after having spent most of the race in second place. Bell has also made five starts in the Spa 24 Hours, including a second-place finish in 2009, and he also has a GT runner-up finish in the 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona. Additional U.S starts include a return to Daytona for the 2012 Rolex 24, four Sebring appearances and three Petit Le Mans starts.

Bell will be joining returning drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Kuno Wittmer in the No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R.

“With Ryan returning and Rob joining SRT Motorsports, we’ve solidified our team for competition in the longer endurance events,” said Beth Paretta, Director of Marketing and Operations – SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. “We can now turn our focus to continuing to get ready for Daytona and the upcoming season. We’re excited to kick off the new season and confident that we can continue improving and have an even better year in 2014.”

All six SRT Motorsports drivers will be participating in a press conference this Fri., Jan. 3, at 12:20 p.m. in the infield media center at Daytona International Speedway where the annual Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona is being held, Jan. 3-5. The season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, the inaugural race of the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, will be run Jan. 25-26.

SRT Motorsports and the Viper GTS-R
SRT Motorsports has partnered with Riley Technologies, based in Mooresville, N.C., on the design-and-build of the SRT Viper GTS-R race cars. Two identical SRT Viper GTS-Rs will compete in the production-based GT Le Mans (GTLM) class in the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. The SRT Viper GTS-Rs will be competing against the Aston Martin Vantage, BMW Z4 GTE, Corvette C7.R, Ferrari F458 Italia and Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. The GTLM class cars share many styling similarities to their showroom brands.

About SRT Brand
The Chrysler Group’s SRT (Street and Racing Technology) brand uses a successful product development formula featuring five proven hallmarks: awe-inspiring powertrains; outstanding ride, handling and capability; benchmark braking; aggressive and functional exteriors and race-inspired and high-performance interiors to remain true to its performance roots.

The 2014 SRT lineup features five vehicles that are world-class performance contenders and bring the latest in safety technologies and creature comforts. The Chrysler 300 SRT, Dodge Challenger SRT, Dodge Charger SRT and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT join the flagship SRT Viper, which made its highly anticipated return to the high-performance sports car market in 2013.

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2014 Rolex 24 could be most interesting ever
Testing ends in Daytona after three successful days


1/05/2014


So the three-day “Roar before the Rolex 24” is over. What did we learn?

That's a tough question. One easy answer: That this is likely to be the most interesting 24 Hours at Daytona ever.

This was the first formal full test of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship cars, which consist of the American Le Mans Series cars and the Grand-Am cars, minus the ALMS' P1 class, and Grand-Am's GX class.

he fastest lap of the weekend was posted in the class, which consists of the Grand-Am Daytona Prototypes and the ALMS' P2 prototypes, “performance balanced” to where they should be competitive with each other, was set Friday morning by the Action Express Chevrolet Corvette, driven by Christian Fittipaldi, with a speed of 129.940 mph.

“We applied everything that



Read more: Daytona International hosted testing for the Rolex 24 over the weekend. - Autoweek
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Pastrana Returns to Global Rallycross With Subaru

01/14/2014



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One of American rally’s most iconic pairings is due for a reunion in 2014: Travis Pastrana will return to the wheel of a Vermont SportsCar-prepared Subaru WRX STI at the Global Rallycross round at X Games Austin this June.

Pastrana, who won two of the first three X Games gold medals in Rally Car Racing in 2006 and 2008, first joined Subaru in 2004. Between 2006 and 2009, he took 15 Rally America overall victories on the way to four consecutive series championships. Pastrana’s last race in a Subaru came in July 2011, when he raced in the Global Rallycross season finale with a specially-modified car that accommodated a broken leg he had suffered just days before.

For the past two years, Pastrana competed with his own team in Global Rallycross, making ten starts in the #199 Dodge Dart. He earned a victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July 2012, made the main event in all five of his 2013 starts, and closed his program with a podium finish in Las Vegas last November.

Vermont SportsCar has competed for the past two seasons under the Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team banner, with drivers Sverre Isachsen, Bucky Lasek, Dave Mirra, and David Higgins all taking turns behind the wheel. Isachsen has earned three podium finishes for the team, including a bronze medal at the final X Games Los Angeles last August, while the team led Subaru to second place in the Global Rallycross Manufacturer’s Championship in 2013.
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Audi R8 V10 Announced as Official Safety Car for 2014 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

HERNDON, VA--(Marketwired - Jan 22, 2014) -


Audi R8 V10 is the Official Safety Car for second year in a row at the iconic 2014 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

Audi excited to lead the field for inaugural race of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with the R8 V10 road car

Audi R8 V10 offers exceptional balance between performance at the limit and ease of driving for daily use

For the second year in a row, the Audi R8 V10 will lead the field of cars at the 2014 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.


"We are excited to be the Official Safety Car of the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series for the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona," said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America. "Watching the R8 V10 make its way around the track on the banked turns of Daytona as the safety car will further prove its ability to offer incredible balance as a car for the track and on the road."

The Audi R8 V10 and the R8 LMS share more than 50% of their parts and components including the V10 naturally aspirated engine and the fully aluminum ASF® that provides a very stiff and lightweight chassis that weighs less than 500 pounds. The 13,000 mile engine service interval under race conditions is a testament to the durability of the R8 LMS. Where other race engines require servicing after a twenty-four hour race, the 5.2 liter V10 FSI engine in the R8 LMS can race a whole season without a major overhaul.

The 2014 model year Audi R8 V10 5.2 liter engine generates 525 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque which accelerates from 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds. New for the 2014 model year is the 7-speed S tronic transmission that offers incredibly quick and smooth shifting between the gears including skipping gears automatically when downshifting for exceptional control and performance. The highly praised gated manual transmission is also available standard while the double clutch S tronic is available as an option.

The Audi R8 V10 road car is equipped with magnetic ride which allows the suspension to be stiffened for more dynamic driving or to offer a more comfortable ride. Standard waved brake rotors provide better heat dissipation as well as offer a nine pound weight reduction compared to conventional brake rotors which reduces unsprung weight. The R8 V10 is available as a coupe or Spyder.

The Audi R8 model line is also available as a V8 coupe or Spyder with 425 horsepower in a manual transmission or with the available 7-speed S tronic. For maximum performance, the R8 V10 Plus offers 550 horsepower, is 130 pounds lighter than the V10 and reaches 60 mph in a breathtaking 3.3 seconds.

The Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona race will take start at 2:30 pm on Saturday, January 25 and end twenty-four hours later on the Sunday, January 26th.

The full television schedule to watch all of the action is as follows:

Saturday, Jan. 25
2-4 p.m. EST on FOX
4-9 p.m. EST on FOX Sports 2

Overnight (Jan. 25-26)
9 p.m. - 7 a.m. EST on IMSA.com (includes live images, in-car cameras and announcers)

Sunday, Jan. 26
7 a.m. - 3 p.m. EST on FOX Sports 1

ABOUT AUDI
Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. Audi was a top-performing luxury brand in Europe during 2012, and broke all-time company sales records in the U.S. Through 2016, AUDI AG will invest about $17 billion on new products, facilities and technologies. Visit Audi USA | This is Truth in Engineering. or www.audiusanews.com for more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.

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Michelin returns to Daytona after 13 years

Excluded in recent years by a series of single specification tire agreements, Michelin has jumped into the “open tire” GT Le Mans (GTLM) class in the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship

01/21/2014

For the first time in 13 years, Michelin will compete in one of America’s premier motorsports events, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Jan. 25-26.

Excluded in recent years by a series of single specification tire agreements, Michelin has jumped into the “open tire” GT Le Mans (GTLM) class in the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the first event under the merger of the former American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and GRAND-AM series.

“Michelin is pleased by the unification of sports car racing in North America and we are looking forward to returning to the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the first season of competition in the new TUDOR Championship,” said Chris Baker, motorsports director for Michelin North America.

Michelin took the overall win at Daytona in 2000 with the Oreca Viper team.



SOURCEMichelin returns to Daytona after 13 years | News | Motorsport.com

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NASCAR makes radical changes

01/30/2014


NASCAR makes radical changes to its championship structure

Sixteen drivers will now qualify for NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup. During the Chase, four drivers will be cut every three races, leading to a four-driver shootout in the season finale for the championship.

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Mopar in the Staging Lanes for the NHRA 2014 Season

Mopar in the Staging Lanes for the NHRA 2014 Season

Season-Long Celebration of 50th Anniversary of the Iconic 426 HEMI® Planned

Mopar kicks off 2014 NHRA season this weekend in Pomona, Ca.
2014 marks 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Gen II 426 Race HEMI®
Mopar heads into 2014 Pro Stock competition with Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Allen Johnson as back-to back NHRA Champions
Hagan and Beckman looking to battle for their second Funny Car championship titles in 2014 after second and third place finishes respectively last season
Mopar will display a heritage wall at NHRA events, provide prizes packages to fans, a HEMI merchandise product line, and more in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the HEMI this season



February 4, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

After finishing runner-up to Mopar teammate Jeg Coughlin Jr. last season, 2012 NHRA Pro Stock champion Allen Johnson prepares to get the 2014 NHRA season started off on the right foot this weekend in Pomona, Calif., after a quick stop in Phoenix for two days of testing early in the week.

2013 NHRA Pro Stock World Champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. gets ready to defend his crown starting this weekend at the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Mello Yello Drag Racing Series 2014 season debut in Pomona, Calif., at the historic Auto Club Raceway after testing Monday and Tuesday in Phoenix.

With a total of four world championship titles won in the past three years, Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand, has plenty of reasons to be excited about the upcoming 2014 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season which will feature 24 national race events and is set to kick-off this coming weekend in Pomona, Ca. at the historic Auto Club Raceway. Adding to the anticipation are Mopar’s plans for a year-long commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the legendary Gen II 426 Race HEMI® engine.

First introduced in 1964, a new second generation HEMI engine measuring 426 cubic inches was built specifically to win races. There were two versions– one called the “Circuit” or “Track” engine and the other the “Acceleration” or “Drag” engine.

While it made its racing debut with a win at NASCAR’s Daytona 500, that same year in NHRA competition, legendary driver Don Garlits became the first to break the 200-mph barrier with a Gen II 426 Race HEMI-powered car travelling the quarter-mile straight-line distance in 7.78 seconds at 201.34 mph. Garlits then went on to use that HEMI power to win the first of eight titles at the prestigious U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis.

Five decades later, Mopar heads into a new season of NHRA drag racing after celebrating back-to-back HEMI-powered Pro Stock world championships title in 2012 and 2013 by Allen Johnson and Jeg Coughlin Jr. respectively, along with Funny Car World titles in 2011 and 2012, earned by Don Schumacher Racing drivers Matt Hagan and Jack Beckman.

Mopar returns to Pro Stock competition this season with just two entries powered by HEMI engines tuned by Roy Johnson. Defending world champion Coughlin and teammate Johnson finished 1-2 in the points standing in 2013 and had four national title wins apiece. Both are looking to battle for the title once again this year.
"We are really jacked up," said Coughlin who will once again pilot the JEGS.com Mopar Dodge. "We're ready to start the fight, and for sure it's going to be a fight, just like every season. We're looking at the Winternationals as Step 1 of the many steps it will take to win our sixth Pro Stock championship.

"There have been changes across the Pro Stock spectrum, not just with our team, with lots of mergers and drivers moving around so it should be interesting to see how all these moves work out,” added Coughlin. “We're down to two cars now, so the focus will be even more intense, which should be good all the way around. The support from Mopar and the staff over there remains at a phenomenal level. It's our job now to go out there and win them a third straight title."

“Mopar is celebrating 50 years of the HEMI and we aim to add some more Wallys and battle hard for another Championship as our contribution to the festivities,” said Johnson. “We’re focused and excited and ready to go. Ideally we’ll be shooting to finish 1-2 again but it would be nice to do it in reverse order this time.”

In the battle for the 2014 Funny Car world championship, Don Schumacher Racing will once again have four Dodge Chargers R/T entries vying for the crown. Hagan, who won his first NHRA championship for Mopar in 2011, will premiere a new Mopar Express Lane scheme on his Funny Car this season after coming so very close to winning a second world title by finishing runner-up with nine final round appearances and five victories in 2013, the most of anyone in the class.

"2013 was a great year of us and we finished really strong with a win at Pomona in the end,” said Hagan after beating the John Force, the 2013 NHRA champion, in the final round of the season. “We won more than anyone in the class, but it’s just the way the cards fell in the Countdown.”

In contrast, Beckman raced hard without a visit to the winner’s circle in defense of his 2012 world title but still ended up right behind his teammate with a third place finish in the championship.

Fellow DSR driver Ron Capps returns behind the wheel of his Mopar for his 20th season as a professional driver after finishing sixth in the standings last season. He has had four runner-up finishes for the championship in that span, but his hope this year is to go just a step further and win that elusive world title.

The new addition to the Mopar line-up is veteran driver Tommy Johnson Jr., a nine-time national event winner in the series, who takes over from Johnny Gray who finished ninth last year for Mopar with his career best season total of four wins.

At various NHRA events throughout the season, fans are encouraged to visit the Mopar display to view a beautiful heritage wall celebrating the 50 year legacy of the GEN II 426 Race HEMI, participate in contests with special HEMI merchandise as prizes, put their signature a HEMI birthday card and much more as part of the numerous marketing initiatives and events nationwide.

As part of the celebrations, at both NHRA events and on-line at WearMopar.com, a new product line of Mopar merchandise featuring the HEMI 50th anniversary logo will be available with items that include clothing, decorative lighting, clocks, a pub table, stools and much more.

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Mopar Takes on ‘King of The Hammers’

Mopar Takes on ‘King of The Hammers’
HEMI® Crate Engines to Power Spec Class in ‘Every Man Challenge’ Race

Mopar joins the 2014 Griffin King of The Hammers off-road race in a new spec class to debut on Feb 6 in the California desert
8th annual “King of The Hammers” is an off-road event combining desert racing and rock crawling with four competitive classes
Mopar to provide six Gen III 5.7L HEMI® crate engine for first spec class vehicles in the “Every Man Challenge” race category
Mopar is committed to participating in the 2014 and 2015 editions of event as well as four other Western Regional ULTRA4 Series events
More than 35,000 spectators are expected on site and 500,000 will tune into the live online broadcast on ultra4racing.com/live/

February 5, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

Competing in the Every Man Challenge race category of the King of the Hammers event, Mopar’s GEN III 5.7-liter HEMI® crate engine will power six 4x4 off-road vehicles competing in a newly created “4700 Spec Class” in which each entry is outfitted with the same equipment



Mopar will be participating in “King of the Hammers,” a week-long race event that now includes more than 300 teams competing in front of more than 35,000 spectators who descend on public lands in Johnson Valley, Calif., creating a small make-shift town dubbed “Hammertown.”

Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC's service, parts and customer-care brand, will be testing its mettle in the southern California desert at the 2014 Griffin King of The Hammers, an event built around what many consider the toughest one-day off-road race in the world that combines desert racing and rock crawling.

Organized by the ULTRA4 Racing Series, the week-long event is held every February on public lands in Johnson Valley, Ca. in an off-highway vehicle area known as “The Hammers.” Competitors, divided into in four distinct categories, race on a 100+ mile course that runs over terrain that includes sandy washes dotted with creosote bushes, flat dry lakebeds, sand dunes and, of course, the world-famous rock canyons and trails from which it derives its name.

Competing in the Every Man Challenge race category, which allows off-road enthusiasts a chance to race their stock and modified stock vehicles, Mopar’s GEN III 5.7 liter HEMI® crate engine will power the six vehicles competing in a newly created spec class in which each entry is outfitted with the same equipment. These unique “4700 Spec Class” 4x4 vehicles have a custom tube frame design based loosely on a Jeep® Wrangler, and are outfitted with Mopar’s HEMI crate engine and some of the best industry-leading parts the off-road world has to offer.

“We’re excited to supply HEMI engines to the newly formed spec class at King of The Hammers and put our quality products to the test in the toughest conditions,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO — Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “The 5.7 crate engines we are providing are the off-road race version of the recently announced Scat Package performance upgrades for the Challenger and Charger. This event is in essence a proving ground for our engine, set-up, calibration and parts, as we don’t just design and produce quality parts, we want to test them in the field so that customers know that they are getting the very best available.”

Participating in the off- road event is a fitting tribute to the heritage of the revolutionary Gen II 426 race HEMI, which is celebrating 50 years since its introduction after being built specifically to win races. The success of that GEN II race HEMI has resulted in an amazing lineage of quality Mopar engines, which now includes the newest generation of 5.7L crate engines.
"We've partnered with the best manufacturers in off-road, and this class required parts that could handle the demands of off-road racing and the brutality of The Hammers,” said David Cole, Executive Director of ULTRA4 Racing Series. “Nobody knows off-road better than Jeep and Mopar, and we're excited to have the HEMI powering the 4700 Spec Class."

"The 4700 Spec Class offers both professional drivers and first-time enthusiasts a chance to experience what ULTRA4 Racing is all about,” said Cole of the turnkey solution the spec class offers. “We wanted to give people an opportunity to race or recreate off-road in a fully capable 4WD vehicle without the expense and headache of having to build or buy one of their own."

The six unique Mopar-powered 4x4 vehicles make their debut on Thursday, Jan. 6 with an 8:00 a.m. (PT) 30-second staggered start. Behind the wheel of each Mopar-powered 4700 Spec Class 4x4 vehicle are the following drivers:

#4701– Eric Bothwell, from Tuckahoe, NY., is no stranger to the Hammers as he was part of the core Hammerking volunteer team in 2012. Bothwell's co-driver Robb Pritchard is an international off-road journalist coming all the way from Croatia. They will be driving the Dynomax vehicle.

#4702– Larry Nickell is a Senior Editor at Crawl Magazine and has been an active off-road enthusiast for many years, taking his Jeep vehicle on many of his adventures across the country. Larry has a background in racing boats and drag cars and will be driving the Team Yukon Vehicle.

#4703 – Jessi Combs is the fastest woman on four wheels after breaking the land speed record in Utah's Salt Lake Flats last year. She is also host of television show “All Girl's Garage” and autoblog's The List and will be racing in the Team Falken Vehicle.

#4704 – Ross Stanford is based out of Loveland, CO. as the sales manager for Spidertrax Off Road, and will be racing for Team Spidertrax. Ross is an avid off-road enthusiast and has competed in several Dirt Riot events.

#4705 – Shannon Campbell is the only two time “King of The Hammers” Champion after winning in both 2008 and 2011. Shannon will be racing the Team Fox car on Thursday and then racing his own ULTRA4 car again in the Griffin King of The Hammers Presented by Nitto Tire on Friday.

#4706 – Jim Marsden will be traveling all the way from the United Kingdom to compete in the Team Odyssey vehicle. Jim is no stranger to “King of The Hammers” having raced in both the Smittybilt Every Man Challenge and the Griffin King of The Hammers categories in 2013.

Mopar is scheduled to participate in both the 2014 and 2015 editions the Smittybilt Every Man Challenge Race as part of the 8th Annual Griffin King of The Hammers presented by Nitto Tire. The HEMI-powered vehicles also will compete in the following four Trail-Gear Western Regional ULTRA4 Series events:

May 30-31– Nor Cal Stampede in Sacramento, CA
July 11-12 – ULTRA4 Glen Helen Grand Prix in San Bernardino, CA
July 22-23 – American Rocksports Challenge in Tooele, UT
Oct 17-18 – Nitto Tire National Championship in Las Vegas (Moapa), NV



From its humble beginnings in 2007 as an invitation, non-spectator race involving 12 teams battling for bragging rights, Cole, founder of event, has seen its popularity grow exponentially. It now includes more than 300 teams competing in front of more than 35,000 spectators who descend on the area, creating a small make-shift town dubbed “Hammertown.” An additional 500,000 viewers previously have watched the online live broadcast and even more are expected to log on for this year’s event at ultra4racing.com/live/.

Rick

Nitro Year: 2007 (1 of 91,815 sold in 07)
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