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[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

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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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
Follow us: @AutoweekUSA on Twitter | AutoweekUSA on Facebook
 

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Pastrana Returns to Global Rallycross With Subaru

01/14/2014



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/.
 

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2014 Global RallyCross Championship

The 2014 Global RallyCross Schedule is the Biggest and Richest Yet


02/05/2014


The Global RallyCross Championship announced details this morning on their 2014 schedule with 10 races and over a half million dollars in prize money – making the 2014 GRC season the biggest and richest in the history of the rapidly growing sport.

The Global RallyCross Championship has grown substantially since being introduced back in 2011 and the 2014 GRC season promises to be the most exciting for both the fans and the drivers. This year’s schedule offers the best chance for racing fans to check out the GRC in person with 9 events scattered all over the United States along with the season opener in Barbados while the drivers will be competing for over a half million dollars in prize money across those ten races.

The 2014 Global RallyCross Championship kicks off in Barbados at the Top Gear Festival Barbados before heading into the US for the other 9 events of the season. Stops around the country include Austin Texas, Washington DC, New York City, Charlotte North Carolina, Detroit (Yea!!), Daytona Beach, Los Angeles, Seattle and Vegas – where the 2014 GRC season will wrap up along with the SEMA Show for the 3rd year in a row.

The entire 2014 Global RallyCross Championship is listed below with dates and while information is somewhat limited right now, we can expect more information (venues, race day schedules, etc) once we get closer to the start of the season in mid May.

May 17-18: Barbados
June 7:Austin, TX
June 21-22:Washington, DC
July 19-20:New York, NY
July 25-26:Charlotte, NC
August 2-3: Detroit, MI
August 22-23: Daytona, FL
September 19-20:Los Angeles, CA
September 26-27:Seattle, WA
November 5:Las Vegas, NV



- See more at: The 2014 Global RallyCross Schedule is the Biggest and Richest Yet - Torque News











- See more at: The 2014 Global RallyCross Schedule is the Biggest and Richest Yet - Torque News
 

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Coughlin, Johnson and Hagan Lead Team Mopar into NHRA Winternationals

JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge Avenger driver Jeg Coughlin Jr. commences his Pro Stock title defense at Pomona
Allen Johnson aims to keep the Pro Stock crown in the Mopar/J&J Racing camp for the third consecutive year
Don Schumacher Racing driver Matt Hagan to carry Mopar Express Lane graphics on his Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
DSR to field another formidable four-car Mopar-powered Funny Car squad in 2014


February 6, 2014 , Pomona, Calif. -





A talented trio of former and defending champions will key the Team Mopar effort heading into the season-opener for the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, the 54th annual NHRA Winternationals, scheduled to take place Feb. 6-9 at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.

The Team Mopar NHRA Pro Stock duo of Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Allen Johnson will enter the 2014 campaign seeking to secure a third straight Pro Stock crown for the Mopar brand. Coughlin captured his fifth career Pro Stock championship in 2013 behind the wheel of his JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge Avenger, tuned by the Johnson & Johnson Racing team and engine builder Roy Johnson. Owner of 56 career Pro Stock event victories, the Ohio native is pumped up and ready to add to his win totals.

“There’s a definite spring in our step,” said Coughlin. “We’re coming off such a solid season, and obviously we ended the year on the top step of the podium, as it were, so that’s kept us in high spirits throughout the off-season.”

Johnson & Johnson Racing owner Allen Johnson, Coughlin’s teammate, is also determined to keep the Pro Stock crown in his team’s camp — but preferably on his side of the pit stall. After ending a 17-year quest by racing to the Pro Stock title in 2012, Johnson scored four wins in his Mopar Dodge Avenger in 2013, and finished second to Coughlin in the championship standings.

“Along with Jeg, you’ve got back-to-back Pro Stock champs together on the same team, so of course for 2014 I’m very optimistic,” said Johnson, who broke through for his first win at Pomona at the 2012 NHRA Finals. “It’s also a big year for Mopar with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 426 race HEMI in 2014, so any victories and championships we bring home this year will be icing on their cake.”

Veteran Pro Stocker V. Gaines will also return to the wheel of his own Mopar-powered Dodge Avenger, following a top-10 finish to the 2013 season. The Denver-area native raced to four runner-up finishes last year.

Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver and 2011 NHRA Funny Car champion Matt Hagan will start off the season at Pomona with a new look, carrying the yellow-and-blue colors of the Mopar Express Lane quick-oil change service on his 10,000 horsepower Dodge Charger R/T.

“When they sent me the pictures of the Express Lane car, I got even more excited to get back in the car,” said Hagan, who ended the 2013 season with a victory at Pomona in the NHRA Finals, his fifth win of the year en route to a runner-up finish in the standings. “It looks great, looks fast. I love the old school feeling it has. I hope (crew chief) Dickie (Venables) and the guys get to have a lot of pictures of it in the Winner's Circle.”

Hagan will be joined by Jack Beckman, Ron Capps and new addition Tommy Johnson Jr. to form a powerhouse four-driver DSR Dodge Charger R/T squad hunting for the Mopar brand’s third Funny Car crown in four years.

Beckman, the 2012 Funny Car title winner, finished third in the standings last season but was unable to score an event win, a streak he hopes to end at the NHRA Winternationals. Capps, a fan favorite who has earned four series runner-up spots in his pursuit of a Funny Car crown, is the longest serving member of the Mopar-powered DSR team. Johnson is no stranger to Mopar power, having campaigned HEMI-engine fueled Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars during his long career.

Two hours of NHRA Winternationals qualifying coverage are scheduled to be televised on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD on Saturday, Feb. 8, beginning at 11 p.m. (ET). Three hours of elimination rounds coverage will be broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD starting at 8 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Feb. 9.
 

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Scott Speed, Tanner Foust to compete in Global Rallycross with Andretti

02/07/2014




Scott Speed and Tanner Foust will lead Andretti Autosport's first foray into Global Rallycross, the team has confirmed.

The duo, who will compete under the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team banner, will start the 2014 season with modified Polo rally cars before switching to the 600bhp GRC Beetle at Austin in June.


LINK:
 

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Mopar Dodge Avenger Driver Johnson Runs to Provisional Pole at Pomona

Allen Johnson will look to lock down the No. 1 spot in Pro Stock at the 54th Annual NHRA Winternationals on Saturday
Defending Pro Stock champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. places his Dodge Avenger in the No. 3 spot
Ron Capps paces the four-car Don Schumacher Racing Mopar Funny Car squad on Friday by earning the third position


February 7, 2014 , Pomona, Calif. -

If the rest of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season can go as good as the first day, then Team Mopar driver Allen Johnson is in for a memorable year. The Greeneville, Tenn., native raced his Mopar Dodge Avenger Pro Stock car to the provisional pole position following the first two qualifying sessions on Friday at the season-opening 54th annual NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.

Johnson, the 2012 NHRA Pro Stock champion, was No. 4 after the first qualifying session, but with the top speed of the round, 212.53 mph.
In the second session on Friday the J&J Racing team owner and driver jumped to the No. 1 spot with a 6.517-second elapsed time at the same exact speed as his first run, 212.53, knocking former teammate Vince Nobile from the pole.

“The air got better, and I knew we had a little in the bank if I could get her through second gear,” said Johnson. “The crew chief made the right decision and the motor performed. I’m (hungry) to get that championship back, but in another way if we can keep it in the Mopar camp, that’s a victory for us. But, yeah, I do want to get that (championship) back.”

Reigning NHRA Pro Stock champ Jeg Coughlin Jr., Johnson’s J&J Racing teammate, penciled his JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge Avenger into the third spot on Friday with a best pass of 6.541 for a solid start to the defense of his 2013 series title. Veteran Mopar Pro Stocker V.
Gaines was ninth thanks to a 6.554 effort. Deric Kramer and Matt Hartford were 14th and 15th, respectively, in their Mopar-powered Avengers.

In NHRA Funny Car, Ron Capps was the quickest Mopar on the charts, recording a 4.014/304.67 during a wild, fiery run in his Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Charger R/T to claim the provisional No. 3 position on the starting grid. Close behind was his DSR teammate Matt Hagan (4.077/316.01), who was sixth in his debut of the Mopar Express Lane graphics on his Dodge. Newcomer to DSR Tommy Johnson Jr. (4.082/314.75) was eighth, while Jeff Arend (4.104/309.06) clocked in at ninth and Gary Densham (4.199/289.20) 10th in their respective Dodge race cars. The fourth member of the DSR contingent, Jack Beckman (5.409/103.74), was listed 16th during Friday qualifying.

The first of two final Pro qualifying sessions are scheduled to begin on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 12:30 (PT). Two hours of NHRA Winternationals qualifying coverage are scheduled to be televised on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD on Saturday beginning at 11 p.m. (ET). Three hours of elimination rounds coverage will be broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD starting at 8 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Feb. 9.
 

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Team Mopar Driver Johnson to Start No. 2 at 54th Annual NHRA Winternationals

Allen Johnson will post his Mopar Dodge Avenger against Larry Morgan in the Pro Stock opening round
Mopar-powered V. Gaines gets off to a solid start in the No. 4 position at Pomona
Defending NHRA Pro Stock Champ Coughlin will start from no.8 spot
Five Mopar HEMI-fueled Dodge Avengers will battle in Pro Stock eliminations
Ron Capps starts No. 5 and will lead seven HEMI-powered Dodge Charger R/Ts into the Funny Car fray
Matt Hagan will commence eliminations No. 10 in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car


February 8, 2014 , Pomona, Calif. -

Mopar Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson improved his qualifying numbers in both rounds on Saturday to start from the No. 2 spot and face Larry Morgan when elimination rounds begin on Sunday, Feb. 9, for the season-opening 54th Annual NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.

In the first qualifying session on Saturday Johnson was shuffled from the top spot he claimed on Friday with a 6.517-second run at 212.53 mph, but the Greeneville, Tenn. native and J&J Racing team owner promptly reclaimed his position with a 6.514/212.96 pass. Bumped down once again in the fourth and final qualifying stanza, Johnson bettered his previous pass with a 6.512 effort, but it wasn’t enough to retake the pole from former teammate Vincent Nobile.

“We’ve had a very strong start and improved today with some very consistent runs in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge,” said Johnson, the 2012 Pro Stock champion and runner-up in the standings last season. “Jeggie’s [Coughlin] car is giving us a little bit of a problem, but we have a very good race day set up on my car and I’m really looking forward to the first elimination rounds of the new season.”

JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge Avenger pilot Jeg Coughlin Jr., the 2013 NHRA Pro Stock champion, qualified eighth and will square off with Rodger Brogdon in the opening round on Sunday. Competing with J&J Racing Mopar HEMI engines supplied by Roy Johnson, Coughlin posted best numbers of 6.531/211.96 over the four qualifying sessions.

V. Gaines (6.515/212.83) will start the season strong from the No. 4 spot and line up his Mopar against Greg Stanfield. Dodge Avenger racer Deric Kramer (6.566/211.20) locked in the 12th position on the grid and meets Erica Enders-Stevens in round one, while Matt Hartford (6.574/209.79) qualified in the 14th spot in his Mopar-powered Dodge, earning a first-round showdown with Jason Line.

Despite a spectacular explosion at the end of his second qualifying run on Friday which earned him national news coverage, Ron Capps used the 4.014/304.67 from that pass to claim the No .5 spot in his Dodge Charger R/T and match up against another Dodge driver, No. 12 qualifier Jeff Arend (4.097/308.00). Drama also surrounded Capps’ Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Jack Beckman, who cracked the field on his last qualifying chance with a clutch 4.049/312.86 in his Charger to start No. 8 and set up an opening-round date with another DSR teammate, No. 9 qualifier (4.069/316.82) Tommy Johnson Jr.

Flying the brand-new Mopar Express Lane colors on his DSR Dodge Charger R/T, Matt Hagan (4.077/316.01) starts his race day in the No. 10 spot against Courtney Force. Gary Densham (4.147/300.00) is No. 14 in his Dodge and will draw Alexis DeJoria, while No. 16 Dodge Charger R/T pilot Paul Lee (4.162/271.41) will face another Force — No. 1 qualifier John Force. All seven Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/Ts entered in the Pomona event made the show on Sunday, filling nearly half the Funny Car field.

Elimination rounds for the 54th Annual NHRA Winternationals are scheduled to begin on Sunday, Feb. 9, at 11 a.m. (PT). Two hours of NHRA Winternationals qualifying coverage are scheduled to be televised on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD on Saturday beginning at 11 p.m. (ET). Three hours of elimination rounds coverage will be broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD starting at 8 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.
 

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Hagan and Gaines Take Mopar to Final Round at Season-opening NHRA Winternationals

Matt Hagan earns runner-up finish at Pomona in debut of Mopar Express Lane graphics on his Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Dodge Avenger Pro Stock driver V. Gaines advances to his first-career Pomona final round
Mopar/J&J Racing teammates Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Allen Johnson exit early in eliminations
Mopar to bring 426 HEMI 50th anniversary celebration to select NHRA events in 2014


February 9, 2014 , Pomona, Calif. -

Team Mopar driver Matt Hagan helped rev up the Mopar brand’s year-long 426 HEMI 50th anniversary celebration, driving his new Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charge R/T to a runner-up finish in the elimination rounds at the 54th Annual NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif

In his 15th career final-round appearance and first-ever at Pomona, Mopar driver V. Gaines’ quest for his first Winternationals win came up a hundredth of second short, as his 6.533/212.56 couldn’t match Line’s quicker 6.526.at the 54th Annual NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.

The NHRA Winternationals also marked the first race to feature the Mopar brand’s year-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the 426 HEMI engine. Special displays and activities, such as a unique 426 HEMI Heritage wall and a 426 HEMI birthday card available for fans to sign, will travel to select NHRA events at which the Mopar display rig is featured.ï





Team Mopar drivers Matt Hagan and V. Gaines helped rev up the Mopar brand’s year-long 426 HEMI 50th anniversary celebration, driving to runner-up finishes in the NHRA Funny Car and Pro Stock classes, respectively, in the elimination rounds at the 54th Annual NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.

The off-season evidently didn’t leave any rust on Hagan, who picked up right where he left off after his season-ending Pomona victory at the 2013 NHRA Finals. The 2011 NHRA Funny Car champ bested Courtney Force to begin eliminations with a 4.036/322.73, but his run didn’t end at the finish. Hagan’s Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T continued off the drag strip and into the sand after one of his chutes failed to fully deploy, necessitating a little extra work for the Don Schumacher Racing crew.

In a quarterfinals showdown with another John Force Racing driver, Robert Hight, Hagan again came out on top, thanks to a modest holeshot. Hagan left the line first with a .063 reaction time (compared to Hight’s .070) and recorded a 4.035/322.04 pass on his road to victory. In the semis Hagan’s 4.030/318.32 sent home Del Worsham to clinch a spot in the final against 16-time series champ John Force — a rematch of the 2013 NHRA Finals money round. This time, however, Hagan smoked the tires early and watched Force drive to the win.

“We were just pushing hard,” said Hagan, who advanced to his 25th career final and recorded his second Winternationals runner-up spot. “Force had been running 3.90s all weekend long. We knew we had to bring our A-game. He’s got a great hot rod right now but we’ve got a pretty good one too. It’s going to be a great season this year, and I can’t wait to battle it out and turn some more win lights on.”

Gaines, the No. 4 qualifier in Pro Stock, powered his Mopar HEMI-fueled Dodge Avenger past Greg Stanfield in round one with a 6.531/211.89 mark, earning lane choice against Erica Enders-Stevens, who knocked off Dodge driver Deric Kramer to advance to the quarterfinals. Gaines handled the always-tough Enders-Stevens, winning off the starting line (a .035 reaction time to Enders-Stevens .062) and at the finish with a 6.527/212.29 mark.

In the semifinals the veteran Gaines stopped No. 1 qualifier Vincent Nobile, using a superb .003 reaction time and 6.543/212.09 run to send the young driver to the trailer on a holeshot victory. In his 15th career final-round appearance and first-ever at Pomona, Gaines’ quest for his first Winternationals win came up a hundredth of second short, as his 6.533/212.56 couldn’t match Line’s quicker 6.526.

“It was a good weekend and a good way to start the year, but losing such a close race in the final round isn’t easy,” said Gaines, who finished a career-best seventh in the 2013 standings, with four-runner-up finishes. “Erica [Enders-Stevens] has had my number, so beating her was pretty big. I’m tickled to death that we’ve picked up right where we left off in the Countdown last year, that we have a great car and great crew, and all the components that go with it.”

Jeg Coughlin Jr. kicked off his Pro Stock title defense starting from the eighth position in his JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge Avenger and took down Rodger Brogdon to begin his day, with a winning 6.568/211.66 pass. In a second-round matchup against former J&J Racing teammate Nobile, Coughlin came out on the losing end with a slower 6.568/211.30 despite a slightly quicker reaction time.

J&J Racing team owner and driver Allen Johnson will look to rebound following a quick exit at Pomona. After a strong two days of qualifying in which he earned eight bonus points and put his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Avenger in the No. 2 position, Johnson suffered a first-round upset at the hands of Larry Morgan. Johnson’s 6.567/211.36 effort, paired with an uncharacteristically sluggish .128 reaction time, wasn’t enough to reel in Morgan at the finish. Rounding out the five-car Mopar Pro Stock field, Matt Hartford was unable to edge Jason Line at the top end in a first-round battle.

“I haven’t been feeling well all weekend, but that’s no excuse for getting distracted on the start,” said Johnson, the 2012 Pro Stock champion. “We have a really strong package right now to build on, as the Mopar Express Lane Dodge was really great all weekend. I’m disappointed to start the season like this but I’ll take the negative and turn it into a positive by making myself a little bit madder so I can come out at Phoenix with a vengeance.”

Hagan’s DSR Funny Car teammate Ron Capps sent home Dodge pilot Jeff Arend before exiting in his second round face-off with Bob Tasca III after his Dodge Charger R/T forcefully tapped the wall. In a first-round all-DSR Mopar Dodge showdown, Tommy Johnson Jr. used a 4.048/320.81to defeat 2012 Funny Car champ Jack Beckman, before falling to John Force. Mopar-powered Dodge Charger racer Gary Densham exited in the quarterfinals, while Paul Lee was unable to make his first-round run against John Force.

The NHRA Winternationals also marked the first race to feature the Mopar brand’s year-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the 426 HEMI engine. Special displays and activities, such as a unique 426 HEMI Heritage wall and a 426 HEMI birthday card available for fans to sign, will travel to select NHRA events at which the Mopar display rig is featured. Fans can enter to win a unique neon 426 HEMI 50th anniversary sign, with secondary prizes also up for grabs. Don Schumacher Racing driver Hagan will stage a unique salute to the legendary Mopar motor by campaigning a special 426 HEMI 50th anniversary graphics wrap on his Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals and U.S. Nationals.

Next up for the Team Mopar NHRA contingent is the NHRA Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Ariz., Feb. 21–23.

2014 NHRA Championship Points Standings
(following the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona):


PRO STOCK (season wins in parentheses)
1. Jason Line – 118 (1)
2. V Gaines – Dodge Avenger – 96
3. Vincent Nobile – 86
4. Shane Gray – 73
5t. Jeg Coughlin Jr. – Dodge Avenger 55
5t. Erica Enders Stevens – 55
5t. Dave Connolly – 55
8. Larry Morgan – 51
9. Allen Johnson – Dodge Avenger – 45
10. Rodger Brogdon – 33

FUNNY CAR (season wins in parentheses)
1. John Force – 144
2. Matt Hagan – Dodge Charger R/T – 94
3. Del Worsham – 76
4. Bob Tasca III – 71
5. Robert Hight – 61
6. Ron Capps – Dodge Charger R/T – 55
7. Tommy Johnson Jr. – Dodge Charger R/T – 54
8. Gary Densham – Dodge Charger R/T – 51

9. Alexis DeJoria – 39
10. Cruz Pedregon – 38

About Mopar Motorsports
Mopar’s commitment to professional motorsports competition was established in the 1950s when a partnership ignited with drag racing pioneer Don Garlits, resulting in the breaking of numerous speed and performance barriers in HEMI®-powered vehicles over the next several decades. In 2014, Mopar celebrates the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the GEN III 426 Race HEMI® and looks to defend back-to-back NHRA World Championship titles (2012-2013) in the Pro Stock class and battle for another Funny Car World Championship after wins in 2011-2012. While Mopar remains involved in a various professional motorsports series, it continues to honor its roots by being a proud supporter of amateur racing within the NHRA with its sponsorship of the HEMI Challenge and Mopar Sportsman Cup.
 

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February 13, 2014

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Red Bull Global Rallycross is pleased to announce the launch of a multi-year partnership with NBC Sports Group, beginning with the 2014 season. In 2014, nine Red Bull Global Rallycross events will be broadcast on NBC, with rebroadcasts taking place on the NBCSN.

“This is a great step forward for Red Bull Global Rallycross”

“This is a great step forward for Red Bull Global Rallycross,” says series CEO, Colin Dyne. “Partnering with NBC will allow us to bring our events to millions of our existing fans, and welcome new fans as well. We look forward to delivering unparalleled, high-octane race action.”

The 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross broadcast schedule is as follows:

Top Gear Festival Barbados: Saturday, May 24 (tape delay), 1-2 PM ET, NBC
X Games Austin: Saturday, June 7 (live), ESPN
Washington, DC: Sunday, June 22 (live), 2-3 PM ET, NBC
New York, NY: Sunday, July 20 (live), 2-3 PM ET, NBC
Charlotte, NC: Saturday, July 26 (live), 2-3 PM ET, NBC
Detroit, MI: Sunday, August 3 (live), 2-3:30 PM ET, NBC
Daytona, FL: Saturday, August 23 (live), 3:30-4:30 PM ET, NBC
Los Angeles, CA: Saturday, September 20 (live), 5-6 PM ET, NBC
Seattle, WA: Sunday, September 28 (tape delay), 2:30-3:30 PM ET, NBC
Las Vegas, NV: Sunday, November 16 (tape delay), 2-3 PM ET, NBC

Red Bull Global Rallycross is also grateful for its founding relationship with ESPN. The series looks forward to participating in this year’s X Games Austin, which will be broadcast on ESPN.


SOURCE
 

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SRT Motorsports Sebring Winter Test Report

SRT Motorsports Sebring Winter Test Report
No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R Records Third-Fastest Overall Lap in GTLM


February 21, 2014 , Sebring, Fla. -

The SRT ® (Street and Racing Technology) Motorsports No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R recorded the third-fastest overall GTLM-class lap time of 2:00.496 (111.738 mph) during two days of testing at Sebring International Raceway that concluded on Friday in preparation for the upcoming 12 Hours of Sebring, March 12 – 15.

SRT Motorsports drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Marc Goossens participated in all four scheduled practice sessions in the No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R on Thursday and Friday. Each day featured morning and afternoon test sessions that spanned more than two hours each in preparation for the second event of the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship schedule at Florida’s legendary Sebring road course.




The SRT Motorsports No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R recorded the third-fastest GTLM overall lap time of 2:00.496 (111.738 mph) across four test sessions in Thursday afternoon’s test. The lap was also the second-quickest GTLM time of that session.

The team’s second-best showing in one of the sessions came in Friday afternoon’s fourth and final practice of the test when the No. 93 SRT Viper team posted a best lap time of 2:01.099 (111.182 mph) to rank fifth among GTLM entries.
The two-day test was the final IMSA-sanctioned GTLM test session for series competitors prior to the 12 Hours of Sebring, March 12 – 15.
The SRT Viper GTS-Rs finished fifth and 10th at Sebring in 2013 and the race marked the first event in the first-full season for SRT Motorsports since returning to sports car racing with the Viper.
In the 2014 season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, the No. 91 and 93 Viper GTS-Rs finished third and sixth, respectively, and the No. 91 claimed the GTLM pole position. Both SRT Viper entries and all six SRT Motorsports drivers led the GTLM class during the race.
The No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R did not participate in the Sebring Winter Test.


SRT Motorsports Driver and Team Quotes

Jonathan Bomarito, driver, No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R
How was the test?
“It was a very positive test just from a systems point of view. We had a lot of things to try – not necessarily making the car go as quick as we could. Toward the end of the day, we started putting all those pieces together and working on pace and race stuff, but we got through a lot of stuff. The guys did an awesome job. The car ran perfect for two days and I think we have a good race car. A couple of our competitors went pretty quick there at the end, but we’re still pretty optimistic and positive looking forward.”

What did you learn in last year’s 12 Hours of Sebring?
“Last year in the 93 car was my first 12 Hours of Sebring. It’s a tough race. You think, ‘Oh, well 12 hours is half as long as a 24, so it should be half as hard.’ It’s equally as hard as a 24-hour race. It’s very physical. It’s bumpy. It’s usually pretty warm and humid and takes a toll on the man and machine, but I learned a lot as a driver what to do physically for the race. We had some bad luck here last year. We had a drive pin issue – we lost some laps and it kind of ended our race – but we pushed through and we had a good car and I feel very confident for the race coming up.”

Marc Goossens, driver, No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R
How did you prepare for the test?
“In the beginning of this week, we were in Markham close to Toronto for simulator work. Spent some good time with Kuno (Wittmer, co-driver of the No. 91) together and Matt (Bejnarowicz, lead engineer of the No. 93), Jim Kasprzak (track engineer for the No. 93) and Tyler (Hook, track engineer for the No. 91) were there to help with engineering. We learned a lot in the simulator and then we came here, carried it over, tried to confirm and then take on the next step with regards to the testing program. I think everything is on schedule. We just have to bridge that gap to the leaders now.”

How was the test?
“We were kind of surprised by the speed the top guys were doing in GTLM – really surprised – but then again, you never know what people are testing when you come here for two days. We had a nice test program laid out prior to coming here. I’m not going to tell you that we panicked yesterday, but that first morning session with all the red flags there was a lot of stoppages going on. We were kind of worried that if that would have kept going on for two days we would have a hard time going through our program. Luckily enough today, the weather stayed good and we didn’t have so many red flags. From everything that we worked on prior to coming here – the whole program that we lined up – we could go through all that. With what we learned and what we found for an ideal platform, we could actually start working on fine-tuning toward the end, but it’s all a matter of what the track conditions are. Yesterday to today with the heat, it was such a big difference. Once again, we were very, very surprised about the performance of the guys in the front. Hopefully we have enough for them by the team we come here for the race.”

Bill Riley, lead engineer, No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R
How was the test?
“I think the team worked well. The cars all ran pretty flawlessly – we didn’t have any mechanical issues to keep us from running, which is pretty good. The car had a good test and ran a lot of laps. We went through a bunch of different things and we’re not where we want to be speed-wise, but the car is comfortable to drive. We just have to see what happens for the 12 Hours. I think we have a strong pace, so we can for run a long time, but we just have to see – on ultimate pace, we’ll just have to see where we’re at. All of the normal unknowns.”

How does this test allow you to prepare your race setup?
“Setup is a challenge here at Sebring for a lot of reasons. You have (turn) 17, which has some huge bumps to deal with. Turn one is always challenging and then you have the pavement that changes from the backside of the track to the concrete part of the track and then you have the IndyCar rubber that they put down on the test course on top. You’re really fighting quite a few different challenges throughout this event.

Matt Bejnarowicz, lead engineer, No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R
Did you get to where you need to be during the test?
“Our competitors are looking pretty fast, but we definitely got pretty happy drivers and I think we made a lot of small steps in the test. Whether it’s going to be enough for the race, we’ll have to find out.”

Have there been any surprises?
“No, not really, actually. We unloaded and we’re getting to the point where we’ve got a lot of experience under our belt and we’ve been to tracks several times now, so we unloaded at a pretty good state and our drivers were pretty happy right of the bat. I think we progressed through the test. I think we probably chased the track a little bit. I don’t know if our lap times reflect the improvements we made in the car, but I wouldn’t say there were any big surprises. The big unknown I think is a little bit of tire compatibility – we’re not really sure how the Michelin tires work with Continental rubber down on the track and I think we keep on seeing a little bit of influence there, but that’s hard to quantify.”

Top-Three Overall GTLM Lap Times

No. 911 Porsche – 1:59.395
No. 912 Porsche – 1:59.867
No. 93 SRT Motorsports Viper GTS-R – 2:00.496


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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Arizona Nationals

Concrete Challenge for Mopar Teams at Renovated Track at Arizona Nationals

Mopar teams and drivers ready to roll on new concrete surface at renovated Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park for the Arizona Nationals
Capps is defending title winner after an all-Mopar final against teammate Matt Hagan at this event last season
Beckman paces the Funny Car entries with a provisional fourth place in Friday qualifying
Johnson is quickest Mopar with sixth place spot in Pro Stock qualifying


February 21, 2014 , Chandler, Ariz. -

Mopar teams and drivers had their first qualifying runs Friday afternoon at the newly renovated Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park for the Arizona Nationals, the second event on the 2014 National Hot Rod Association Mello Yello Drag Racing series schedule, and the changes to the track presented a new challenge for all competitors.

“They've made quite a bit of improvements,” said defending NHRA Pro Stock world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. who drove to the winner’s circle twice at the Arizona Nationals in 2009 and 2011. “The track is under new management this year, which we're excited about. They've made a lot of improvements to the grounds, not just to the racetrack.”

Formerly known as Firebird International Raceway, the facility made plenty of upgrades including a new concrete track surface and launch pad, timing system, public-address systems, and new scoreboards. Both Coughlin and 2012 NHRA Champ Allen Johnson were among the first to test out the refurbished track last month but more work was done to prepare and improve the surface for this weekend’s racing.

“They’ve done a great job to get the track ready and it’s very good and consistent but we just have to adapt to it a bit better,” said Johnson who earned a title in Phoenix in 2005. “We were a bit too conservative on our first run and aggressive on our second.”

Johnson paced the Mopar entries with the third quickest elapsed time (6.553 Seconds)and set the top speed with 211.83 mph in Friday’s second qualifying session but sits sixth overall. V. Gaines, who drove his Mopar to a runner-up finisher at the 2014 season opening event in Pomona was ninth (6.579 sec / 210.21 mph) while Coughlin (6.598 / 211.43) rounded out the top-10. Also joining the Mopar contingent at this event with HEMI-powered Dodge entries are Phoenix native Matt Hartford (13th) and Deric Kramer (18th). The provisional pole position currently is being held by competitor Chris McGaha with a 6.530 sec/ 210.60 mph pass.

Don Schumacher Racing’s Ron Capps is the defending Funny Car race winner after an all-Mopar final last year against teammate and No.2 qualifier, Matt Hagan. In Friday qualifying, Capps ended up eighth on the timesheets and saw the elapsed time record he had set four years ago fall to John Force who ran 3.990 second / 317.79 mph to earn the provisional pole position.

Hagan, for his part, looked like he picked up right where he had left off from the previous event at the Winternationals where he finished runner-up, by topping the first qualifying session in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T. He’s hoping to earn his first title of the season and his first at Phoenix on the new track surface.
"Anytime a facility sinks money back into a track it makes the racers happy," Hagan said. "We go to a lot of great tracks, but it is great when the owners of the facility put money back into the track to make it better. I'm looking for good things here; I've never won there, and I would like to put a win on the board there."

However, at the end of the day it was teammate Jack Beckman, winner of three titles at this national event, who paced the DSR entries with a second-session effort of 4.055 seconds (314.09 mph) to earn the provisional fourth qualifying spot. Hagan ended up tenth and teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. was 11th. Jeff Arend (13th), Paul Lee (14th) and Gary Densham round out the HEMI-powered Dodge entries competing this weekend.

Qualifying sessions will be held at 2 and 4:30 p.m. (local time) on Friday and Saturday with eliminations due to kick off at 11 a.m. on Sunday morning. The CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals will be broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD with qualifying coverage airing on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 2 a.m. (ET) and again at 8 a.m. (ET). Three hours of final elimination coverage will be presented Sunday evening starting at 8 p.m. (ET).

2014 NHRA Championship Points Standings (Following Winternationals in Pomona – NHRA Event 1 of 24)

PRO STOCK (season wins in parentheses)
1. Jason Line – 118 (1)
2. V Gaines – Dodge Avenger – 96
3. Vincent Nobile – 86
4. Shane Gray – 73
5t. Jeg Coughlin Jr. – Dodge Avenger 55
5t. Erica Enders Stevens – 55
5t. Dave Connolly – 55
8. Larry Morgan – 51
9. Allen Johnson – Dodge Avenger – 45
10. Rodger Brogdon – 33

FUNNY CAR (season wins in parentheses)
1. John Force – 144
2. Matt Hagan – Dodge Charger R/T – 94
3. Del Worsham – 76
4. Bob Tasca III – 71
5. Robert Hight – 61
6. Ron Capps – Dodge Charger R/T – 55
7. Tommy Johnson Jr. – Dodge Charger R/T – 54
8. Gary Densham – Dodge Charger R/T – 51

9. Alexis DeJoria – 39
10. Cruz Pedregon – 38

About Mopar Motorsports
Mopar’s commitment to professional motorsports competition was established in the 1950s when a partnership ignited with drag racing pioneer Don Garlits, resulting in the breaking of numerous speed and performance barriers in HEMI®-powered vehicles over the next several decades. In 2014, Mopar celebrates the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the GEN III 426 Race HEMI® and looks to defend back-to-back NHRA World Championship titles (2012-2013) in the Pro Stock class and battle for another Funny Car World Championship after wins in 2011-2012. While Mopar remains involved in a various professional motorsports series, it continues to honor its roots by being a proud supporter of amateur racing within the NHRA with its sponsorship of the HEMI Challenge and Mopar Sportsman Cup.
 

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Mopar Earns No.2 Qualifier Honors at NHRA Arizona Nationals with DSR Funny Car driver Tommy Johnson Jr.

Mopar entries complete final qualifying runs at renovated Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park for the NHRA Arizona Nationals
Funny Car driver Tommy Johnson Jr. jumped into the second spot on the elimination ladder as the quickest DSR Dodge Charger R/T
Allen Johnson is quickest HEMI-powered Pro Stock with his sixth place spot in qualifying

February 22, 2014 , Chandler, Ariz. -

The Mopar entries have staked out their spots on the elimination ladders for Sunday’s NHRA Arizona National at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park with Don Schumacher Racing’s Tommy Johnson Jr. taking No.2 qualifier honours in final Funny Car qualifying while Allen Johnson paced the HEMI-powered Pro Stocks with the top speed in qualifying to earn the sixth place on the scoresheets.

Following a clean sweep of bonus points in the third qualifying session by the Mopar’s of Jack Beckman, Johnson and Ron Capps, DSR’s newest addition to the team drove his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T from seventh to second place on his final qualifying run by posting a 4.029 seconds elapsed time at 316.08 mph.

“I can't remember the last time I qualified as high as No. 2," said Johnson who will face Tony Pedregon as his first opponent in Sunday eliminations. "It's been awhile, but it's really nice to be back up there. We wanted to put on a good show because we have a lot of Make-A-Wish families here, and we did that. We made a really nice run, and the guys on this team are sure doing a great job."

Beckman (4.055 sec /314.09 mph), who posted the quickest run in the third qualifying session, ended up sixth on the scoring sheets and will face the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T of teammate Matt Hagan in the first round. Hagan qualified 11th on the basis of his 4.091-second pass (309 mph) in Friday’s first qualifying session after struggling for traction in the remaining three sessions.

Defending title winner Capps qualified ninth on the strength of his first Saturday pass, a 4.079-sec e.t., and will see Bob Tasca in the opening round. Jeff Arend qualified his HEMI-powered Dodge entry 13th to match-up against Alexis DeJoria.

Mopar driver Allen Johnson was third quickest Pro Stock in the first qualifying session of the day with a 6.557-second elapsed time and set the top speed of the event so far at 212.06 mph on that pass.

“It’s been a good weekend so far for the Mopar Express Lane Dodge and we were in the top-three for two of our runs so I think we have something for tomorrow,” said Johnson who remained sixth overall to claim lane choice over his first round opponent Jimmy Alund. “The left lane has some issues but the right lane is good so it’ll be important to keep lane choice through eliminations.”

V. Gaines, who drove his Mopar to a runner-up finisher at the 2014 season opening event in Pomona, improved to eighth with the second quickest run (6.571 sec /210.70 mph) of the final session and will see Rodger Brogden as his first round opponent.

Defending NHRA Pro Stock champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. ran identical 6.578 second elapsed time runs in both Saturday sessions to post the fourth and third quickest runs in each, but remained tenth on the scoreboard to face-off against Dave Connelly.

"The whole team went through a pretty good effort last night and this morning to try to get the car a little bit happier," Coughlin said. "We know we've got power, we know we've got people, and we've got the greatest sponsors. It's all a matter of continuing to uncover it and making it shine on game day."

Phoenix native Matt Hartford qualified his HEMI-powered Dodge in 13th place and will line up next to Erica Enders-Stevens. Chris McGaha retained the top spot to earn No.1 Qualifier.

The CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at the newly renovated Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park will be broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD with qualifying coverage airing on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 2 a.m. (ET) and again at 8 a.m. (ET). Three hours of final elimination coverage will be presented Sunday evening starting at 8 p.m. (ET).

2014 NHRA Championship Points Standings (Following Qualifying at Arizona Nationals – NHRA Event 2 of 24)

PRO STOCK (season wins in parentheses)
1. Jason Line – 160 (1)
2. V Gaines – Dodge Avenger – 131
3. Vincent Nobile – 121
4. Shane Gray – 107
5. Erica Enders Stevens – 100
6t. Jeg Coughlin Jr. – Dodge Avenger 88
6t. Dave Connolly – 88
8. Larry Morgan – 82
9. Allen Johnson – Dodge Avenger – 81
10. Chris McGaha – 75

FUNNY CAR (season wins in parentheses)
1. John Force – 185
2. Matt Hagan – Dodge Charger R/T – 129
3. Del Worsham – 112
4. Bob Tasca III – 104
5. Robert Hight – 99
6. Tommy Johnson Jr. – Dodge Charger R/T – 96
7. Ron Capps – Dodge Charger R/T – 88

8. Alexis DeJoria – 76
9. Jack Beckman – Dodge Charger R/T– 72
10. Cruz Pedregon – 69
 
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