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Mopar Pictorial from Atlanta Dragway

Although shut out of the winner’s circle, several Mopar pilots enjoyed good showings Apr. 27-29, at Atlanta Dragway’s 27th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals.

Nitro Funny Car

Mike Ashley led the way for the Mopar crowd, earning the number-one starting position in Funny Car with a 4.704-second pass at a track record 331.04 mph that also stood as low E.T. and top speed of the meet. Ashley drove his Dodge-bodied flopper all the way to the final round against number-two qualifier Robert Hight, but lost traction near the top end, allowing Hight to shoot ahead for his second-straight event win.

Ron Capps retained his points lead leaving Atlanta after qualifying 6th and making it to the semis where he fell short of eventual race winner Robert Hight. Capps headed to St. Louis for the seventh race on the 23-event circuit with a 45-point edge, a margin of slightly more than two round wins.

Since bringing Jimmy Walsh on board to crew chief his Monster energy drink-backed team, Kenny Bernstein has shown great improvement. Bernstein qualified his Charger Funny Car 4th at Atlanta, but fell victim to tire smoke in round one against Del Worsham.

Qualifying 9th was Jack Beckman in the Mail Terminal Services Charger. Beckman faced off against teammate Gary Scelzi in round one, but came up less than a car-length short at the finish line.

Gary Scelzi outran his teammate by just three thousandths in qualifying to place him 8th on the starting list. After getting past Beckman in the opener, Scelzi lost traction early in his second-round pairing against Mike Ashley.


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