VOLUME XIV,  ISSUE 3 , JULY - AUGUST,  2019

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‘Roadkill Nights’ returns to Woodward Avenue on Aug. 9-10

Returning to kick off cruise week for 2019, MotorTrend Group’s "Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge" is growing even bigger this year with the addition of Friday night (Aug. 9) activities, while bringing back legal street drag racing that will lay some rubber down on the iconic Woodward Avenue pavement on Saturday. With exhilarating experiences, including thrill rides in the 717-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and the 707-horsepower Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat models, more participants in the celebrity showdown races, and an overall $40,000 purse with $10,000 going toward United Way, this year’s event is set to deliver more high-octane horsepower and excitement than ever before.

 

For the fifth year, "Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge" celebrates the Motor City’s automotive culture with its popular legal street drag racing, classic and modern muscle car show, and other fun-filled activities that will take over the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan. The "Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge" is the traditional kick off to southeast Michigan's weeklong celebration of classic cars and car culture.

 

“Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge continues to grow each year since we introduced this event five years ago, so we’re answering enthusiast demand by adding a day of fun so even more people can participate in the celebration of America's muscle car culture,” said Mark Malmstead – Head of Dodge//SRT Marketing. “It’s also a great opportunity for participants to race in a sanctioned environment on historic Woodward Ave.”

 

Spectator tickets, Show 'n Shine participation and package information, as well as drag racing applications, are available now at hotrod.com/events/roadkillnights.

 

With the new addition of Friday night activities, fans will meet the drivers of some of the fastest street legal drag cars in America and watch historic Woodward Avenue transform from a street into a drag strip. On Saturday, drag racing returns with two classes, Big Tire and Small Tire, competing for a cash purse of $30,000. As part of the overall $40,000 purse, $10,000 will be awarded to United Way. Both drag racing classes will have the same payout structure with $15,000 as the total purse per class. [08/09/19]

Johnson goes to the top of ‘Thunder Mountain’

(Ron Lewis photo)

 

Tommy Johnson Jr. ended his 35-year quest for a victory in Denver, driving his Mopar-powered Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to the win at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil on July 21 at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado.

 

Johnson’s win on Sunday, his 19th career NHRA victory and second of 2019, was also the sixth triumph by a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat pilot in 2019, and fifth in the last eight events for a Mopar-powered competitor. It’s also the second consecutive win by a Dodge driver at the brand’s headline event, following Leah Pritchett’s 2018 Top Fuel win.

 

The run to victory in the event sponsored by Dodge and presented by Pennzoil, both partners of Johnson’s car owner Don Schumacher Racing (DSR), came in his 51st career final. His first final appearance came at Bandimere back in 1984, when at age 15 he raced to a runner-up finish while competing in Super Gas. Two years ago, Johnson lost in the Funny Car final, but Sunday he was not going to be denied.

 

Johnson started Sunday by driving his Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to an opening round win over Jeff Diehl to setup a quarterfinal matchup with fellow DSR and Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Jack Beckman. A starting-line advantage was the difference in pushing Johnson past Beckman into his seventh semifinal of the season. Next in his way was Cruz Pedregon, another Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat foe, and Johnson raced to another consistent lap in the John Collins’-tuned Hellcat to advance to his third final of 2019.

Johnson was undefeated in seven previous meetings with Bob Tasca III and made it eight straight, and first in a final, by storming down the track with a final round pass of 4.102 seconds at 308.50 to capture his first Bandimere triumph.

Two-time NHRA Funny Car world champion and two-time Denver winner Cruz Pedregon chased his first triumph of 2019 from the third position on the ladder in his Snap-On Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. He defeated Terry Haddock in the opening round and followed that by eliminating arch-rival and former boss John Force in the quarterfinal to reach his first semifinal of 2019. Pedregron grabbed the starting-line advantage, but lost traction early in the run and could not recover in time to track down Johnson.

Beckman began Sunday with an all-DSR/all-Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car matchup with the series’ most recent winner, Matt Hagan. Despite trailing Hagan off the starting line, Beckman raced his way around him to meet Johnson in the second round. The two met most recently in the semifinals at Norwalk, with Beckman prevailing, but on Sunday in Denver, it was Johnson that turned on the win light on the strength of his starting line advantage. Beckman continues to hold the fifth position in the championship standings. 

Two-time Funny Car world champion Hagan was looking to carry the new 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody graphics package with a flared-out feel on the DSR machine to his first career triumph at the Thunder Mountain venue on Sunday. Hagan was quickest off the starting line in his fifth first round match up versus a DSR teammate in 2019, but his machine began to slow three quarters of the way through the race and came up short of advancing with his run of 4.177 seconds at 239.27 mph.

Capps, the 2009 Denver Funny Car champion, was looking for another productive Sunday in Denver and began his race day with a first-round matchup versus Todd Simpson. The two-time 2019 winner powered the NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat down the track in 4.078 seconds at 309.91-mph to dispatch Simpson and advance to round two. Against Bob Tasca III in the quarterfinals, Capps controlled the lead early, but a mechanical malfunction caused his machine to slow, enabling Tasca to drive around for the win to halt Capps’ run for a second consecutive run to the finals at Bandimere. 

Leah Pritchett returned to Thunder Mountain on a mission to become the fifth driver in Top Fuel to score back-to-back wins over the course of the 31-year title rights sponsorship by FCA US at Bandimere Speedway, and the first since Joe Amato accomplished it in 1999 and 2000. After dominating last year’s Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals by qualifying No. 1 and powering to a Sunday triumph, Pritchett looked to make it two straight wins in the DSR “Angry Bee” Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel dragster after qualifying second in the field. She opened her defense with a solid opening-round victory with her lap of 3.877 seconds at 310.98 mph to eliminate Terry Totten and advanced to the second round facing Clay Millican for the 18th time in her career. Millican got the jump at the starting line and Pritchett struggled to overtake him after losing a cylinder early in her run, ending her day prematurely.  [08/09/19]

Hellcat Widebodies challenge Pikes Peak

This race-prepped, one-off concept version of newly unveiled 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody (3.5 inches wider body) took part in the Exhibition Class of the world-renowned 97th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado on Sunday, June 30.

 

Drivers must negotiate 156 turns over 12.4 miles – a route that puts a premium on handling and top-notch braking. The air is thin at the 9,390-foot start and gets thinner on the climb to the finish line at 14,115 feet, affecting the engine’s output and the driver’s stamina.

 

Award-winning driver Randy Pobst, a three-time “Race to the Clouds” veteran and resident expert test driver for Motor Trend magazine, was in the driver’s seat of this special Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody concept.

 

Dodge//SRT engineers teamed with Wesley Motorsports of Lansing, Mich., to make changes to the Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody production specs, tailoring the sedan for the unique, grueling rigors of Pikes Peak.

The Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody concept joined a race-prepped Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody at this year’s event. This was the Challenger’s second year up the mountain in the Time Attack 1 class. Kevin Wesley was behind the wheel.    [08/09/19]

All-Duster final at Lancaster, NY, drag race

The Mod class final was a battle of Plymouth Dusters at Lancaster Dragway @ New York International Raceway Park on Friday night, July 12. Mike Hickey, driving a 1972 Duster, broke out after he ran under his dial-in to give Reid Ricketson (shown), Darien Center, NY, his second win of the season in his ’72 model.     [08/09/19]

Dodge and ‘The Struts’ go Dancing in the Street

The Dodge brand and British band The Struts (Interscope Records) are teaming up as part of a new summer advertising campaign launched across television, social and digital channels. The band’s recently released rendition of “Dancing in the Street,” which can be downloaded/streamed here, adds fuel to the Dodge brand’s summer campaign, which includes pitting The Struts band members – Luke Spiller, Adam Slack, Jed Elliott and Gethin Davies – against each other on the race track in a 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320.

 

As part of the Dodge brand’s social content, fans of The Struts will have the chance to see their favorite band member pitted against their bandmates on the drag strip. The guys will be coached on how to drive and race the Dodge Challenger, preparing each for a safe race down the track.

 

As The Struts are prepping to get behind the wheel, fans can hype up the race online through the Dodge brand’s social channels, including Twitter and Instagram, with the chance to vote for who they think will win. Once ready, Luke, Adam, Jed and Gethin will each get the chance to race the 1/8 mile and the best time wins.  [08/09/19]

Dodge Dragstrip Showdown Debuts in Denver

Fans at Bandimere Speedway had the chance to go head-to-head behind the wheel of Dodge Challenger SRT Demon simulators in the debut of the second year of the Dragstrip Showdown.

 

Hosted all weekend in the Dodge//SRT display on Manufacturers Midway, the Dragstrip Showdown allows participants to test their skills and compete for bragging rights, with top run times listed on the DodgeGarage website. Winners will be announced after the NHRA Finals in Pomona in November, with top racers with the best ETs earning prizes including Dodge Challenger SRT Demon remote control cars and gift cards for Dodge swag.

 

For complete information on the Dragstrip Showdown, including a list of events that will be featuring the Demon simulators and how to get in on the action and win prizes even for those unable to compete in person, visit www.DodgeGarage.com.   [08/09/19]

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mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!
mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!
mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!
mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!
mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!
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mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!
mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!
mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!
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mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!
mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!
mopar memos The latest news, rumours & Info!