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May 03, 2013 - 06:30 AM
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2013 NHRA: NHRA Southernnationals Preview: Mopar Salutes Don Schumacher
Posted by: newsla on May 03, 2013 - 06:27 AM
NHRA
2013 NHRA: NHRA Southernnationals Preview: Mopar Salutes Don Schumacher, Looks To Defend Atlanta Title


• Mopar ready for the third event in three weeks, 33rd annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta
• Mopar salutes Don Schumacher for his induction to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame
• Mopar is second in NHRA points standings in both Pro Stock and Funny Car categories
• Capps is defending Funny Car title holder at Atlanta Dragway

 

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For the last of three consecutive national events in as many weeks, Mopar heads to Atlanta Dragway this weekend to compete in the 33rd annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, the seventh of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

Prior to this weekend's on track activities, Mopar executives will attend the induction ceremonies at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame gala on Thursday evening in support of Don Schumacher who is being recognized for his many contributions to the NHRA and motorsports.

Schumacher’s legacy began with the first of many trips to the winner’s circle behind the wheel of a Plymouth Barracuda Funny Car at the 1970 U.S. Nationals, and his loyalty and relationship with Mopar continues to present day. In addition to being part of the 11 NHRA World Championships and the milestone of more than 200 event title wins, Mopar is honored to be associated with Schumacher’s passion, principles and high standard of excellence, both on and off the track.

But while Schumacher’s accomplishments and contributions are a big part of why he was selected for induction into the prestigious International Motorsports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013, Mopar feels it is his qualities as a person that make his recognition so commendable.

“On behalf of everyone at Mopar, I would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Don Schumacher who is very deserving of this special induction honor,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “Not only has Don, as both a team owner and driver, been a long-time loyal supporter and friend to the Mopar brand, but he represents everything that our brand strives for. There is no doubting his passion, work ethic, commitment and determination have made him a tremendous asset to world of drag racing but it is the combination of his trademark sportsmanship style and his personification of class that differentiates him as a true gentleman in the world of motorsports.”

Schumacher joins NHRA legends including Don Garlits, Shirley Muldowney, and Don Prudhomme as members of the Hall of Fame who have also have long relationships with Mopar. Schumacher will be inducted into the class of 2103 along with NASCAR legends Dale Inman, Rick Hendrick, and Rusty Wallace.

Heading to Atlanta’s Dragway, Mopar is hoping to get back on a winning track after its streak of 13 title victories in 11 events, dating back to the Nationals in Charlotte in September 2012, came to an end last weekend in Houston. After earning six title wins in the first five events of the 2013 season, the SpringNationals marked the first time this year a Mopar did not make the final elimination round in either Funny Car or Pro Stock.

Despite the difficult weekend, Pro Stock driver Johnson has two wins this year in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Avenger and remains second in the NHRA Mello Yello series points standing after six events. Mopar teammate Coughlin is right behind him in a third place with two runner-up finishes and a No.1 qualifier honors but hoping to cap off a good season start by putting the Jegs.com Mopar in the winner’s circle as soon as possible.

Matt Hagan, who is second in the Funny Car championship points standings after his own strong start and a win under his belt in the “Magneti Marelli offered by Mopar” Dodge Charger R/T, is ready to hit the track after a first round loss to his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps last week. Capps, for his part, is the defending Funny Car title winner at Atlanta, where he won the first of five event titles last year, and is currently fourth in the standings.

This up-coming weekend, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will provide coverage of the 33rd annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals with two hours of qualifying highlights on Saturday, May 4, at 8 p.m. (ET) and then a three hour telecast of elimination rounds on Sunday, May 5, starting at 6:30 p.m. (ET) from Atlanta Dragway.

2013 NHRA Championship Points Standings (after 6 races):

PRO STOCK (season wins in parentheses)
1. Mike Edwards (1) – 532
2. Allen Johnson (2) - Dodge Avenger – 465
3. Jeg Coughlin Jr. - Dodge Avenger – 450
3. Erica Enders-Stevens (1) – 450
5. Jason Line (1) – 419
6. Vincent Nobile (1) - Dodge Avenger – 361
7. Shane Gray – 327
8. V. Gaines- Dodge Avenger – 317
9. Greg Anderson – 304
10. Greg Stanfield – 270

FUNNY CAR (season wins in parentheses)
1. Cruz Pedregon (2) – 470
2. Matt Hagan (1) - Dodge Charger R/T – 433
3. Courtney Force (1) – 384
4. Ron Capps (1) - Dodge Charger R/T – 381
5. Johnny Gray (1) - Dodge Charger R/T – 262
6. Tim Wilkerson – 348
7. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T – 318
8. Robert Hight – 308
9. Alexis DeJoria – 295
10. Bob Tasca III – 293

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