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Apr 14, 2014 - 09:12 AM
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2014 NHRA: Mopar Motorsports- NHRA Four-Wide Race Recap
Posted by: newsla on Apr 14, 2014 - 09:10 AM
NHRA
2014 NHRA: Mopar Motorsports- NHRA Four-Wide Race Recap


Rather than a berth in the final elimination round and a shot at a coveted title win at the fifth annual Four-Wide NHRA Nationals, each Mopar Funny Car and Pro Stock team and driver left the event with good dose of frustration after none of the Dodge entries advanced past the semifinals.

 

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As the only national event on the National Hot Rod Association circuit with four cars battling each other at the same time on the purposely-built zMax Dragway at Charlotte Motor Speedway, just three heats are necessary to determine the title winner, runner-up and two semi-finalists, leaving little room for error.

In Funny Car competition, No.1 qualifier Ron Capp saw his race day cut short with a first round loss for his Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Charger R/T along with Chad Head in his quad, against Dell Worsham and Alexis DeJoria. Despite the early exit, Capps remains fourth in the class standings.

The Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T of Matt Hagan made its best pass of the weekend with an elapsed time run of 4.087 seconds (314.75 mph) to earn the first round win. In that same quad, it was a photo-finish for second place between DSR’s Jack Beckman and Robert Hight, with the Mopar driver missing a chance to join his teammate in the semifinals by less than an inch.

Fellow DSR driver, Tommy Johnson Jr., used a holeshot (0.073 second reaction) and 4.113 second (312.57mph) pass to grab second place with his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T in order to transfer out to the next elimination wave along with round winner John Force, leaving behind Jeff Arend and Courtney Force.

For their second round match-up, the Mopar teammates, Hagan and Johnson, found themselves in the losing end of the quad giving passage to eventual Four-Wide title winner Hight and runner-up Force.

The Four-Wide format proved to be a challenge to Mopar’s Pro Stock contingent as well, as all three HEMI-powered Dodge entries had their elimination rounds end in frustrations with none making it past the second wave of eliminations.

The first round results looked promising for Jeg Coughlin Jr. who was right on target with his JEGS.com Dodge Dart taking it to the stripe first, posting a 0.600-second reaction time to run an elapsed time pass of 6.681 seconds (210.28 mph), to beat Shane Gray’s (0.784 sec. reaction) 6.566 second e.t. (211.69 mph), with both drivers advancing to the next heat over Robert Patrick and Rodger Brogden.

Winner of two national title events thus far this year, Allen Johnson (0.037-second reaction) ran his “Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar” Dodge Dart to a 6.554-second e.t. (211.46 mph) crossing the finish second to Erica Enders-Stevens’ (0.020 reaction) 6.546 second (212.33 mph) in their first round foursome, leaving John Gaydosh and Jonathon Gray behind. In the last first-round quartet match-up, the Dodge Avenger of V. Gaines saw its day shortened with a third place finish.

The next round of eliminations for the J&J HEMI-powered Mopars of Johnson and Coughlin didn’t start or end the way they had hoped. Johnson’s hopes of participating in his first Four-Wide final round appearance ended when his tires shook in a match-up against Enders-Stevens, Jason Line and Vincent Nobile.

For his part, Coughlin was just 0.005-seconds too quick for a rare red-light start that disqualified what would have been the quickest pass of the round at 6.542 seconds and 211.63 mph against Jimmy Alund, Shane Gray and Chris McGaha. The final elimination round featured a first career NHRA Pro Stock win for Alund, Gray finishing runner-up, with Nobile and Enders-Stevens as semifinalist.

Next on the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule is the 27th annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway in Houston, Texas, on April 25-27.

2014 NHRA Championship Points Standings
(Following Four-Wide NHRA Nationals Race FINAL)

PRO STOCK (season wins in parentheses)
1. Erica Enders Stevens – 426 (1)
2. Jason Line – 384 (1)
3. Allen Johnson – Dodge Dart – 370 (2)
4. Vincent Nobile – 339
5. Shane Gray – 334
6t. Dave Connolly – 308
6t. V Gaines – Dodge Avenger – 308
8. Jimmy Alund – 282
9. Jeg Coughlin Jr. – Dodge Dart – 270
10. Chris McGaha – 258

FUNNY CAR (season wins in parentheses)
1. Robert Hight – 488 (2)
2. John Force – 453 (1)
3. Alexis DeJoria – 375 (2)
4. Ron Capps – Dodge Charger R/T – 282
5. Del Worsham – 277
6. Tommy Johnson Jr. – Dodge Charger R/T – 257
7. Matt Hagan – Dodge Charger R/T – 244
8t. Courtney Force – 264
8t. Tim Wilkerson – 244
10. Jack Beckman – Dodge Charger R/T– 234


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