Tom Hessert and Austin Wayne Self finished in the top ten in the ARCA Presented By Menard’s Southern Illinois 100 that ran Sunday at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in DuQuoin Illinois.

Hessert was eighth across the finish line while Self was tenth. Both finished on the lead lap.

The race was won by Grant Enfinger in the No. 90 Motor Honey-Casite-Allegiant Travel Chevrolet.

Hessert is currently fourth in the driver standings; Self is sixth.

There were five Dodges in the race; three were among the 12 that encountered problems or mishaps. Out of the 30-car field, 18 were still running at the end of the race.

2014 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards: Southern Illinois 100
Finish Driver No. Team/Sponsor & Car Laps Status
8 Tom Hessert 77 Dodge 100 Running
10 Austin Wayne Self 22 AM Technical Solutions Dodge 100 Running
18 James Swanson 6 Wayne Peterson Racing Dodge 90 Fuel
23 Katlynn Leer 97 Carter 2 Motorsports Dodge 64 Accident
25 Roger Carter 40 Carter 2 Motorsports Dodge 20 Overheating

It was a disappointing day for Dodge drivers at the NHRA U.S. Nationals that ended Monday at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Indiana.

In the final event of the 2014 Mello Yello NHRA drag racing regular season, only Ron Capps made it to the semifinals in Fuel Funny Car and only Allen Johnson got as far as the quarterfinals in Pro Stock. It’s just the fourth time in the 2014 Mello Yello NHRA drag racing season that there hasn’t been a Dodge in one of the final rounds.

Ron Capps made it the farthest. After defeating Camry drivers Chad Head and Del Worsham in the opening rounds, he smoked the tires early and lost to John Force in the semifinal round. Ironically, Capps defeated Force to claim the Brainerd Wally on Saturday.

“I told (crew chief Rahn) Tobler and (assistant crew chief) Eric (Lane) that we had the most consistent car all weekend and for me personally, it was one of the best Funny Cars I’ve ever had here at the U.S. Nationals, and I’ve had some pretty good cars to drive,” said Capps. “This place really makes you earn it. I mean, look at the people who have won it in the past. That’s why it’s Indy. It’s tough. It only hurts worse because we had a better shot, we got closer. You go that many rounds and you feel like you can taste it. That makes it hurt a little bit more.”

Matt Hagan’s Mopar/Rocky Boots Charger developed the shakes in the opening round but the 2011 World Champion recovered and shut down Bob Bode. Unfortunately, he wound up on the losing end of a pedal-fest with John Force in the quarterfinals.

“It’s hard to do anything except let (the car) calm down and try to get back on it, but when you smoke the tires that early there’s not a lot you can do,” said Hagan. “It just rubs salt in the wound when you watch him (Force) smoke the tires way down there. I wanted to win Indy, everybody does, but there’s only one trophy handed out at the end of the day, so we’ll have to come back and get ours next year.”

“It’s now a whole new season,” added Hagan, looking ahead to the Countdown to the Championship that begins in Charlotte. “We’ve got a great race car and great opportunity to go out and try to win a championship. That’s the mentality we are going into the Countdown with.

“When I won the championship in 2011, we came in from the sixth spot. We’re coming in from the seventh spot this time, and all we need is a couple of good races. They reset the points and give everyone a chance in the top-10. Robert Hight won it from the tenth spot. You never know. You just have to be there.”

Despite a strong performance during the qualifying rounds, former Funny Car world champion Jack Beckman saw his hopes for a berth in the Countdown to the Championship go up in smoke in the second race of today’s opening elimination rounds. Tim Wilkerson, Beckman’s rival for the final Countdown spot, was also eliminated in the first round, but held a ten-point advantage over Beckman that clinched the berth.

“Not a silver lining on this,” said Beckman, a military veteran and cancer survivor who usually can find a positive in every situation. “The best we can be is 11th and that’s underachieving for us. We’ll just move on to Charlotte. Everybody is beat up right now. They (the crew) earn less money when we don’t go deep in eliminations. We can’t run for a championship, the wind is out of everybody’s sails right now. We have two weeks to get a fresh perspective on this. Right now everybody is just a little bit depressed.”

Tommy Johnson Jr. exacted some revenge for Beckman, eliminating Tim Wilkerson late in the first round. But hot Courtney Force, who set a track speed record during qualifying, tripped the lights 0.032 seconds ahead of Johnson in the second round.

Blake Alexander, whose clean pass in the opening round ended Beckman’s Countdown chances, couldn’t keep up with Alexis DeJoria in the quarterfinals. DeJoria went on to shut down John Force in the final round.

Jeff Arend smoked the tires as he lost to Del Worsham in the first round.

It wasn’t toasty tires that hurt Dodge drivers in Pro Stock – it was red lights. Both Jeg Couglin Jr. and Matt Hartford were too quick at the start. Coughlin gave Aaron Stanfield his first-ever opening-round win while Hartford gave Vincent Nobile a pass to the quarterfinals.

“It’s a little more disappointing when it’s the U.S. Nationals, the 60th anniversary of this event and 50th for the (426) HEMI,” said Coughlin, who have the chance to win two Wallys this weekend. “It’s such a grind out here this year too. We were finishing two rounds from Brainerd so there was a lot of preparation that went into this race and the team fought hard all weekend, so we can’t be that disappointed.

“The Countdown is where we’ll turn our focus with the Mopar,” he added. “I’m really happy with all of our efforts and coming into the first race of the Countdown at Charlotte as a returning champion and World Champion makes it exciting, so that’s the kind of start we’re going to need. The discipline and focus of this Mopar team makes us capable of pulling that off.”

Allen Johnson had a clean pass in the opening round, sending Chris McGaha to the showers. In the second round, the Team Mopar Dodge Dart got a bad case of the shakes and Shane Gray got the win. Gray would go on to collect his first Wally.

“We’ve had a good regular season with as many wins as anybody else, and our teammate has some wins too,” said Johnson. “We’re going to approach the Countdown with a vengeance. We’ll go there and test this week and see if we can’t get a tune up that’s a little better than we had here. It’s a whole new season and we’re basically starting from scratch, but it’s very important to get a good start. Hopefully we can go to Charlotte and win our first race there.”

V. Gaines had a perfect start and a clean run but was eight inches behind Dave Connolly at the finish line in their opening-round race. Gaines did nail down his spot in the Countdown.

Psn Driver Sponsor/Team & Car Regular Season Countdown
1 Jason Line Summit Racing Equipment Camaro 1408 2110
2 Erica Enders-Stevens Elite Motorsports Camaro 1324 2080
3 Allen Johnson Team Mopar Dart 1318 2070
4 Jeg Coughlin Jr. Dart 1254 2060
5 Dave Connolly Charter Camaro 1231 2050
6 Shane Gray Gray Manufacturing Camaro 1188 2040
7 Vincent Nobile Mountain View Tire Camaro 1093 2030
8 V. Gaines Kendall Oil Dart 805 2020
9 Chris McGaha Harlow Sammons of Odessa Camaro 782 2010
10 Jonathan Gray Gray Motorsports Camaro 725 2000
Psn Driver Sponsor/Team & Car Regular Season Countdown
1 John Force Castrol GTX High Mileage Mustang 1420 2110
2 Robert Hight Auto Club Mustang 1340 2080
3 Ron Capps NAPA Auto Parts Charger 1188 2070
4 Alexis DeJoria Patron XO Cafe Camry 1148 2060
5 Tommy Johnson Jr. Make-A-Wish Charger 1107 2050
6 Courtney Force Traxxas Mustang 1093 2040
7 Matt Hagan Mopar/Rocky Boots Charger 1074 2030
8 Cruz Pedregon Snap-on Tools Camry 963 2020
9 Del Worsham DHL Camry 961 2010
10 Tim Wilkerson Levi, Ray & Shoup Mustang 883 2000
Not in Countdown
11 Jack Beckman Valvoline Max Life/MTS Charger 873 N/A

Stars, politicians and other notables have taken the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness of and funding for a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sometimes known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The challenge has spread worldwide and even fictional characters like Kermit the Frog have participated.

So it was only a matter of time before cars got into the act.

In Europe, the Fiat 500 took the challenge, and the bucket of water, as Fiat donated €10,000 (just over $13,000) to the cause. The Cinquecento then issued its own challenge to its competitors, the Volkswagen Up, Renault Twingo and BMW Mini.

paper power wagon model has posted a free classic Dodge Power Wagon paper model, including assembly tips and a PDF master. The company suggests printing the model onto heavy stock paper, or having a print shop do it (since they can use heavier paper); then using a straightedge, sharp knife, cutting pad, and paper glue, one can assemble it.

The setup was created by, which has a variety of other paper models (mainly imports, with two Jeep Wrangler Unlimiteds), and a number of available-for-purchase paper models of International, Pinzgauer, Toyota, Jeep, and Ford models.  Cherokees start at $6.50.

Reuters reports that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is looking to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, October 13 of this year.

That’s the word from FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne who talked to reporters during the Meeting for the Friendship Amongst Peoples in Rimini, Italy.

Marchionne said that the decision of the majority of shareholders to keep their shares was a “huge step ahead” for the merger. Fiat reported last week that the number of shareholders exercising a cash-out option was under the €500 million cap contained in the merger documents.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Marchionne explained that the deadline for creditor opposition is October 4, which falls on a Saturday. This is the final hurdle for the merger. Because the deadline is on a weekend, FCA leadership decided to shoot for the NYSE listing on Monday of the following week.

Marchionne also said that any decision on a capital increase would be made around that time. He indicated that the five-year business plan in May did not depend on a cash call.

Sources: Reuters; Bloomberg News

Tommy Kendall drove the No. 11 CTEK/Northstar Miller Racing Dodge Challenger to a runner-up finish in Sunday’s 26th Annual Muscle Car Shootout at Minnesota’s Brainerd International Raceway. It was Kendall’s first podium after a 10-year absence from SCCA Trans Am racing and Dodge’s first appearance in just its second event.

“I’m still learning what I want the car to be like at the start and what the arc of the race is, and how much they change from fuel and tires and all that,” Kendall said following the race. “Cam (Cameron Lawrence) and the team have been telling me, ‘Our cars are second half cars,’ and it seemed like it was heading that way at Mid-Ohio before then we had a problem. The car felt good. When I got into fourth, they said, ‘You’re 18 seconds back,’ and it held for like three laps in a row and I almost relaxed and settled in, but I said, ‘You know what? The car’s getting better and better,’ so I just put my head down and started digging. The times started coming down a little bit and then they started coming down in chunks and Adam (Andretti) I guess hurt his splitter. First, they were giving me minutes left and I thought I had time and then they switched to laps and they said, ‘It’s only five laps to go.’ Things worked out perfectly. I’ve got to give a shout out to the team. It’s been a six-week thrash on both sides and there’s quite a bit of involvement with guys from Dodge that are working on the car as well. For all those guys, this is a nice payback. To get on the podium – first time I’ve been on one in 10 years – feels pretty good. With the 11 having a good showing and Challenger back on the podium – obviously, we’re gunning for first, but at this point I’m more than happy with second – it was a good day.”

Kendall’s Miller Racing teammate, Cameron Lawrence, came in fifth, padding his points lead in the TA2 Class.

“The race went well. I went off track around lap five,” Lawrence told reporters. “There was something on the track – dirt or water – and that took the front splitter off. That hurt us early and we ended up fifth. We’re still in good shape and we didn’t lose too many points. We still have a decent lead and the cars are coming along really well. We had a really good car today. We’re getting better and we’ll be in good shape at the end.”

Since Saturday’s qualifying session was rained out, starting position was set by points. This gave Lawrence the pole but started Kendall in 11th.

Trans-Am Championship Series: Muscle Car Shootout TA2 Class Results
Finish Driver Car No. Team/Car
1 Ron Keith 25 Mike Cope Racing/Ford Mustang
2 Tommy Kendall 11 CTEK/Northstar Miller Racing/Dodge Challenger
3 Adam Andretti 44 Engineered Components/Chevrolet Camaro
4 Bob Stretch 98 FixRim Mobile Wheel Repair/Chevrolet Camaro
5 Cameron Lawrence 1 CTEK/Northstar Miller Racing/Dodge Challenger
6 Joe Ebben 14 Stumpf Ford/McMahon Group/Ford Mustang
7 Kevin Poitras 73 Mike Cope Racing/Chevrolet Camaro
8 Mel Shaw 10 CTEK/Northstar Miller Racing/Chevrolet Camaro
9 Tim Gray 60 Ryan Companies US Inc./Chevrolet Camaro
10 Bruce Nesbitt 50 BrakeOMeter/Orion Industries/Ford Mustang
Out of Race
11 Jed Copham 42 ArcherRacing/Race-Keeper/TeamTk/Chevrolet Camaro
12 Frank Lussier 53 ArcherRacing/Race-Keeper/TeamTk/Chevrolet Camaro
13 Tom Sheehan 97 FixRim Mobile Wheel Repair/Chevrolet Camaro
14 Joe Stevens 99 FixRim Mobile Wheel Repair/Chevrolet Camaro

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