Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep news from Allpar

Keselowski breaks the chain – finishes first in Kroger 200

In 29 years, no Chrysler vehicle had ever won the Kroger 200 at the Lucas Oil Raceway in Clermont, Indiana, and tonight was the last chance; NASCAR is heading for the bright lights of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2012. So it was a perfect ending to an era when Brad Keselowski and the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger took the checkered flag on Saturday night, beating the next two cars by nearly a second..

Keselowski started the race in the No. 2 slot, but it was Ricky Stenhouse in the No. 6 Blackwell Angus Beef/Cargill Ford who led most of the race. He passed Keselowski on the first lap, but Keselowski was running second or third until a yellow flag pitstop on Lap 114. When the green flag waved again, Keselowski was out of the top ten. On Lap 127, The Discount Tire Dodge was showing smoke coming out the back, but Keselowski had moved back up to ninth place.

What had been a ho-hum race went wild beginning with a three-car crash on Lap 176 that brought out a red flag. After the restart, Trevor Bayne’s No. 16 Ford blew an engine, Justin Allagier’s No. 31 Deft Finishes Chevrolet’s brakes caught fire and by Lap 197, Keselowski had taken the lead. He kept the lead after a restart on Lap 198 and kept it all the way to the finish line. Keselowski led the race for just seven laps, but they were the seven most important laps.

After the race, Keselowski told reporters, “I’m not sure what happened at the end of that race. I’m going to have to go back and watch it on TV to fully understand what happened. The 16 car blew up. The 31 caught on fire. We ended up restarted in second position on the outside lane and I knew that if I could get around the 6 car that we had a shot at the win. I had a great short-run car that could give Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.) a run for his money. If the race was two of three laps longer, I’m sure Ricky would have drove around us. Our Discount Tire Dodge Challenger was great on the short run. It’s great to get back to victory lane again.

“Indy has always meant a lot to me. Coming from Michigan and this being a track that I always drove to, I’ve never missed a race here in all the years as a fan, spectator, kid, mechanic and a driver; it’s a place that I always enjoyed coming to. I’m glad to be able to sit in victory lane as a driver for the first time here. What’s so special about this place is that I have a lot of family on the west side of the state, some of them are here today and I saw them up in the grandstands. It’s just a privilege to win around people that you grew up with and you know. It’s almost like a second home track for me. It’s a real pleasure and honor to win here.”

Blake Koch in the No. 81 K-Love Dodge finished 20th and moved up a spot to the No. 19 position in the driver rankings. Dennis Setzer’s No. 23 R3 Motorsports Dodge developed a brake problem and had to leave the race after 21 laps. Jennifer Jo Cobb, who had entered the TenforJen Challenger, wound up in the No. 113 Lilly Trucking of Virginia Ford and had to drop out after just two laps with handling problems.

Next NASCAR action is the Brickyard 400 today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Ford’s towing claims: brag or bluff?


In today’s print edition of Automotive News, Larry Vellequette wrote about one more facet of the ongoing battle for bragging rights among pickup manufacturers. This time, Ram is engaged in a tussle with Ford over top towing rights. Ford claims the championship over the Ram 3500, saying its 4X4 crew cab heavy-duty pickup can tow 31,200 pounds, 1,200 more than the Ram 3500 regular cab 4X2, which Chrysler maintains has “best-in-class” towing....

Proxy service advises merger approval


San Francisco-based Glass, Lewis & Co. has recommended that its clients approve the Fiat Chrysler merger this Friday. Glass Lewis is one of the two leading proxy service companies in the world, the other being ISS which last week advised its clients to vote down the merger. According to a Reuters report, the company said the benefits of the merger outweigh concerns about voting rights....

Does Enders-Stevens strategy open the door for Johnson?


NHRA Pro Stock points leader Erica Enders-Stevens didn’t race at Sonoma and she won’t be competing at the Northwest Nationals in Seattle. Elite Motorsports owner Richard Freeman two-event “holiday” at the Mile-High Nationals in Denver. Despite her very impressive racing resume, Enders-Stevens lacks a real sponsor and it’s likely this was a major consideration, especially since she had built up a 241-point lead over Allen Johnson, who is second in the point standings, at the end of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio....

Coughlin clinches Countdown berth in Sonoma


Jeg Coughlin Jr. became the second Mopar driver to clinch a spot in the six-race Countdown to the Championship that will determine the Mello Yello NHRA Pro Stock world championship. Coughlin joined teammate Allen Johnson in the Countdown after making it to the Pro Stock semifinals in the NHRA Sonoma Nationals that ran this weekend at Sonoma Raceway....

Categories: Chrysler, Motorsports.

Italian action could help Fiat-Chrysler
Charger squads: still 5-speeds?
Ford’s towing claims: brag or bluff?
Proxy service advises merger approval

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