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ALMS podium, NCATS Championship top racing wrap

by Bill Cawthon on


ALMS: Jonathan Bomarito and Kumo Wittmer drove the No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R to a second-place GT class finish in a caution-free American LeMans Series Circuit of the Americas that ran yesterday in Austin, Texas. The Viper was 14th in the overall results. Dominick Farnbacher and Marc Goossens finished fifth in the GT class and 17th overall.

“I think we just needed one more lap, to be honest,” said Bomarito. “I mean, it’s absolutely amazing. It’s a testament to how close the GT category is. No cautions in a two hour and 45 minute race and it comes down right to the end. What an amazing job by the whole SRT crew. Our SRT Viper GTS-R was awesome. Thank you Kuno (Wittmer), amazing job and good pit stops by the crew. I’m tired but we’re happy.

“What an amazing run by this team. The car was fast all day. To make up 17 seconds in one hour and nearly pull off a win is just amazing. Everybody on this team is amazing. The crew did and incredible job in the pits. Great pit stops all day. We fought all day. The Viper was fantastic. For us to be that fast at the end is just awesome.”

Class Finish O/A Finish Drivers Car No. Brand & Model Best Time
1 13 Jan Magnussen / Antonio Garcia 3 Corvette C6 ZR1 02:05.8
2 14 Jonathan Bomarito / Kuno Wittmer 93 SRT Viper GTS-R 02:05.1
3 15 Dirk Müller / John Edwards 56 BMW Z4GTE 02:05.5
4 16 Bill Auberlen / Joey Hand 55 BMW Z4GTE 02:05.4
5 17 Dominik Farnbacher / Marc Goossens 91 SRT Viper GTS-R 02:05.4
6 18 Olivier Beretta / Matteo Malucelli 62 Ferrari F458 Italia 02:05.6
7 19 Wolf Henzler / Bryan Sellers 17 Ferrari F458 Italia 02:06.5
8 20 Bill Sweedler / Townsend Bell 23 Ferrari F458 Italia 02:05.9
9 30 Bryce Miller / Marco Holzer 48 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 02:05.1
10 31 Patrick Long / Colin Braun 6 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 02:05.2
11 33 Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner 4 Corvette C6 ZR1 02:06.4

ARCA: Will Kimmel in the No. 22 Messinas-Cunningham Motorsports Dodge was the top Dodge finisher in the rain-delayed ZLoop 150 that ran Saturday at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta Kentucky. Kimmel finished eighth. Tom Hessert, currently the top Dodge driver in the ARCA driver standings, finished 11th in the Barbera’s Autoland Dodge. All five Dodges that entered were still running at the end of the race.

With just one event left in the 2013 ARCA presented by Menard’s racing season, it looks like two Dodge drivers, Hessert and Kimmel, will be in the top ten. Right now, Hessert is fourth and Kimmel is ninth.

Canadian Tire Series: Scott Steckly won the rain-delayed Pinty’s 250 at Kawartha Speedway in Fraserville, Ontario. The win gave Steckly his third the 2013 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Championship by a razor-thin two-point margin over 2012 champion DJ Kennington. Steckly is the only driver to have won the championship three times. Driving his No. 22 Canadian Tire Dodge, Steckly also won the pole position, making the weekend a perfect trifecta.

Global RallyCross: Travis Pastrana, driving the No. 199 Red Bull Dodge Dart, finished ninth in today’s run in Concord, North Carolina.

“We had a great heat race. Our second heat race, I messed up the start that put us in a bad situation and wasn’t able to get the win,” Pastrana said. “That put us on the second row to start the feature. It was just a demolition derby. I tried to follow Ken Block as he was one of the quickest all week. I got hit from the left, I got hit from the right, and I got hit from behind, nailed in the can. I couldn’t see anything, it was just straight dust. All of a sudden, I came out of the dust and tried to steer straight but the steering was broken. It would have been fun if it wasn’t so devastating (smiles).”

Bryce Menzies was involved in a crash during the Last Chance Qualifying run and was unable to finish the race.

“We came into the weekend without practice or anything and went straight into qualifying and trying to learn the track. We felt like we’ve made some improvements with the Dodge Dart and obviously we have because Travis ran really well. In our heat race, Travis and I hit each other and it ripped the whole front right off. The guys worked really hard to get it put back together. We went to the LCQ, started dead last and I think we got up to fifth and was just trying to run a clean race and get up to the top two. Tanner (Foust) said his throttle stuck wide open and we all three just kind of piled up into the finish line berm and broke the car. We’ll be back for Vegas. It’s a little disappointing but the car is a lot better.”

NHRA: The Lone Star state just doesn’t seem to cotton to Dodges. For just the third time in the 2013 Mello Yello NHRA drag racing season, and the second Texas event, there were no Dodges in the finals.

In Pro Stock, Camaros took the win, runner-up and top qualifying points as Jeg Coughlin and V. Gaines, the last Mopars standing, fell to Shane Gray and Jason Line, respectively, in the semifinals. Line went on to collect the Wally. Gray got a hole shot win over Coughlin and Gaines pulled a red light foul to give Line a free pass to the final round. Allen Johnson fell to Line in the quarterfinals and Gaines eliminated Vincent Nobile in the day’s opening matchup. The results knocked Mike Edwards, who had held the top spot most of the season, down to third in the Countdown to the Championship. Jason Line took over the No. 1 spot just eight points ahead of Coughlin. Johnson fell to fifth. Gaines jumped three spots and is tied with Enders-Stevens for sixth and Nobile dropped to No. 8, 136 points back.

In Funny Car, Jack Beckman was the only Dodge driver to make it to the semi-finals where he lit the tires: he was more than 100 feet behind Cruz Pedregon’s Toyota at the finish. Matt Hagan had a similar problem as he lost to Beckman in the quarterfinals. In the same round, Johnny Gray lost a pedal-fest with Robert Hight. Ron Capps was eliminated in the day’s first matchup, losing to Tony Pedregon when he couldn’t maintain traction and started drifting to the center.

Hagan remains in first place with a 51-point lead over Pedregon; Capps fell from No. 2 to No. 6, adding 40 points to his deficit; Beckman’s loss to eventual winner Cruz Pedregon dropped him down to fifth. Johnny Gray remained in the No. 7 spot.

Rank Driver Points Behind Change   Rank Driver Points Behind Change
1 Jason Line* 2264 Leader +2 1 Matt Hagan 2272 Leader Unch
2 Jeg Coughlin Jr. 2256 -8 Unch 2 Cruz Pedregon* 2221 -51 +6
3 Mike Edwards 2230 -34 -2 3 Robert Hight 2209 -63 Unch
4 Shane Gray 2207 -57 +1 4 John Force 2208 -64 +1
5 Allen Johnson 2190 -74 -1 5 Jack Beckman 2196 -76 -1
6 (tie) Erica Enders-Stevens 2146 -118 +1 6 Ron Capps 2170 -102 -4
6 (tie) V. Gaines 2146 -118 +3 7 Johnny Gray 2155 -117 Unch
8 Vincent Nobile 2128 -136 -1 8 Courtney Force 2141 -131 -2
9 Greg Anderson 2116 -148 -8 9 Tim Wilkerson 2089 -183 Unch
10 Rodger Brogdon 2063 -201 Unch 10 Del Worsham 2068 -204 Unch
*Event Winner

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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