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Friday racing wrap

by Bill Cawthon on

Plenty of racing action this weekend with events in ARCA, Formula 1, NHRA and Trans Am.

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ARCA: The Troop Aid 200 runs today at the Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee. With Tom Hessert having defected to a Ford, the top Dodge drivre in the ACRA standings is Bobby Hamilton Jr. at No. 10 with 265 points. He drives one of the Carter2 Motorsports Dodge Chargers. Bo LeMastus is No. 11 with 255 points in the Crosley Dodge.

Formula 1: Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were third and fourth in Friday’s practice rounds for the Chinese Grand Prix, which is scheduled for Sunday.

NHRA: Dodge drivers finished 1-2-3 in Friday’s Fuel Funny Car qualifying at the NHRA Nationals running this weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Three Don Schumacher Racing team members were the top qualifiers. Matt Hagan’s Mopar Express/Rocky Boots Charger’s best run was 4.007 seconds at 318.02 mph in Round Two. Hagan was followed by Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Charger with 4.014-second time at 315.64 mph and Tommy Johnson Jr.’s 4.020-second ET at 313.07 mph.

Ron Capps, who missed qualifying in the opening run, qualified No. 7 with a 4.075-second pass at 316.15 mph in the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge and John Hale in the Jim Dunn Racing/Alo Drinks Charger qualified tenth, running a career-best 4.091-second pass at 311.92 mph.

The only Dodge to miss making the field was Jeff Arend’s Bucky Auto Service Center Charger, which finished the day in the No. 15 spot. Arend’s best run, 5.029 seconds at 162.35 mph, came in Round One.

So far, there are just 16 cars in the field so everyone should make the elimination races on Sunday.

In Pro Stock, all three Dodge drivers made the field. Allen Johnson was the top qualifier, taking the No. 8 spot with an ET of 6.645 seconds at 208.59 mph in the Team Mopar Dart. V. Gaines and the Kendall Oil Dart qualified 11th in the order with a pass of 6.682 seconds at 207.91 mph. Deric Kramer was on the bump spot, qualifying 12th in the American Ethanol/Madcap/Novo Avenger. Kramer’s best run was 6.691 seconds at 206.51 mph.

There are 17 cars entered, so somebody’s going home tomorrow.

Trans Am: Cameron Lawrence will defend his lead in the TA2 class in a race Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. He will be driving the No. 1 Mopar-Dodge Challenger in the second event of the Trans Am season. Joe Stevens will be at the wheel of the No. 11 Challenger.

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 just-auto.com, 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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