* Gary Scelzi clinches NHRA Funny Car title
* Ted Musgrave wins NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver’s championship
Auburn Hills, Mich., Nov 21, 2005 –
Dodge Motorsports and Mopar® helped propel two drivers in the 2005 season to a pair of major motorsports championships: Gary Scelzi piloted the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus R/T to the National Hot Rod Association’s (NHRA) POWERade Funny Car title, while Ted Musgrave drove the No. 1 Ultra Motorsports Mopar Dodge Ram to the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) Craftsman Truck Series championship.
“We’re extremely happy to have not one, but two of our Dodge race drivers bringing home series championships under the Mopar banner,” said Chris Cortez, Senior Vice President – Global Service and Parts, Chrysler Group. “Mopar and Dodge are about uncompromising performance, and these two drivers and their teams certainly drove that home during this season.”
Scelzi’s win ended a 14-year hold on the NHRA Funny Car crown by Force Racing’s Ford teams and put Dodge into the Funny Car record books for the first time since 1983. Scelzi held off Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps by a margin of only eight points going into the NHRA Finals at Pomona, Calif. Capps finished second in the 2005 POWERade Funny Car standings. Scelzi joins Kenny Bernstein as only the second driver to win titles in NHRA’s Funny Car and Top Fuel classes.
In another cliffhanger, Musgrave captured his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship after leading chief rival Dennis Setzer by only 58 points going into the NCTS season finale at a rain-delayed race at Homestead, Fla., on Nov. 19. Musgrave’s final tally topped Setzer, the only driver who could beat him for the title, by 55 points. In clinching his first title, Musgrave also earned Dodge its second NCTS driver’s championship in a row.
“Dodge provided a lot of excitement on race tracks throughout the country in 2005,” said John Fernandez, Director – Dodge Motorsports Operations. “We race to win, and these two national titles are proof that Dodge and Mopar are a part of a winning combination that our race teams can rely on.”
Mopar is based in Center Line, Mich., and is the exclusive original equipment supplier of parts and accessories for Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep® vehicles.
With a U.S. market share of approximately 7 percent, Dodge is ChryslerGroup’s best-selling brand and the fifth-largest nameplate in the U.S. and the eighth-largest nameplate in the automotive industry. In 2004, Dodge sold more than 1.4 million vehicles in the global market. Dodge continues to lead the minivan market segment with a 20 percent U.S. market share and maintains an 18 percent share of the highly competitive truck market. In the car market, Dodge has a 4.5 percent market share. In 2006, Dodge will enter key European volume segments.
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