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Mopar Earns Two Notable Title Wins at NHRA Gatornationals

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Gainesville, Fla. March 17, 2013; Mopar drove its way to the winners circle for a third consecutive NHRA national event, this time posting notable wins in both Pro Stock and Funny Car classes at the 44th Annual Gatornationals. Allen Johnson earned his first victory since the Mopar team’s Pro Stock Championship and title win in the 2012 season finale, and he did it on a holeshot over his teammate Jeg Coughlin Jr. in an all Mopar final. Meanwhile, Funny Car driver Johnny Gray helped Don Schumacher Racing reach the 200-win milestone by posting his fourth career title in his Dodge Charger. Both wins were firsts for each driver at the historic Gainesville Raceway.

“All of us at Mopar are very proud of Allen Johnson and Johnny Gray on doubling up today with wins at the NHRA Gatornationals to continue the strong start to the season,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “After winning both Pro Stock and Funny Car Championships in 2012, these two wins send a clear message that Mopar HEMI®-powered teams and drivers are once again going to be a force to reckon with in both classes as they work to earn more wins and defend the world titles.”

After both Johnson and Coughlin put up career numbers in their Dodge Avengers with their qualifying runs, improving each of their marks for both quickest elapsed time and top speeds, they battled their way through eliminations only to set up a Mopar versus Mopar final showdown. Johnson’s quicker reaction time helped defeat his teammate with a 6.535-second elapsed time (212.59 mph) ahead of the Coughlin’s quicker 6.514 E.T. (212.25 mph). It was Johnson’s first Gatornationals title win and the 17th of his career after 37 final round appearances, and Coughlin’s second runner-up finish of the year.
“I think we’re one of the premier teams in Pro Stock now, and I think anyone would tell you that,” said Johnson after earning Mopar’s second Pro Stock title in three races this year after fellow teammate Vincent Nobile’s season-opening win over Coughlin. “We’ve got a crew that makes great decisions based on scientific methods and data, and we keep improving those decision-making tools. We’ll be right there again (for the championship).”
The three HEMI®-powered teammates are now second (Coughlin), third (Johnson) and fourth (Nobile) in the championship points standing behind Mike Edwards who took the lead on the merits of bonus points earned during the weekend as No.1 qualifier, setting the national event low E.T. and a new top speed track record.
“I’ve said all along, everybody asks me why I hired my two assassins, two of the best drivers in the class,” said Johnson about battling his own teammates. “I said that they make me better. Last year in the last six races, I ran Vincent (Nobile) every race, and beat him in all six. I beat him because he challenges me and makes me better. That makes me better as a driver overall. Same thing with Jeggy (Coughlin)as I knew that I would have to do my ultimate best to beat him. I hope we can go head-to-head a bunch.”
In Funny Car action, after qualifying second, Gray helped garner the 199th win for his team in his Dodge Charger by beating Del Worsham at the finish with a 4.053 second (315.49 mph) elapsed time run to his competitor’s 4.100 sec (303.50 mph) pass. Teammate Antron Brown added the 200th win for Don Schumacher moments later in the Top Fuel class final.
“It’s incredible,” Don Schumacher said. “It started in 1970 in Indianapolis when I won the U.S. Nationals. I am not someone who ever counts things like that. I never thought it would happen or even considered it. Thanks to all of my drivers. They do an incredible job day in and day out.” 
Gorlier conveyed Mopar’s pride at having being part of that journey. “On behalf of everyone at Mopar, I would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Don Schumacher and his team for reaching the 200 win milestone with victories by Johnny Gray in Funny Car and in Top Fuel with Antron Brown. Don has been a long-time loyal supporter and friend of the Mopar brand, as both a team owner and driver, making his first of many trips to the winner’s circle in 1970 Plymouth Barracuda Funny Car at the U.S. Nationals. We applaud his drive and determination that led him to this remarkable milestone and wish him many more wins in the years to come.”
Mopar driver Matt Hagan, a contributor to 200-win milestone with five titles of his own, qualified third for the Gatornationals and looked strong in his new blue and gold “Magneti Marelli Quality Auto Parts Offered by Mopar” Dodge Charger but was ultimately defeated in the second round by his other DSR teammate, and defending 2012 champ, Jack Beckman. Hagan is now fourth in the Funny Car championship standings behind teammates Ron Capps and Gray who are tied with the lead with a win each.
Mopar will continue to work on adding to their four title wins with preparations for the next event, the 14th annual NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, slated for April 5th-7th, the fourth of 24 events on the 2013 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
2013 NHRA Championship Points Standings (after 3 races):
Funny Car
1. Ron Capps Dodge Charger R/T- 244
1. Johnny Gray Dodge Charger R/T - 244
3. Courtney Force, 216
4. Matt Hagan Dodge Charger R/T, 209
5. Cruz Pedregon – 181
6. Del Worsham – 168
7. Robert Hight – 156
8. Bob Tasca III – 155
9. Jack Beckman Dodge Charger R/T – 148
10. John Force - 144
Pro Stock
1. Mike Edwards – 263
2. Jeg Coughlin Dodge Avenger – 247
3. Allen Johnson Dodge Avenger – 231
4. Vincent Nobile Dodge Avenger - 224
5. Erica Enders-Stevens - 208
6. V. Gaines Dodge Avenger - 198
7. Jason Line - 197
8. Greg Anderson – 163
9. Greg Stanfield - 135
10. Shane Gray - 115
10. Chris McGaha Dodge - 115
About Mopar Motorsports
Mopar’s commitment to professional motorsports competition was established in the 1950s when a partnership ignited with drag racing pioneer Don Garlits, resulting in the breaking of numerous speed and performance barriers in HEMI®-powered vehicles over the next several decades. In 2013, Mopar looks to defend its two NHRA 2012 World Championship titles in Pro Stock and Funny Car categories, and celebrates 25 consecutive years as title sponsor of the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Colorado. While Mopar remains involved in a various professional motorsports series, it continues to honor its roots by being a proud supporter of amateur racing within the NHRA with its sponsorship of the HEMI Challenge and Mopar Sportsman Cup.
Mopar-first Features
Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features including:
  • Vehicle-information apps: first to introduce smartphone vehicle-information applications, a new channel of communication with consumers
  • Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals in a DVD and brief user-guide format and first to offer complete vehicle-information kits in Spanish
  • Wi-Fi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot
  • Wireless charging: first to introduce in-vehicle wireless charging for portable devices
  • Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS): first to market with a new interactive vehicle tracking device that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on pre-set parameters
  • 2011 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak: first to introduce a 500-plus cubic-inch V-10 drag-race package car
  • Brand-specific customer care telephone lines: first to offer Sunday service hours for customers
  • WiTECH: first to support vehicle diagnosis and software updates leveraging off-the-shelf personal computers and a dedicated wireless tool network

About the Mopar Brand
Mopar is Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. With the creation of the Chrysler Group and Fiat S.p.A. partnership, Mopar is extending its global reach, integrating service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance dealer and customer support worldwide. Combined with Fiat S.p.A., Mopar’s global portfolio includes more than 500,000 parts and accessories that are distributed in more than 130 countries. Mopar is the source for all genuine parts and accessories for Chrysler Group and Fiat S.p.A. brands.
Mopar parts are unique in that they are engineered with the same teams that create factory-authorized vehicle specifications for Chrysler Group and Fiat S.p.A. vehicles — a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. A complete list of Mopar accessories and performance parts is available at
More than 75 Years of Mopar
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was trademarked for antifreeze product in 1937. The Mopar brand made its mark in the 1960s — the muscle-car era. The Chrysler Corporation built race-ready Dodge and Plymouth “package cars” equipped with special high-performance parts. Mopar carried a line of “special parts” for super-stock drag racers and developed its racing parts division called Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use. The brand has expanded to include technical service and customer support.
About Magneti Marelli
Based in Italy (Corbetta, Milan), Magneti Marelli was established in 1919. The company is a subsidiary of Fiat Group and has a presence and reputation in racing, including Formula 1 and World Rally Championship (WRC).
With 2012 revenues of $7,5 billion and approximately 36,900 employees, Magneti Marelli designs and produces advanced automotive systems and components. The company has 83 production facilities, 12 research and development centers and 26 application centers in 19 countries. The group supplies leading automakers in Europe, North America, South America and the Far East. Its business areas include: Electronic Systems, Lighting, Powertrain, Suspension Systems and Shock Absorbers, Exhaust Systems, Aftermarket Parts and Services, Plastic Components and Modules, and Motorsport.
Magneti Marelli USA coordinates the activities of all Magneti Marelli divisions in the NAFTA region from its North American headquarters, located in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
Magneti Marelli can rely on a longstanding presence in North America with Powertrain, Lighting, Electronic Systems, Suspension Systems (Shock Absorbers) and Motorsport businesses. Magneti Marelli has established a significant presence in the world of aftermarket and service networks in the US, thanks to the partnership with MOPAR
About Magneti Marelli After Market Parts and Services
Magneti Marelli After Market Parts and Services is the division of Magneti Marelli devoted to all the activities related to the automotive aftermarket and service networks.
Magneti Marelli AMPS has business activities in over 80 countries where it distributes spare parts, automotive components and information to the Independent Aftermarket, through a network of spare parts dealers; and provides the drivers with assistance, services, products and know-how through a network of authorized workshops. Magneti Marelli After Market Parts and Services also provides workshops with professional training courses. The division operates on the repair market under the trademark of Magneti Marelli Checkstar Service Network in Europe, while in Latin America, in addition to the Checkstar name, Magneti Marelli also operates under the Cofap name. Putting together all the various trademarks, the network has almost 4,800 workshops worldwide.