New Dodge HEMI(R) Challenge Champion Crowned at the 2020 NHRA U.S. Nationals
*This press release and 20 photos are also available online at:
*New Dodge HEMI**Â® **Challenge Champion Crowned **at the 2020 NHRA U.S.
Â· No. 1 qualifier Stephen Yantus crowned as first new winner of
Dodge HEMIÂ® Challenge in five years at 2020 NHRA U.S. Nationals in
Â· 15 Super Stock 1968 Dodge Darts and Plymouth Barracudas battled
head-to-head for an iconic custom-made Dodge HEMI Challenge trophy and
$15,000 winnerâ€™s prize
Â· Previous four-time winner Jimmy Daniel sees his consecutive round
win-streak end in the first round of eliminations
Â· Legendary Mopar racer Herb "Mr. 4 Speed" McCandless led the parade
of participating HEMI-powered muscle cars as guest of honor aboard his
original 1968 Super Stock HEMI Dart
*Friday, September 4, 2020, Brownsburg, Ind. *â€“The 2020 edition of the
Dodge HEMIÂ® Challenge has crowned a new king at the National Hot Rod
Association (NHRA) U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. The ever-popular
dedicated Super Stock/A-HEMI (SS/AH) annual competition featuring
1968-model Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda factory stock race cars, saw
No.1 qualifier Stephen Yantus battle to become the first new winner in five
Yantus, who earned the No. 1 qualifier position aboard his â€˜68 HEMI-powered
Plymouth Barracuda with an 8.477 second, 158.50 mph pass, put together a
string of quick and consistent elapsed time laps at 8.412, 8.452 and 8.413
seconds through eliminations with a solo run and wins over Russ Campbell
and past winner Bucky Hess (2001). He advanced to his first Dodge HEMI
Challenge final round showdown to face Steve Comella who had qualified 15th
but made his way to his first final as well with wins over Jim Pancake,
Gary Wolkwitz, and Steve Kent.
In the all-Cuda final round, Yantus beat Comella off the start with a 0.030
to 0.062-second reaction time and led the way to his quickest run of the
weekend; an 8.410 second pass at 158.28 mph. With the win, Yantus earned
his first coveted 42.6 lbs. Dodge HEMI Challenge trophy uniquely-crafted
with a 426 HEMI cylinder head along with a $15,000 award.
â€œWe kept on plugging away, kept on chugging, and my whole team, my owner of
the car, (engine builder and past winner) Charlie Westcott and Militia
Racing Products built me the baddest bullet on the face of the planet,â€???
said an emotional Yantus of the collaborative effort it took to get to the
winnerâ€™s circle. â€œI mean that thing went 40s all day and we were the only
car in the 40s. I owe everything to my whole crew and all of them. I was at
driver and I got the call with this bad car. I'm just grateful just the we
got down through here. You know, we're all drag racers and they say
sometimes you got to get lucky rather than be good. I got a lot of luck but
the car hung itself out every time and we never slacked off. We had it on
kill all day. It went .049 (seconds), 45, and back-to-back 41s. I canâ€™t
thank (engine builder) Charlie Westcott enough for what he does for us and
this crew. It's just a dream come true. We've been chasing this for a long
time along with our families. It's really emotional and I just I can't
thank everybody enough for making this happen.â€???
The victory by Yantus ended the four-year reign of Jimmy Daniel who had
qualified No.2 in his 1968 Dodge Dart amongst the 15-car field of
contenders. Daniel suffered his first-ever defeat since taking the wheel
from his father Jim Daniel Sr. in 2016 against Jim Teuton in the first
round of eliminations with an 8.60 sec. to 8.58 loss.
Prior to the final round, guest of honor and legendary Mopar racer, Herb
"Mr. 4 Speedâ€??? McCandless, led the parade of Darts and Barracudas that
participated in this yearâ€™s Dodge HEMI Challenge down Indyâ€™s fabled return
road aboard his own original 1968 Super Stock HEMI Dart in celebration of
the classic muscle cars that contributed to Mopar and Dodge brandsâ€™
legendary reputation and success at the drag strip.
Highlights of the final elimination round of the Dodge HEMI Challenge, as
well as the parade of participating Darts and â€˜Cudas, will be shown during
coverage of 66th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals on Sunday, September 6 from 11
a.m. to 1 p.m. (EDT) on FS1 and then on the FOX national broadcast network
from 1-4 p.m. (EDT).
*DodgeGarage: Digital Hub for Drag Racing News *Fans can follow all the
NHRAâ€™s action this season at DodgeGarage, the one-stop portal for
Dodge//SRT and Mopar drag-racing news. The site includes daily updates and
access to an online racing HQ, news, events, galleries, available
downloads, and merchandise. For more information, visit www.dodgegarage.com
*@DodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram*
channel continues to share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers on
the track. Fans can see action from the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
and NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers competing in classes such as Factory
Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports
*Official Driving School of Dodge//SRT*
Dodge is the official sponsor of the Bondurant School of High Performance
Driving in Chandler, Arizona, where guests get behind the wheels of the
fastest street-legal cars in the world with professional instruction and
time on the track. Customers who buy a new SRT model receive one full-day
session as part of the Dodge//SRT Package and have the opportunity to learn
how to get the optimum performance from their new vehicles in a controlled
environment. For more information, visit dodgegarage.com/track-experience.
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) is the service,
parts and customer-care brand for FCA vehicles around the globe. Born in
1937 as the name of a line of antifreeze products, the Mopar brand has
evolved over more than 80 years to represent both complete care and
authentic performance for owners and enthusiasts worldwide.
Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era, with Mopar
Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing
use, and expanded to include technical service and customer support. Today,
the Mopar brandâ€™s global reach distributes more than 500,000 parts and
accessories in more than 150 markets. With more than 50 parts distribution
centers and 25 customer-contact centers globally, Mopar integrates service,
parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer
Complete information on the Mopar brand is available at www.mopar.com.
Mopar is part of the portfolio of brands offered by global automaker Fiat
Chrysler Automobiles. For more information regarding FCA
, please visit www.fcagroup.com.
For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of
brothers John and Horace Dodge. Their influence continues today as Dodge
shifts into high gear with muscle cars and SUVs that deliver unrivaled
performance in each of the segments where they compete.
2021 marks the year that Dodge is distilled into a pure performance brand,
offering Hellcat-powered, 700+ horsepower SRT versions of every model
across the lineup. For the 2021 model year, Dodge delivers the drag-strip
dominating 807-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock, the new
797-horsepower Dodge Charger SRT Redeye, the most powerful and fastest
mass-produced sedan in the world, and the new 710-horsepower Dodge Durango
SRT Hellcat, the most powerful SUV ever. Combined, these three muscle cars
make Dodge the industryâ€™s most powerful brand, offering more horsepower
than any other American brand across its entire lineup.
* I*n June 2020, Dodge was named the "#1 Brand in Initial Quality,"
making it the first domestic brand ever to rank No. 1 in the J.D. Power
Initial Quality Study (IQS). Dodge is part of the portfolio of brands
offered by global automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. For more information
regarding FCA , please visit www.fcagroup.com.
*Follow Dodge, SRT and FCA news and video on:*
Company blog: http://blog.fcanorthamerica.com
Media website: http://media.fcanorthamerica.com
Dodge brand: www.dodge.com
Dodge Garage: www.dodgegarage.com
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