All-Mopar Funny Car St. Louis Final Ends with Win for Dodge Charger Pilot Jack Beckman

Madison, IL – Team Mopar was a powerful force this weekend at the NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway jack-beckman-2016-st-louis-winMotorsports Park near St. Louis. In the end, an all-Mopar Funny Car final round concluded with Jack Beckman and the Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T getting the nod over Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. and his Make-A-Wish branded Charger. The victory launched Beckman all the way up to the No. 3 position in the Funny Car standings with just three races remaining in the 2016 Countdown to the Championship, and Johnson’s runner-up moved him up to No. 2.

The final at Gateway Motorsports Park was the seventh all-Mopar Funny Car money round of the 2016 season, and Team Mopar now holds the top three positions in the Funny Car points. DSR Dodge Charger driver Ron Capps entered the Countdown with the points lead and remains there following a second-consecutive trip to the semifinals, with Johnson just 48 points back from the top spot and Beckman narrowing the gap to 70 marks back from No. 1.

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Troy Coughlin Sr. wins St. Louis race from No. 15 qualifying spot

ST. LOUIS – The final round of the NHRA J&A Service NHRA Pro Mod Series race presented by Precision Turbo & troy-coughlin-sr-2016-st-louis-winEngine at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals on Sunday at Gateway Motorsports Park was a race for the ages.

In the left lane was two-time Pro Mod champion Troy Coughlin Sr. in his JEGS.com Corvette while two-time champ Rickie Smith raced in the right lane.

This time, the win light came on in Coughlin’s lane, giving him his second Pro Mod victory of the season and eighth of his career.

“You’re racing a legend, you’re racing a champion, you’re racing a tough, hardcore racer that drives the truck, tunes his race car — he does it all,” Coughlin said. “Some people say that we are rivals. It’s pretty cool to be on that same level. Rickie’s tough.

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Shane Gray races Valvoline/Nova Services Chevy to seventh semifinal of 2016

ST. LOUIS – Shane Gray came up short a scant .002-second from reaching his first final round of the 2016 NHRA shane-gray-2016-st-louis-sundayMello Yello Drag Racing Series Sunday at the 5th annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park just outside of St. Louis.

Gray, driver of the Valvoline/Nova Services Chevrolet Pro Stock racer for Gray Motorsports, started today’s eliminations from the lofty No. 1 qualifying spot (6.604 seconds, 209.43 mph). It was his second time starting from the top spot this season. It also marked 14 consecutive events for Gray to qualify in the top half of the eliminations field.

In the first two rounds, Gray defeated Dave River and Drew Skillman, respectively.

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Erica Enders exits in first round of St. Louis national event

ST. LOUIS – Erica Enders raced to the Pro Stock final at Gateway Motorsports Park as part of her run to the 2015 erica-enders-stevens-2016-st-louis-sundayNHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series championship.

There likely will be no such similar run this season after Enders was knocked out in the first round of the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals. In her first season running the Elite Motorsports/Mopar Dodge, Enders has struggled to maintain her stellar performance from 2014-15, when she swept to back-to-back titles.

“We are absolutely doing the best that we can with what we have,” Enders said. “It’s unfortunate that we are this far behind, but it’s just part of it. Our goal at this point is to finish the season with class and put a game plan together moving forward. We will get all of our ducks in a row and continue to work hard and things will swing back our way.”

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Langdon, Beckman win NHRA Midwest titles near St. Louis as DSR dominates by putting four teams in final rounds

ST. LOUIS – The racetrack at Gateway Motorsports Park on Sunday was a sizzling, sole-melting 120 degrees for most shawn-langdon-2016-st-louis-winof the afternoon.

The only thing hotter during the final day of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event near St. Louis was Don Schumacher Racing, which left with both nitro titles in the AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals after filling all four spots in the championship rounds.

In the final rounds, Shawn Langdon (Sandvik Coromant/Red Fuel Powered by Schumacher) with crew chief Phil Shuler won on a holeshot over Tony Schumacher (U.S. Army) to take the Top Fuel title after Jack Beckman (Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T) beat Tommy Johnson Jr. (Make-A-Wish).

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Richie Crampton races Lucas Oil Top Fueler to semifinals in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS – Richie Crampton gained ground in NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship playoffs with his third LucasOilsemifinal finish this year at the 5th annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park just outside the St. Louis.

Crampton and the Lucas Oil team moved up two slots in Top Fuel championship points from 10th to eighth by way of the seventh semifinal finish of his short three-year career.

Crampton, driver of the 10,000-horsepower Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster, started Sunday’s race day from the No. 1 qualifying position (3.733 seconds, 323.50 mph), his second No. 1 spot of the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

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Matt and Angie Smith’s Victory Gunners take positive steps in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS – Matt and Angie Smith leave Gateway Motorsports Park with their heads held high, confident in the angie-smith-2016-st-louis-sundayknowledge that progress was made at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals on Sunday.

Matt raced to the second round on his Victory Gunner before running into a buzz saw that was eventual race winner Jerry Savoie, and Angie made one of her best runs of the weekend in a first-round loss to finalist Angelle Sampey.

“Our Victory Gunner team, we were good,” Matt said. “We had a good bike. We were fourth of the round yesterday, third of the round in the second round. We just went up against Jerry (Savoie), who was low of the round. He went .88, we went .89. He had a .016 and I had a .024 light. It was a good, tight drag race, and I don’t mind losing to Jerry.

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