May 15, 2015 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - It’s been nearly three weeks since the last National Hot Rod Association Mello Yello Drag Racing series national event and Mopar teams are revving to go for this weekend’s 35th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals near Atlanta, Georgia.
 
As Mopar teams take to the track for qualifying and final eliminations at Atlanta Dragway this weekend, they will do so with a memorial decal on their HEMI-powered race cars in remembrance of the man regarded as the “father” of the 426 Race HEMI® engine, Tom Hoover, who passed away on April 30th and will be laid to rest in his hometown of Huntington, Pennsylvania, on Friday. As an engineer and a racer, Hoover spent 25 years working at Chrysler Corp., leaving his mark with the 426 Race HEMI, the Max Wedge big-block racing V-8 and the Ramchargers, along with some of the most-storied performance milestones in Fiat Chrysler’s history. A drag racer at heart, Tom Hoover’s contributions helped develop the Pro Stock and Funny Car racing classes.
 
“Tom Hoover was an exceptional human being and an engineering genius that always wanted to go faster. Today, at Mopar, we continue to live and honor Tom’s vision. He’ll be missed,” says Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar Brand Service, Parts and Customer Care.
 
A video news feature on Tom Hoover can be viewed online at https://youtu.be/hvN3ZM6FcuY and Mopar fans can read more about Tom Hoover on the FCA US corporate blog: http://blog.fcanorthamerica.com/2015/05/01/we-mourn-the-passing-of-the-father-of-the-426-hemi/
 
Among the racers that can’t wait to get back on track after two weekends away from competition is Don Schumacher Racing’s quad of drivers and for a good reason. They have combined to put the new 2015 Mopar Dodge Charger R/T in the winner’s circle at five of the six national events this season to date.
 
Title winner at Atlanta Dragway in 2012, Ron Capps currently sits atop the Funny Car points standings after a win at the previous NHRA event in Houston and at the prestigious Gatornationals. Just six points behind in second place is teammate Matt Hagan who also has two wins in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T this year and is itching for more in order to defend his 2014 NHRA Funny Car world championship.
 
While Tommy Johnson Jr. is the only DSR driver that has not yet driven his way to the winner’s circle this year in the new 2015 Mopar Dodge Charger R/T, he has had consistent results with two trips to the semifinals and four quarterfinals finishes to find himself and his Make-A Wish HEMI-powered machine fifth in the standings.
 
Another previous victor at Atlanta with title wins earned in 2009 and 2011, Jack Beckman finds himself sixth in points with 18 events left after snapping a two and a half year drought with a win at the Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, and adding a No.1 qualifier position in Houston along with two final round appearances.
 
The Mopar Pro Stock entries are also anxious to get back on track after the two week break, but for a somewhat different reason. 2012 champ Allen Johnson and his Johnson & Johnson Racing team are hoping to rebound from a challenging start to the season. The “Magneti Marelli Quality Auto Parts Offered by Mopar” Dodge Dart has been battling tuning issues as a result of the newly mandated fuel for the class since the start of the 2015 season, hampering the HEMI-powered vehicles from competing at the level to which they are accustomed. Johnson, who earned a win in Atlanta in 2002, would love to see this season’s dry spell come to a quick end so that he can work to move back up in the points standings from his current tenth place spot. V. Gaines and his HEMI-powered Dodge Dart are in a similar situation in 13th place.
 
Television coverage for the 35th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, the seventh of 24 events in the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season, will begin with a two hour qualifying broadcast from Atlanta on ESPN2 this Saturday, May 16, starting at 9 p.m. ET. Three hours of eliminations coverage will be seen on ESPN2 this Sunday, May 17, starting at 9 p.m. ET.
 
2015 NHRA Championship Points Standings
(following the NHRA SpringNationals near Houston):
 
PRO STOCK (season wins in parentheses)
1.         Erica Enders Stevens – 510 (2)
2.         Jason Line – 495 (1)
3.         Greg Anderson – 458 (1)
4.         Chris McGaha – 432
5.         Rodger Brogdon – 385 (1)
6.         Vincent Nobile – 337
7.         Drew Skillman – 334
8.         Larry Morgan – 320 (1)
9.         Shane Gray – 295
10.       Allen Johnson (Dodge Dart) – 280
13.       V Gaines (Dodge Dart) – 211
           
FUNNY CAR (season wins in parentheses)
1.         Ron Capps (2015 Dodge Charger R/T) – 431 (2)
2.         Matt Hagan (2015 Dodge Charger R/T) – 425 (2)
3.         Del Worsham – 401
4.         Robert Hight – 397
5.         Tommy Johnson Jr. (2015 Dodge Charger R/T) – 369
6.         Jack Beckman (2015 Dodge Charger R/T) – 353 (1)
7t.        Alexis DeJoria – 328
7t.        John Force – 328 (1)
9.         Courtney Force – 301
10.       Cruz Pedregon– 291

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 2015, Mopar looks to add to its streak of five NHRA World Championship titles in the Pro Stock (2012 and 2013) and Funny Car (2011, 2012, and 2014) categories in four years. 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’s Tom Hoover Sportsman Challenge.


 
About Mopar Brand
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words Motor and PARts) was trademarked in 1937 with the launch of an antifreeze product, but it truly made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era. From Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, the brand soon expanded to include technical service and customer support.

Today, Mopar is FCA’s service, parts and customer-care brand and distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 27 customer contact hubs globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance dealer and customer support worldwide. Mopar is the source for genuine parts and accessories for FCA brands.

Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles. This offers a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. A complete list of Mopar accessories and performance parts is available at: www.mopar.com.

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 customers
  • Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals in a DVD and brief user-guide format. 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 interactive vehicle tracking device that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on pre-set parameters
  • wiADVISOR: first to provide factory-connected tablet technology in the service lane for instant vehicle diagnosis
  • wiTECH: first to support vehicle diagnosis and software updates leveraging off-the-shelf personal computers and a dedicated wireless tool network
  • 2011 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak: first to introduce a 500-plus cubic-inch V-10 drag-race package car