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Mopar/Dodge win NHRA Manufacturers Cup for first time since 1970

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For the first time in four-plus decades, and for only the second time in NHRA history, Mopar/Dodge is basking in the recognition of winning the NHRA Manufacturers Cup.

The company won the 2016 title based primarily on the success of four Funny Car drivers – 2016 champion Ron Capps, Matt Hagan, Tommy Johnson Jr. and Jack Beckman, who all drive for Don Schumacher Racing – as well as Pro Stock racer Allen Johnson, and sportsman racers James Caro and Kevin Helms.

“It is a great honor for the Mopar and Dodge brands to receive NHRA’s coveted Manufacturers Cup,” Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA – Global, said in a statement. “This award is very meaningful for us, particularly since it has been a number of years since we’ve reached this goal.

“On behalf of Mopar and Dodge, I extend our gratitude to the drivers and teams that contributed to this monumental victory. Their dedication to Mopar power and the tremendous effort that they put forth, both in the race shop and on the racetrack, have made this possible.

“We also thank the loyal fans that support and cheer for these drivers and the NHRA for providing the arena for us to showcase the power and speed of the Mopar and Dodge brands at the drag strip.”

Mopar-powered Dodge drivers earned a combined 15 national event wins, including 14 of 24 Funny Car competitions and nine all-Mopar final rounds.

New champion Capps won five races, followed by Hagan (4), Johnson Jr. (3) and Beckman (2). In addition, Pro Stock driver Johnson won the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver this summer.

The last time Mopar/Dodge won the NHRA Manufacturers Cup was 1970.

“It is a great honor for the Mopar and Dodge brands to receive NHRA’s coveted Manufacturers Cup,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA – Global. “This award is very meaningful for us, particularly since it has been a number of years since we’ve reached this goal.

“On behalf of Mopar and Dodge, I extend our gratitude to the drivers and teams that contributed to this monumental victory. Their dedication to Mopar power and the tremendous effort that they put forth, both in the race shop and on the racetrack, have made this possible.

“We also thank the loyal fans that support and cheer for these drivers and the NHRA for providing the arena for us to showcase the power and speed of the Mopar and Dodge brands at the drag strip.”

Mopar/Dodge also powered and provided Dodge Dart car bodies to Elite Motorsports, which did not have the kind of year it had hoped for when it left Chevrolet for Mopar/Dodge for 2016.

Elite Motorsports announced Wednesday that it was ending its relationship with Mopar/Dodge and is expected to return to Chevrolet for 2017.

But even with the loss of Elite Motorsports, Mopar/Dodge plans to further expand its reach in the sport next season.

Said Gorlier, “For 2017, we will continue our relationship with Don Schumacher Racing in both NHRA Funny Car, which has culminated in four championships in six years, and also in Top Fuel, and we will expand our presence in the NHRA Sportsman ranks.”

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