VOLUME XIV, ISSUE 1- JAN. - FEB. 2019
MoparMax covers all automotive things Mopar. A new issue of MoparMax.com is published on or around the 15th of each month and is updated throughout the month.
CEO, Jeff Burk
Editor & Publisher, Richard Kratz
Managing Editor, COO Kay Burk
Contributing Editor, Chuck Green, Chris Holley, Jennifer Caputo-Armstrong, Mark A. Posner
Contributing Writers, Jim Baker, Steve Magnante, Geoff Stunkard, Matt Strong, Mark A. Posner
Senior Photographer - Ron Lewis
Contributing Photographers - Tim Marshall, Dennis Mothershed
Published by Racing Net Source LLC, 607 Seib Drive, O'Fallon, MO 63366 - Phone: 636.272.6301
Racing Net Source LLC is licensed to use MOPAR, a trademark of Chrysler Group LLC, in the title of the magazine MOPAR MAX. No other connection with Chrysler Group LLC is expressed or implied. The editorial opinions are those of the publisher and do not necessarily represent the views of Chrysler Group LLC.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Director: Casey Araiza
Director: Dave Ferrato
Webmonkey: Axel G.
Production Monkey: Axel G.
Explosive end to Johnson’s ...
Tommy Johnson Jr. celebrated his 30th year driving a Funny Car with ...
Pacifica and Ram 1500 make Car and ...
Experts at Car and Driver have named the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica and the ...
Dodge ‘upgrades’ Santa’s sleigh
FCA’s Dodge brand has launched “Jolly Fast Man,” a seven-part social series ...
Racing Net Source LLC
607 Seib Drive
O'Fallon, MO 63366
Editor & Publisher
CEO Jeff Burk
COO Kay Burk
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Director: Casey Araiza
Director: Dave Ferrato
Contact: Casey Araiza
Tommy Johnson Jr. celebrated his 30th year driving a Funny Car with not one but two explosions in a row at the NHRA Arizona Nationals in Phoenix on Feb. 24! Here is his first “boomer” in the first round of competition.
Teammate Matt Hagan won the Funny Car class – the first win for the Charger SRT Hellcat body. See all the Mopar action from the event here. [02/28/19]
The 2019 MAHLE “Drive with the Original” Technician Promotion – featuring a one-of-a-kind 426 cubic-inch Hemi Dodge Challenger giveaway as grand prize – was announced at the Daytona 500. The car, to be built by Petty’s Garage, will be finished and tested in time to be awarded to the winner at the Automotive Aftermarket Product Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas, taking place November 5-7, 2019.
The “Drive with the Original” promotion will start on March 1 and run to October 1, 2019. Four finalists will be randomly selected from all entries to receive a trip for two to AAPEX in Las Vegas. The “Original,” Richard Petty, will be present when the finalists each select a key from The King’s signature Charlie One Horse hat – one of which will start the grand prize MAHLE Dodge Challenger from Petty’s Garage.
The official rules can be found at www.drivewiththeoriginal.com. [02/28/19]
This rendering is of the new Mack Avenue Assembly Complex once FCA invests $1.6 billion.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may sell the Dodge Durango and Ram 1500 Classic beyond this year as part of the automaker's push to sell trucks and SUVs to eager buyers in North America. The automaker announced a sweeping $4.5 billion investment plan that could hire up to 6,500 new workers to build a bevy of pickups and SUVs for Jeep and Ram brands.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. has confirmed plans to invest a total of $4.5 billion in five of its existing Michigan plants, and to work with the city of Detroit and state of Michigan on building a new assembly plant within city limits. The move would increase capacity to meet growing demand for its Jeep® and Ram brands, including production of two new Jeep-branded white space products, as well as electrified models. The proposed projects would create nearly 6,500 new jobs.
The plans include:
- $1.6 billion investment would convert Mack Avenue Engine Complex into manufacturing site for next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and an all-new three-row full-size Jeep SUV, creating 3,850 new jobs
- $900 million investment at Jefferson North to retool and modernize plant for continued production of Dodge Durango and next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee with 1,100 new jobs expected
- Warren Truck 2017 investment increases to $1.5 billion for production of all-new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, as well as continued assembly of Ram 1500 Classic with addition of 1,400 new jobs
- All three assembly sites would also produce plug-in hybrid versions of their respective Jeep models with flexibility to build fully battery-electric models in the future
- Sterling Stamping and Warren Stamping plants to receive more than $400 million total investment to support additional production, potentially creating about 80 new jobs at Sterling
- $119 million investment to relocate Pentastar engine production currently at Mack I to the Dundee Engine Plant; production at Mack would end by Q3 2019
Over the past two years, FCA has realigned production at four plants in Illinois, Ohio and Michigan to increase capacity for the Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler and Ram 1500 light-duty truck, and created additional manufacturing capacity for the Jeep Gladiator in Ohio. [02/28/19]
The Chrysler Brand led all FCA US LLC brands and the entire industry in three-year dependability improvement with a 30 percent growth in the brand’s score from last year’s study (from 211 down to 146 PP100). Chrysler Brand sits at 16th overall out of 31, marking a 15-spot improvement from the previous year.
Jeep® also rose in the brand rankings by four spots with a more than 10 percent improvement in dependability year over year.
As a Company, FCA US LLC’s dependability score improvement outpaced the industry average by more than double.
The Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Challenger also performed well in the dependability study, both ranking first in the Minivan and Midsize Sporty Car segments, respectively.
The 2019 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, now in its 30th year, is based on responses from 32,952 original owners of 2016 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership. The study was fielded in October-December 2018. [02/28/19]
Jack Beckman (near lane) just missed getting the final-round win over Robert Hight running 3.880 seconds at 329.42 mph to Hight’s 3.881 at 329.75. Even though Beckman’s car ran quicker for the 1,000 feet, Hight had the better starting light reaction time (0.054 to Beckman’s 0.062) and won on a “holeshot.”
Mopar-powered Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver “Fast Jack” Beckman was seeking a lot of firsts on a picture-perfect afternoon during the rain-delayed 59th annual NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
First winner in 2019. First winner in a Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat body. First career win at his home track. The 2012 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion and his Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) team came out swinging in the season opener with three round wins in the Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, but were just four feet short of checking all those boxes late Monday afternoon, Feb. 11.
While Beckman stormed to his 57th career finals appearance, the rest of the DSR Dodge Mopar contingent had mixed results on Monday.
Beckman was set up for success in eliminations thanks to a stout qualifying run of 3.900 Saturday afternoon. After a workman like triumph over Phil Burkart in the first round with a run of 4.102 ET, the Norco, California, native posted his best lap of the weekend (3.875 ET) to defeat Cruz Pedregon in his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and set up and all-DSR semifinal versus Johnson. The Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat left first, but a clean run by Beckman put him position to finally secure a Pomona victory. It was the 41st meeting between Beckman and Robert Hight, 11th in the finals. Hight left first, but Beckman was right there through the run ultimately losing by .0073 seconds.
Tommy Johnson Jr. continued his Pomona magic aboard the DSR Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat turning on a pair of win lights after reaching the final to close out 2018 at the Fairplex. Johnson carried momentum from last November’s run to the final, qualifying third and taking down formidable foes Tim Wilkerson in round one and Shawn Langdon in the second round to set up an all-DSR semifinal. Johnson took the starting line advantage over Beckman, but couldn’t maintain traction and was finished for the weekend.
Ron Capps completed the top-five in qualifying driving the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and looked strong in racing past Gary Densham in round one of eliminations. He battled John Force to the wire in round two, but his pass of 4.092 ET wasn’t enough to take down Force. Matt Hagan, who qualified the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat No. 4, had any early advantage on Force in the opening round, but slowed to a lap of 4.140 and couldn’t advance when Force put up a session-best run of 3.890 ET.
In Stock Eliminator, Jim Durham from Stonyford, CA, drove his 1972 E/SA Plymouth Duster 340 to the quarterfinals at the NHRA Winternationals. In a tight matchup, Durham lost by a mere 0.040 seconds to his opponent in round four. For advancing the furthest in competition, Durham collected the Dodge Top Finisher in Stock Eliminator.
Mike Cotten from Cave Creek, AZ, drove his SS/IA 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda to a round three finish in Super Stock at the NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. Powered by a Mopar 383 cubic-inch big-block V8, Cotton had qualified number seven with a run of 9.77 seconds and was looking consistent during eliminations until a redlight start ended his day. Cotten took home the Dodge Top Finisher award in Super Stock. [02/28/19]
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