Mopar-sponsored NHRA Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson will roll to the starting line at the 50th anniversary NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Ca., witha brand new Hemi-powered Dodge Avenger Pro Stocker built by Rick Jones Race Cars in Galesburg, Ill. The Mopar Dodge Avenger replaces the previous Dodge Stratus R/T body, which had been in use by Mopar competitors since the midpoint of the 2003 season.
The Mopar Dodge Avenger replaces the previous Dodge Stratus R/T body, which had been in use by Mopar HEMI®-powered NHRA Pro Stock competitors since the midpoint of the 2003 season.
The new Pro Stock Mopar Dodge Avenger was developed in-house at Chrysler Group LLC. The project utilized Chrysler Group LLC tools and resources also employed to build the production Dodge Avenger, creating a connection between the street and the quarter-mile.
“The introduction of the new NHRA Pro Stock Dodge Avenger will invigorate our Mopar-powered Pro Stock racers,” said Jim Sassorossi, Director—Mopar Global Parts Sales and Marketing, Chrysler Group LLC. “The production Dodge Avenger is a perfect template for the drag strip. The Dodge Avenger’s bold styling and aggressive looks communicate the performance capability of the Dodge brand’s mid-size sedan. ”
The greatest challenge to the Dodge Motorsports Engineering team tasked with the project was maintaining maximum identity of the Dodge Avenger in the new body without forsaking performance on the drag strip.
“Our team worked within NHRA’s rules to balance aerodynamic performance goals and maximize Dodge Avenger identity,” said Joe Vitous, SRT & Motorsports Aero-Thermal Manager. “The new Mopar Dodge Avenger meets or exceeds the aero goals we established.”
Mopar-powered NHRA Pro Stock drivers, including Team Mopar driver Allen Johnson, worked closely with the Dodge Motorsports Engineering team to ensure the new Pro Stock Dodge Avenger was large enough to accommodate all safety features, such as the roll cage and quick ingress and egress in case of an emergency. The size of the front door of the Avenger was adjusted to maximize driver safety.
“I’m very excited to race the new Mopar Dodge Avenger,” Johnson commented. “We’ve been racing the Stratus since mid-2003. Just having a change is an upgrade. We feel we’ve been at a disadvantage with some of our competitors who have been racing in newer bodies for the last few years. I was fitted for the new body in late September. NHRA was there, and we spent a lot of time going over the templates. That was exciting. I’m glad we’re going ahead full bore.”
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