Columbus: Goodyear Racing summary

Goodyear bags seven wins in NHRA in Ohio at Columbus. HEBRON, Ohio (June 16, 2002)-- Larry Dixon led the way with a Top Fuel victory as Goodyear teams won seven classes of the 11 classes the tiremaker competed in during the Pontiac Excitement ...

Goodyear bags seven wins in NHRA in Ohio at Columbus.

HEBRON, Ohio (June 16, 2002)-- Larry Dixon led the way with a Top Fuel victory as Goodyear teams won seven classes of the 11 classes the tiremaker competed in during the Pontiac Excitement Nationals NHRA event at National Trails Raceway.

Other Goodyear winners included Ron Capps in Funny Car, Greg Anderson in Pro Stock, Gary Ormsby in Top Alcohol Dragster, Mike Coughlin in Super Comp, Tom Seeman in Super Gas and Jeff Taylor in Competition Eliminator.

Dixon's victory was his seventh win in 11 races this season, giving him a commanding 1,142-883 lead over Kenny Bernstein in the championship standings. His car was one of two owned by drag racing legend Don' The Snake' Prudhomme to post wins during the event. Prudhomme also owns Capps' car.

"It's great for Snake," Dixon joked."He goes home with the most money."

Dixon has won races on both the D1430 and the newer D1486 Goodyear drive tires. He said,"I look back (two weeks) at Chicago and (crew chief) Dick LaHaie said that when the new tire came out it was going to turn our program around. I thought it was a joke, but here we are, two wins later. Maybe it wasn't a joke."

Dixon's win capped a wild day of racing. Shirley Muldowney upset Bernstein in the second round of eliminations. Muldowney was unable to run in the semifinal round, the victim of mechanical woes.

Capps captured his first win of the 2002 season and the 13th victory of his career. His experience came in handy in the final round against Bruce Sarver. Capps was ahead about halfway through the run, then encountered trouble.

"I was looking out the window (for Sarver), I was pedaling it, I was listening," Capps said. After he got the car pointed in the right direction again, the blower belt came off."Then it quit and I thought,' Oh no, not again.'"

But Sarver had trouble of his own and couldn't catch Capps.

In keeping with the upset-filled day of racing, defending Funny Car champ John Force lost to Johnny Gray in the second round and qualifying leader Whit Bazemore lost to Capps in the same round.

Capps was one of the drivers involved in the initial test of Goodyear's D1486 drive tire. He said,"I knew right off the bat how good it was. Every pass has been smooth. It doesn't shake."

Anderson won for the second time this year and said of his Goodyear tires,"They were perfect all weekend. My car did not vary a hundredth all weekend from the best it could have run."

Goodyear's four sportsman class wins led all tiremakers in the event. Goodyear now has an industry-best 33 sportsman wins in NHRA national event competition.

-gr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Shirley Muldowney , Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Greg Anderson , Mike Coughlin , Dick LaHaie , Johnny Gray