AKRON, Ohio -- Goodyear will introduce its newest tire for the Federal Mogul Dragster and Funny Car divisions of the National Hot Rod Association at this weekend's O'Reilly Nationals at Houston (Texas) Raceway Park. The tire, known as the ...
AKRON, Ohio -- Goodyear will introduce its newest tire for the Federal Mogul Dragster and Funny Car divisions of the National Hot Rod Association at this weekend's O'Reilly Nationals at Houston (Texas) Raceway Park.
The tire, known as the Goodyear Eagle Dragway Special code D1173, is for the popular alcohol-fueled dragster and Funny Car divisions that compete at both NHRA National meets and in the sanctioning body's seven regional series.
The same tire will also be available for the International Hot Rod Association's Funny Car and Pro Outlaw competitors.
Over the past five years, the Federal Mogul cars used the same Goodyear Eagles as the more-powerful nitromethane-burning Top Fuel cars. "As the Top Fuel cars' speeds continued to increase, Goodyear modified the tire constructions to operate at the higher speeds and loads," said Perry Bell, Goodyear's drag racing operations manager. "This eventually resulted in a tire which is not as well matched to the lower horsepower Federal Mogul cars. Our engineers, working with several drivers and crew chiefs, recognized this and introduced the D3199 last year, the first tire specifically made for the Federal Mogul cars."
In fact, Goodyear Eagles hold both the national elapsed time record (5.303 seconds, Mark Woods Jr., Pomona, 1999) and the national speed record (269.08 mph, Dave Hirata, Pomona, 1999) in the Federal Mogul division.
The new D1173 tire is a further refinement of the D3199 tire. "Goodyear started development work on a new alcohol Dragster/Funny Car tire following the World Finals in Pomona last November," Bell added. "During the offseason break we ordered new hardware and produced several development tires in different codes, which were evaluated by several teams at the Pomona season opener and Phoenix.
"Based upon the feedback from the drivers, Goodyear engineers scheduled a test tire following the Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., so that the tire could be properly evaluated under controlled conditions. Goodyear made an initial production run of the D1173 tire and the tires have been shipped directly to Houston Raceway Park for use at this weekend's O'Reilly Nationals."
Goodyear won both Federal Mogul divisions at the 1999 O'Reilly Nationals, with Darren Nicholson winning the Dragster event and Tony Bartone taking the Funny Car title. Nicholson won Federal Mogul Dragster class at last weekend's SummitRacing.com Nationals at Las Vegas, Nev., while Bartone advanced to the semifinals.
The D1173 tire is the first of several new tire codes Goodyear will introduce in NHRA and IHRA competition this season. Following the O'Reilly Nationals, Goodyear will conduct a test with nine-time Winston Funny Car champion John Force to evaluate new Top Fuel tires. The NHRA Pro Stock and Pro Stock Truck divisions will conclude testing their development tires in Houston with a new tire to debut at the April 27-30 Virginia Nationals. And two new tire codes for the NHRA Super Gas division are currently in the development phase following initial testing at Phoenix, with a debut scheduled for June 2000.