Goodyear Tires Win Six Times at 50th U.S. Nationals CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 6, 2004) -- Ashley Force and Shelly Howard made Mac Tools U.S. Nationals history and Greg Anderson made National Hot Rod Association history as they led a convoy of six...
Goodyear Tires Win Six Times at 50th U.S. Nationals
CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 6, 2004) -- Ashley Force and Shelly Howard made Mac Tools U.S. Nationals history and Greg Anderson made National Hot Rod Association history as they led a convoy of six Goodyear-equipped drivers that took class victories in the 50th edition of the late-summer drag racing classic at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Force beat Howard in the Top Alcohol Dragster final, the first all-female final round in U.S. Nationals history. It was Force's first TAD victory in a national event and she became only the third woman to win at the NHRA's biggest race. Both Force and Howard used Goodyear tires.
"It was pretty cool to go out there with another girl," Force said.
Other Goodyear-shod winners included Bob Newberry in Top Alcohol Funny Car, Jim Halsey in Pro Mod, Tony Schumacher in Top Fuel, Gary Densham in Funny Car and Greg Anderson in Pro Stock.
Teams racing on Goodyear tires advanced to the final round in nine classes and won six of those races. It was the best performance among tiremakers and it came on the biggest stage in drag racing.
Ashley Force is John Force's daughter. Her first victory at Indianapolis came much earlier in her career than her father's did, but the daughter said she would not tease her father.
"I've watched him win for 21 years," she said. "I don't have much room to do that."
Anderson's win was his 13th of 2004 and tied him with John Force for the most wins in a season. Anderson has five races left in the 2004 season to break the seasonal win record, but he broke another one Monday by advancing to his 15th final round this season.
"To be in the record book along side John Force and have a chance to go ahead of him is just amazing," Anderson said. "I'm living a dream right now."
It was a very rewarding weekend for Densham. He won the Funny Car Showdown the day before the finals, a victory worth $100,000. He earned an additional $50,000 by winning the finals on Monday.
Densham drives for John Force's team and said he felt he had the car to beat when the day started. The victory was the eighth of his career and second of this season, but he said, "There is nothing like winning the U.S. Nationals. This is tradition. To be able to win the 50th is an absolute dream."
Densham beat Cruz Pedregon in the final round.
Schumacher won his third consecutive U.S. Nationals trophy and the fourth of his career. He said, "It is a miracle to win three races at one track and for that track to be Indy is another miracle."
Schumacher knocked off Doug Kalitta in the final round and said he did not know he had won until he saw members of the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute team jumping up and down at the end of the end of the runoff area. The U.S. Army sponsors Schumacher.
Halsey beat Harold Martin in an all-Goodyear Pro Mod final. Seven cars in the eight-car Pro Mod field raced on Goodyear tires.
Newberry won a close race with Chuck Cheeseman in the final round of Top Alcohol Funny Car.