1,100 Racecars expected for NHRA's Indianapolis classic. CLERMONT, Ind. (Aug. 27, 2002)-- As the National Hot Rod Association's MAC Tools U.S. Nationals get underway at Indianapolis Raceway Park this week, an estimated 1,100 racecars and teams...
1,100 Racecars expected for NHRA's Indianapolis classic.
CLERMONT, Ind. (Aug. 27, 2002)-- As the National Hot Rod Association's MAC Tools U.S. Nationals get underway at Indianapolis Raceway Park this week, an estimated 1,100 racecars and teams will converge upon this central Indiana city.
It is a gathering like few others, more like a massive celebration of speed than it is a race. To be sure, every driver who straps in for a run down the historic quarter-mile comes to win. But since only a small percentage of the entrants can be crowned winners of this drag racing classic, many simply come to be part of summer's curtain call.
Most of the winners, in both the professional and sportsman classes, will compete on Goodyear tires.
"Any time you come to Indianapolis, regardless of what discipline of racing you prefer or which venue you compete at, you want to win," said Carolyn Ashbee, Goodyear's manager of drag racing."The MAC Tools U.S. Nationals is one of those classic events."
While the professional teams deservedly garner most of the attention at any NHRA national event, the vast percentage of teams competing at IRP this week will be in the sportsman categories and those teams are as important to Goodyear as the professionals are.
"Safety is job one for us at Goodyear," said Greg Stucker, director of racing tires sales and marketing."Our tires must be both reliable and competitive. We put as much effort into building tires for the sportsman classes as we do for the Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock cars. For example, we are undefeated in Competition Eliminator at national events this season and have the most national wins in Top Alcohol Dragster."
All together, Goodyear has 48 national victories in the sportsman classes. That leads all tiremakers. Including the professional classes, Goodyear has 96 national wins. Last year, the Akron, Ohio tiremaker won the final round 138 times in national competition and this year's pace is ahead of that.
The crowd for this year's race will jam the pits as well as the adjacent campgrounds. Local hotels will do a booming business, though they'll be mostly deserted during daylight hours. Racing cars of every description will blast down IRP's drag strip almost non-stop from morning to night.
And through the entire six-day event the constant will be Goodyear tires, helping competitors reach for the heights of achievement while staying securely on the track.