Las Vegas II: Goodyear Racing final report

HIGHT, EDWARDS MOVE CLOSER TO NHRA TITLES; TOP FUEL UNSURE LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Nov. 1, 2009) -- Robert Hight and Mike Edwards drew closer to winning their NHRA category championships during the Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip...

HIGHT, EDWARDS MOVE CLOSER TO NHRA TITLES; TOP FUEL UNSURE

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Nov. 1, 2009) -- Robert Hight and Mike Edwards drew closer to winning their NHRA category championships during the Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sunday. Hight won the Funny Car final while Edwards went out in the second round but gained ground anyway.

Spencer Massey won in Top Fuel and Larry Morgan won in Pro Stock. Goodyear is the exclusive tire provider for Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock, the top four-wheel categories in the NHRA's Full Throttle Drag Racing Series for professional racers.

Including the NHRA's Lucas Oil Sportsman categories, cars equipped with Goodyear tires advanced to the finals of seven out of 12 categories in the event. In addition, Mike Castellana won the MATCO Tools Pro Mod Clash running on Goodyear tires and Burton Auxier won the Get Screened America Pro Mod Challenge series championship. The Las Vegas Nationals was the final event of the season for the Pro Mod teams.

"We had a very successful weekend at The Strip," said Carolyn Ashbee, Goodyear's sales account manager for drag racing. "The race drew a huge field of cars and we raced under differing conditions, from sunny and warm into the cool of the evening. Our Goodyear Eagles were competitive in every four-wheel category."

Hight started his eliminations by beating teammate Ashley Force Hood, who was also second place in the NHRA's Countdown to One championship format. Then Hight kept winning while his closest pursuers fell by the wayside. Hight heads toward the final race in Pomona, Calif. with a 105-point lead.

"We're definitely going to have a good time tonight," Hight said. "We're in Las Vegas and we don't have any test days left."

Hight has 2,485 points to Force Hood's 2,380. Tony Pedregon, who lost in the second round at Las Vegas, has 2,372 and Jack Beckman still has a mathematical chance with 2,371, as does Ron Capps with 2,358. The most points a driver can collect in one race is 150.

Edwards leads the Pro Stock Countdown with 2,594 points. Greg Anderson, who lost in the second round Sunday, trails with 2,455 and has a theoretical, if unlikely shot in the final race. Edwards lost to eventual race winner, Morgan, at Las Vegas.

Morgan beat Ricky Jones in the final round.

Massey defeated Larry Dixon in the final round, solidifying Massey's bid to become the NHRA's rookie of the year for 2009. It was his second victory this year. But by advancing to the final, Dixon forced the struggle for the Top Fuel championship to extend to the final race of the season, Nov. 12-15, at Pomona.

Tony Schumacher leads Dixon by one point. Cory McClenathan is 48 points behind the winner, Antron Brown is 80 points back, Brandon Bernstein is 102 points back and Massey remains mathematically in contention, 148 behind the leader.

-credit: goodyear racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Larry Dixon , Tony Pedregon , Ron Capps , Tony Schumacher , Larry Morgan , Cory McClenathan , Jack Beckman , Robert Hight , Spencer Massey