GOODYEAR-EQUIPPED CARS MAKE NHRA HISTORY AT FIREBIRD CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 25, 2007) -- Drivers racing on Goodyear tires won four times in the NHRA's Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals at Firebird International Raceway. Along the...
GOODYEAR-EQUIPPED CARS MAKE NHRA HISTORY AT FIREBIRD
CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 25, 2007) -- Drivers racing on Goodyear tires won four times in the NHRA's Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals at Firebird International Raceway. Along the way, Goodyear-shod cars and drivers set records and established a memorable first.
The wins gave Goodyear eight victories in the season's two national events. That figure leads the tire industry.
Funny Car driver Tony Pedregon established a national elapsed time record when he was clocked at 4.659 seconds on a run down the quarter-mile during qualifying. Tommy Johnson Jr. set a track speed record for the category, 330.88 mph. Jason Line set a track elapsed time mark in Pro Stock, 6.635 seconds.
Top Fuel drivers Melanie Troxel and Hillary Will, Funny Car rookie Ashley Force and Pro Stock veteran Erica Enders established an NHRA first when they all qualified for Sunday's elimination rounds. It was the first time in NHRA history that all three professional car racing categories have had a woman in the field of 16 qualifiers during the same event. Troxel advanced to the final round and Enders made it to the semi-finals. Force lost in the first-round.
The Goodyear-equipped winners included Rod Fuller (in Top Fuel), Pedregon, Kurt Johnson (Pro Stock) and Alan Ellis (Competition Eliminator).
Fuller beat Troxel in the final round, a repeat matching of the 2006 final in the same event. It was the first time the finalists have repeated in the 23-year history of the event. The result was the same as well.
Pedregon knocked off Robert Hight in their Funny Car final. The win was the 33rd of Pedregon's career and his first of the 2007 season. Hight has reached the final round of both races this season.
Johnson beat defending series champion Line on a hole shot. Johnson's reaction time was just .016 of a second. It was Johnson's 36th career victory.
Ellis earned his first victory in an NHRA national event. It marked the second straight year Ellis has made it to the final at Firebird.