Pomona: Goodyear Racing preview

When the Top Fuel and Funny Car teams of the National Hot Rod Association converge upon Pomona Raceway for the 2002 F&N Filters Winternationals, they will all have something in common. Each team will be using Goodyear's D1430 drive tire....

When the Top Fuel and Funny Car teams of the National Hot Rod Association converge upon Pomona Raceway for the 2002 F&N Filters Winternationals, they will all have something in common.

Each team will be using Goodyear's D1430 drive tire. First available last season as an optional tire, the D1430 is the mandated tire for those classes as the 2002 season gets underway.

Make no mistake about it; the D1430 will continue the Goodyear traditions of safety, reliability and great performance. Designed to help stabilize the NHRA's fastest cars as speeds continue to grow, the D1430 is slightly wider than its predecessor, the D1230.

The D1430 is also plenty fast. When Kenny Bernstein set the NHRA elapsed time record of 4.477 seconds at Joliet, Ill. last season, he did so with a pair of D1430s.

"The D1430 addresses a number of issues," said Perry Bell, marketing manager for drag racing. "It provides a stable platform all the way down the track and is designed to better handle the increased stresses the drive tires are currently experiencing in the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes as the top speeds approach 335MPH. We've been very pleased with the way teams have adapted to this tire."

Whit Bazemore, driver of Don Schumacher Racing's Matco Tools Funny Car, had the best elapsed time, a pass of 4.814 seconds, during a test in Phoenix, Az. in January. It was his first experience with the D1430 tire.

Bazemore said, "We were pretty happy with it. ... We feel pretty confident with it already."

Bazemore's pre-season success is a continuation the team's performance during the second half of the 2001 season. In the final dozen races of the campaign, he scored the most points, qualified first nine times, won three races and made it to the final round four other times. He also established the highest speed in Funny Car history when he reached 325.69 mph during the US Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

"It's exciting to go back and have the first race there," said Bazemore, who advanced to the final round twice at Pomona in 2001. "Our car ran so well at the end of last year. We feel confident, especially after testing. Maybe we're even a little ahead of where we were last year."

"The Winternationals, being the opening event of the season, always provides an interesting challenge for the teams and their equipment," said Bell. "But, as we get closer to Opening Day at Pomona, we've been pleased with the way the teams are adapting to this tire in testing."

Goodyear is the sole tire supplier for the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes. A large number of sportsman class teams also depend upon Goodyear for tire performance. All told, Goodyear-shod cars won 138 final rounds in NHRA competition in 2001.

-goodyear racing-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kenny Bernstein , Whit Bazemore , Don Schumacher