ANAHEIM, Calif. - After racing most of his career as an independent, West Coast Top Alcohol Funny Car icon Dennis Taylor will showcase Cooner Wire as the team's primary sponsor for the 2002 season. The former Top Fuel pilot will still display the...
ANAHEIM, Calif. - After racing most of his career as an independent, West Coast Top Alcohol Funny Car icon Dennis Taylor will showcase Cooner Wire as the team's primary sponsor for the 2002 season. The former Top Fuel pilot will still display the "Way Cool!" livery that has been a favorite with the fans on the car as well.
Taylor, who earns his living making racing safety equipment with his successful business,Taylor Motorsports, in Anaheim, Calif., first partnered with the industrial cable and wire manufacturer in the middle of last season. This year, Cooner has stepped up from the associate level to the primary sponsor level, a move that Taylor feels will make him a serious contender in the NHRA Division 7 title chase.
"Cooner did some associate work with us last year," said Taylor. "They liked our program, and decided to step up their program with us. We are going to take a pretty serious run at the Division 7 Championship this year, and run selected national events out here on the West Coast. We will venture out as far as Dallas, and possibly even Indy; it depends on how we are doing at the time."
The first race on the team's schedule and the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series' will be the K&N Filters Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., Feb. 7-10. The race is the 'home' event for both Taylor and Cooner Wire, based just up the road in Chatsworth, Calif.
"Certainly, Pomona is extremely important to our sponsors, because most of them are based here in Southern California," stated Taylor. "Because of that, of all the races we run, our biggest emphasis is on the Pomona races. We have done a little bit of testing this year, and have expanded our combination from last year. We were able to travel a little bit, and ran our career bests, even with the new blower rules. We are just hoping to improve on that."
Pomona Raceway, one of the nation's premiere racing surfaces, usually plays host to record breaking times due to the cool weather and excellent traction it provides. Taylor feels that it will take 5.6 second elapsed times to be a player in Pomona, as he and co-crew chiefs Andrew Gude and Jack Burr have their eyes set on that mark.
"We are absolutely aiming for the 5.60's," cited Taylor. "We are hoping to turn the corner. We've ran some low .70's, so we need to run .60's at over 250 mph, and we are real close to doing that. I think you are going to see more cars running .60's this year, so it is very important to get to that level."
"We are real excited to have Cooner Wire on board this year as our primary sponsor," Taylor continued. "We are really grateful for their support, in addition to our existing associate sponsors Plumbing Concepts, Valvoline, Pepsi, Shaker Shirts, Ultimate Designs, Bear State Heat and Air, and Taylor Motorsport Products. I'm looking forward to it; I think it's going to be a great year."