Taylor takes first national event win at home track POMONA, Calif. - NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car pilot Dennis Taylor won his first national event in his own back yard during this past weekend's K&N Filters Winternationals at Pomona Raceway.
Taylor takes first national event win at home track
POMONA, Calif. - NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car pilot Dennis Taylor won his first national event in his own back yard during this past weekend's K&N Filters Winternationals at Pomona Raceway. Taylor, from just down the road in Anaheim, Calif., and his Plumbing Concepts backed team used consistent 5.60's to reach the winners circle.
Taylor, who runs his racing safety equipment company Taylor Motorsports Products, when not racing, qualified the Plumbing Concepts Camaro seventh in the field with a 5.693 second elapsed time at 246.93 mph. In round one, he took out Mert Littlefield with a 5.679 at 249.53 mph, and then took out Mark Woznichak with a 5.678 at 244.96 mph in round two. Taylor then used a great .023 reaction time coupled with a career-best tying 5.639 at 251.72 mph to beat Ron August, Jr. to reach his second-straight final round at Pomona Raceway.
Little to his knowledge, the win turned out to be a double round win into the winner's circle, as a rare double disqualification occured in the other semifinal pair when Marc White shut off due to low oil pressure and Doug Gordon was shut off due to an oil leak. According to NHRA rules, a driver must take the green light under their own power to win the round.
"I was doing the TV interview at the top end with Dave Reiff, when he stopped and was getting a message," said Taylor. "He then told me that both cars at the line had been shut off, and that I was the winner of the race. I didn't know how to take it, I'll be honest, I was pretty confused at first. Then it started to set in."
"Once I got the crew calmed down, we went about servicing the car and was going to hop it up and try to run a 5.50 in the final," Taylor continued. "But after all the wierd things that had happened today, I just decided to play it safe and take the green light. In the back of my mind I was just thinking of all the stupid things like a blower belt slinging off in the burnout that could keep us from taking the green and winning the race."
Taylor was not only excited about winning his first national event after two previous final round appearances, but doing it at his home race.
"Before this weekend, if anyone asked me if I could pick just one race to win, it would be the Winternationals," stated Taylor. "To win here at home in front of my sponsors, family and friends is just awesome. The way the car ran this weekend was just a testament to Ora Vasquez and this crew. They are the reason why we won. The Mickey Thompson tires worked great all weekend as well. Of course, if it wasn't for the support of Ken Meadows and Andy Carlson of Plumbing Concepts, and my great associate sponsors Valvoline, Pepsi, Mickey Thompson Tires, Metro Molded Parts, Shaker Shirts, Ultimate Designs, Bear State Heat and Air, Adam's Polishes and Taylor Motorsport Products we wouldn't be out here doing this. You could say this race was Way Cool!"
The next race for the Plumbing Concepts team will be the Division 7 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series opener at Firebird Raceway just outside of Phoenix, Mar. 12-14. Stay tuned to InsideTopAlcohol.com for the latest news in alcohol racing.