Dennis Taylor Sonoma preview

Taylor looking to stay hot in Sonoma SONOMA, Calif. - NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car ace Dennis Taylor and his Plumbing Concepts backed team enter this weekend's Division 7 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Infineon Raceway with the hot hand.

Taylor looking to stay hot in Sonoma

SONOMA, Calif. - NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car ace Dennis Taylor and his Plumbing Concepts backed team enter this weekend's Division 7 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Infineon Raceway with the hot hand. Taylor, who has made it to the final round at four of the six races he's attended this year, including his last event, hopes to continue the trend this weekend.

Taylor, who runs his racing safety equipment company, Taylor Motorsports Products, in Anaheim, Calif., is excited to get to race this weekend, but does so with a heavy heart after the tragic loss of friend Darrell Russell last weekend.

"We certainly enter this weekend's race with heavy hearts," said Taylor. "Darrell and his family were not only long-time customers of mine, but good friends as well. I don't know that I can say anything that hasn't been said about the guy, but that it is all true; he was the real deal. Everyone liked him, and he will be sorely missed."

Taylor hopes to shine some light on the situation and honor his friend with a victory in his memory.

"As bad as it hurts, hopefully we can go out there and do well for Darrell and his family this weekend," stated Taylor. "We're just going to do the same thing we've been doing all year and take it one run at a time and see where the chips fall. We're more focused on consistency than low e.t."

Taylor enters the race in second place in Division 7 standings and fourth nationally. He hopes to make a strong move on points leader Doug Gordon this weekend.

"All we can do is try to go rounds," explained Taylor. "We can't control what Doug does, but we can control what we do. The way things are going, this championship battle could very well go right down to the wire in Vegas at the end of the year."

Qualifying begins Friday for the alcohol cars with one session, followed by two more sessions on Saturday. Final eliminations will conclude the event on Sunday.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Gordon , Dennis Taylor