NHRA records fall at Route 66, Goodyear-equipped drivers near titles JOLIET, Ill (Oct. 1, 2003) -- Speeds increased, records fell and championships drew near for drag racers using Goodyear tires during the NHRA Carquest Nationals...
NHRA records fall at Route 66, Goodyear-equipped drivers near titles
JOLIET, Ill (Oct. 1, 2003) -- Speeds increased, records fell and championships drew near for drag racers using Goodyear tires during the NHRA Carquest Nationals at Route 66 Speedway.
Goodyear-shod teams won six of the 11 classes competing in the event and set three records along the way. The performance brought Goodyear's win total in national NHRA events to an industry best 109 this season.
The fall weather conditions in Illinois were conducive to broken records and, after rain washed out Friday's rounds, the record book started changing. The ambient temperature hovered in the mid-to-low 50s during the event.
Morgan Lucas, battling toward winning the national championship in Top Alcohol Dragster, won the class. He defeated David Wells in the final round and the pair made the fastest side-by-side race in TAD history. Lucas nipped Wells with a quicker and faster run of 5.258 seconds and 270.92 mph. Lucas also won the Jegs All-Star event on Saturday.
Lucas' victory marked the fifth straight win for Goodyear in the TAD class and the ninth Goodyear win this season. Both the streak and the total are industry bests this year.
Doug Engels rode Goodyear tires to his fourth national victory this season when he defeated Sal Biondo in the Competition Eliminator final. The win kept Engels' hopes alive in the chase for the national title.
Goodyear has won 12 times in national events in Competition Eliminator this season and has now won the last five races. Going back to the start of the 2002 season, Goodyear-shod cars have won 34 of the last 41 races in this class.
Bob Newberry and his Goodyear tires won the Top Alcohol Funny Car final by beating Doug Gordon.
Kenny Bernstein beat Larry Dixon in the Top Fuel final, the 36th career win for the amazing Bernstein. But Doug Kalitta grabbed the biggest headlines, with a stunning 4.428 second pass, the quickest pass in history. Kalitta set the national record for the fastest speed ever, 333.0 mph.
Tony Pedregon took advantage of a rare lapse by Whit Bazemore to regain the points lead in Funny Car. Bazemore lost in the first round of eliminations and Pedregon won the final round. Gary Scelzi recorded a 329.18 mph pass that was the fastest in Funny Car history.
Jeg Coughlin Jr. beat Greg Anderson in the final round of Pro Stock. A week earlier, Anderson had defeated Coughlin in the Memphis final.