Records Fall As Six Goodyear Drivers Win At Winternationals POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 10, 2002) - Larry Dixon and five other drivers raced to victory on Goodyear tires in the NHRA K&N Filters Winternationals at Pomona Raceway. The tiremaker's...
Records Fall As Six Goodyear Drivers Win At Winternationals
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 10, 2002) - Larry Dixon and five other drivers raced to victory on Goodyear tires in the NHRA K&N Filters Winternationals at Pomona Raceway.
The tiremaker's six victories bested the competition in the 42nd renewal of the drag racing classic.
"I told (team owner Don) Prudhomme this would help buy some jet fuel for his plane," the jubilant Dixon joked. It was the second time Dixon has won at Pomona, a track where his father won a national event decades earlier.
Dixon joined Goodyear drivers John Force (Funny Car), George Marnell (Pro Stock), Mike DePalma (Competition Eliminator), David Coapstick (Super Gas) and Ken Passerby (Stock Eliminator) on the list of winners. For Dixon and Force, victory came on the Goodyear D1430. The tire was mandated for both Top Fuel and Funny Car competition at the start of the 2002 season.
The D1430 was part of three record-setting runs during the Winternationals. Andrew Cowin, the top qualifier in Top Fuel, set a track record with an elapsed time of 4.490 seconds. Tony Schumacher set a track record when he was clocked at 330.88 mph during a qualifying run. Gary Densham set a national Funny Car speed record when he was clocked at 326.87 mph.
Ron Krisher set two records during Pro Stock qualifying. He was timed at 6.815 seconds with a speed of 202.94 mph, both Pomona track records.
Dixon beat 2001 Top Fuel champion Kenny Bernstein in the final round. Dixon's time was 4.535 seconds with a speed of 324.75 mph.
"It will withstand the heat a little better," Dixon said of the D1430. "This tire looks a little better after a run than the other tire." Dixon's run in the final round came on a set of D1430s which had already made one run down the track.
Force's victory was the 99th of his NHRA career. His final round victory over Del Worsham was anything but typical. Force won with an elapsed time of 6.260 seconds and a speed of just 219.76 mph.
"The problem was I had the front end up (in the air)," Force said. "We smacked her down on those Goodyears and kept going." After posting the fastest time in qualifying, Force said of the D1430, "We knew the tire was good. It's got a stiff sidewall and that will be a little different at tracks where the car is loose."
Marnell narrowly beat Jim Yates in the Pro Stock final. Marnell was the 16th and last qualifier. "I looked at the finish line and (Yates) was right there," Marnell said. "I started screaming and yelling and congratulating my team."
DePalma, the Competition Eliminator winner, beat Brett Brown in the final after qualifying first.
Passerby beat Eric Waldo in the Stock Eliminator final. Coapstick defeated Todd Stewart in the Super Gas final.