GOODYEAR WRACKS UP EIGHT WINS IN NHRA U.S. NATIONALS CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 4, 2006) -- In a weekend filled with special events, drivers racing on Goodyear tires won five categories and three special events to lead ...
GOODYEAR WRACKS UP EIGHT WINS IN NHRA U.S. NATIONALS
CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 4, 2006) -- In a weekend filled with special events, drivers racing on Goodyear tires won five categories and three special events to lead tiremakers in total wins in the National Hot Rod Association's MAC Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.
The Goodyear-shod winners came in three professional NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series categories and two Lucas Oil Sportsman Series categories.
The race is drag racing's biggest event. That was evident from the comments of the winners.
"We went 328 miles an hour in the final and I can tell you one thing, it took forever to get to the finish line," said Funny Car winner Robert Hight. Hight narrowly defeated Whit Bazemore in the final round.
The other Goodyear winners included Tony Schumacher (in Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock), Glen Treadwell (Competition Eliminator) and Bill Reichert (Top Alcohol Dragster). In addition, Charlie Westcott Jr. won the MOPAR Hemi Shootout, Brad Personett won an exhibition event between NHRA Sport Compact Pro Rear Wheel Drive competitors and John Force won the Skoal Showdown.
Hight's victory and the earlier exits of both John Force and Ron Capps threw the already topsy-turvy world of the Funny Car points race into more confusion. Capps passed Force to retake the lead. Capps leads with 1,300, Force is second with 1,281 and Hight is third at 1,141.
"It hasn't sunk in yet," Hight said. "You go in thinking, 'I'm going to take this as just another race.' But you can't."
Schumacher won the storied race for a fifth time. He became the first driver in an NHRA pro class to post the best time in qualifying and go on to win the race. He said, "Then we're number one in qualifying and (the public address announcers) couldn't announce that enough."
Schumacher narrowed Doug Kalitta's lead in the Top Fuel standings. With five national events yet to run, Schumacher is second to Kalitta by a score of 1,306 to 1,252.
Anderson won his fourth consecutive U.S. Nationals crown by knocking off Dave Connolly in the Pro Stock finals. It was his first victory since the season opener at Pomona, Calif., in February.
"After a while, you start to doubt yourself, whether you can win again and get back in the chase for the championship," Anderson said.
But those doubts were erased by winning the biggest event on the schedule.
"This one feels special, to win four straight at Indy," Anderson said. "Indy is so special to me."
Reichert led a phalanx of four Goodyear-equipped cars into the Top Alcohol Dragster final. He beat Randy Meyer in the final round.
"It was a very close race," the winner said. "The car ran pretty good. We turned it up a little. I knew Randy would be quick."
Reichert made all four elimination runs on the same set of Goodyear drive tires.
Treadwell's win was his third at the U.S. Nationals and, when it was over, he pointed at his time slip. "That was a heck of a race," he said. "The lights (reaction times) tell the story. He was .015 (of a second) and I was .014."
Lee Zane, who also raced on Goodyears, was the runner-up. Each of Treadwell's Indy wins has come on Goodyear tires.
More information on Goodyear Racing is available at www.racegoodyear.com. More information on the NHRA is available at www.nhra.com.