Joliet: Goodyear Racing final report

RAIN FALLS LIKE A BROKEN RECORD AT NHRA RACE IN ILLINOIS JOLIET, Ill. (June 7, 2010) -- Into every fan's life, a few records must fall and fall they did at Route 66 Raceway. The only thing that hit the ground more often than National...

RAIN FALLS LIKE A BROKEN RECORD AT NHRA RACE IN ILLINOIS

JOLIET, Ill. (June 7, 2010) -- Into every fan's life, a few records must fall and fall they did at Route 66 Raceway.

The only thing that hit the ground more often than National Hot Rod Association track and national records during the United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals was the constant moisture that Mother Nature dripped from above all weekend long.

Matt Hagan set a national elapsed time record for the 1,000-foot distance in the Funny Car category on his way to winning the event. Robert Hight set a track speed record in Funny Car. Cory McClenathan and Tony Schumacher took turns setting a 1,000-foot track record for speed in a Top Fuel car and Larry Dixon set a track elapsed time record in Top Fuel.

The records took on more meaning because the race at Route 66 was the first during which Goodyear's D2681 drive tire was the mandatory rear tire for use in the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories. The D2681 was introduced earlier in the season. The teams were allowed to use it or Goodyear's previous offering during a transition period.

"This was the first race on them," Hagan said of the D2681. "The crew chiefs must really like them."

Goodyear won a total of 11 final round races in Joliet. The Goodyear-equipped winners in the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series for professionals included Hagan, Dixon and Mike Edwards (in Pro Stock). The tiremaker had three more winners in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series for sportsmen: Monroe Guest (Top Alcohol Dragster), Peter Biondo (Stock Eliminator) and Don Higgins (Super Comp).

The track also hosted the annual Jegs All Stars competition for the Lucas Oil Series divisional champions. Goodyear's All Stars winners included Jim Whiteley (Top Alcohol Dragster), Bruno Massel (Competition Eliminator), Keith Raftery (Top Sportsman), Ray Miller (Top Dragster) and Steve Domingues (Super Street). No other tiremaker had more than three All Stars wins.

Hagan's record, 4.022 seconds, was established during eliminations. He supplied the backup run, which makes the record official, with his final round victory over Hight. Hight's track speed mark was 313.15 mph. Hagan defeated Ashley Force Hood in what observers say was the fastest side-by-side race of the 1,000-foot distance era. By making it to the final round, Hight took the lead in the Funny Car standings.

Dixon beat Tony Schumacher in a classic final round confrontation between rivals. Dixon's time in the final, 3.773 seconds, broke the track's elapsed time mark Dixon had established earlier in the weekend. Schumacher's speed in the final, 323.12 mph broke the track mark set by Cory McClenathan earlier in the weekend. Dixon leads the Top Fuel standings.

Edwards bested Jason Line in the final round but the margin was almost too thin to see. Line's reaction time at the starting line was .006 of a second, compared to Edwards' .007. But Edwards' car was fast enough to chase down the former national champion and nab the win at the finish. Edwards remains the runaway leader in the Pro Stock standings.

-source: goodyear racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Cory McClenathan , Peter Biondo , Ashley Force , Jason Line , Robert Hight , Matt Hagan , Mike Edwards