Joliet: Goodyear Racing summary

GOODYEAR-EQUIPPED CARS WIN SEVEN TIMES IN NHRA EVENT JOLIET, Ill. (June 12, 2005) -- Scott Kalitta headlined an amazing day of drag racing as Goodyear-equipped teams won seven of the 11 classes in the Carquest Auto...

GOODYEAR-EQUIPPED CARS WIN SEVEN TIMES IN NHRA EVENT

JOLIET, Ill. (June 12, 2005) -- Scott Kalitta headlined an amazing day of drag racing as Goodyear-equipped teams won seven of the 11 classes in the Carquest Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Speedway.

Teams using Goodyear tires won three times in the NHRA's POWERade Drag Racing Series professional competition, three times in Lucas Oil Sportsman competition and in the Pro Mod class. The weekend's competition brought Goodyear's win total in NHRA national event competition to 55. All other tiremakers combines have 40.

Kalitta won the Top Fuel class after beating a pair of fellow headliners along the way. Other Goodyear winners in the professional classes included Gary Scelzi in Funny Car, Jason Line in Pro Stock and Mike Ashley in Pro Mod.

The Sportsman winners using Goodyear tires included Bob Newberry in Top Alcohol Funny Car, Tony Stephenson in Competition Eliminator and Peter Biondo in Stock Eliminator.

The final round of Stock Eliminator featured a neat pairing of drivers using Goodyear tires. In one lane was Biondo, a winner of three NHRA World Championships and with 20 national event wins to his credit. In the other lane was Ben Wenzel Sr., who had not been to the final round of a national event since the 1967 US Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Biondo won at Route 66 but Wenzel, driving the same racecar he took to the finals at Indy all those years ago, made it difficult. Biondo and Wenzel bested a field of 105 cars to get to the finals.

Stephenson bested a field of 48 cars in Competition Eliminator, but it seemed likely that the winner would be a car racing on Goodyears. Three of the four cars in the semi final round were equipped with Goodyear tires, despite the fact that there were three tiremakers evident in the class.

Newberry, the former NHRA World Champion in both TAFC and Competition Eliminator, had to beat another Goodyear-shod car, the one driven by Steve Gasparelli, in the final round. The all-Goodyear final came in a highly-competitive class also featuring three tiremakers.

Kalitta won his second race in 2005, but he had to beat his cousin, Doug Kalitta and two-time Top Fuel champ Larry Dixon in the process. Doug Kalitta now leads the Top Fuel standings by a margin of 779-754 over Tony Schumacher.

Scelzi took advantage of an uncharacteristic first-round loss by John Force in Funny Car. The win leaves Scelzi second to Force in the standings (752-688). Along the way, Scelzi beat two of Force's teammates, Robert Hight and Eric Medlen.

Line's victory gave his team four consecutive victories and helped lift teammate Greg Anderson into the Pro Stock points lead. Anderson won the three previous final rounds in the class.

Ashley's win in Pro Mod came on a day when every Pro Mod car that advanced to the second round of eliminations used Goodyear tires. Ashley beat Joey Martin in the final round, marking the 16th consecutive round win for Ashley.

The next race on the NHRA POWERade schedule is at Englishtown, N.J. June 16-19.

-goodyear-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Greg Anderson , Scott Kalitta , Peter Biondo , Ben Wenzel Sr. , Jason Line , Mike Ashley , Steve Gasparelli , Eric Medlen , Robert Hight , Joey Martin