Las Vegas: Dennis Taylor race recap

Cooner Wire Racing Way Cool! Motorsports Taylor takes early exit with upbeat attitude. LAS VEGAS - NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car veteran Dennis Taylor has learned a few things over his career as a driver. One of the lessons he has learned along...

Cooner Wire Racing
Way Cool! Motorsports

Taylor takes early exit with upbeat attitude.

LAS VEGAS - NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car veteran Dennis Taylor has learned a few things over his career as a driver. One of the lessons he has learned along the way is that you can't let a tough time get you down. After another disappointing first round loss at this past weekend's SummitRacing.com Nationals at "The Strip" in Las Vegas, Taylor and the Cooner Wire team have their chin up, and are looking forward to their next race.

Taylor, who manufactures racing safety equipment with his company Taylor Motorsports Products in Anaheim, Calif., looked strong in qualifying, running a 5.937 second elapsed time at 242.19 mph to put him 14th in one of the toughest TAFC fields in recent memory. In round one he had to face his good friend, supercharger manufacturer Mert Littlefield. Taylor took the jump off the line with a slight starting line advantage, but heavy tireshake forced him out of the groove towards the centerline, forcing him to lift. Littlefield took the win with a 5.835 at 237.84 mph.

"We fought the heat, and a real hot and slick racetrack," said Taylor. "Everybody was fighting the racetrack. In the second qualifying session, we went out there and ran a 5.93, which put us fourth at the beginning of the session, and by the end of the session we had slid back to 13th. That just shows you how tough it is. If you look at the qualifying list, there was a ton of cars bunched between 5.88 and 5.93. The bulk of the field was right there in the middle. You also have to remember that there was 26 cars there. Some of the best cars in the country were there, and some pretty stout cars didn't even qualify. Bateman and Reynolds from Canada didn't qualify, Bernie Harrington didn't qualify, and those are two quality cars that could win a race at any time."

"In the first round, our opponent made a lane change on us kind of late," continued Taylor. "It really appeared to be a one lane racetrack. All of the winners except for one came out of the left lane. Our car got over, spun the tire and got over on the centerline out of the groove. Of course then, it spun big time, and I clicked it off when it looked like it was going to go over the centerline."

Despite the early round exit, Taylor and his team are looking forward to their next event on the Division 7 tour in Sacramento, Calif., May 30 - June 2. There Taylor and the Cooner Wire team plan to apply the information they gathered over the past two weeks racing in hot conditions.

"It all depends on the weather in Sacramento," stated Taylor. "Sacramento has been a really, really good racetrack at times, and at other times, it has been just a nightmare to get down. If it gets really hot up there, it's going to be a hot, greasy racetrack, but we need to learn how to run in those conditions. Last year we did fairly well, but we also ran mostly national events at really good racetracks like Topeka, Chicago and Indy. This year, I'm not traveling as much as I did last year, so we just need to learn how to get down those division type racetracks."

"We're not going to let this get us down, it's all part of racing. We have some really great sponsors behind us in Cooner Wire, Valvoline, Plumbing Concepts, Pepsi, Shaker Shirts, Ultimate Designs, Bear State Heat and Air, and Taylor Motorsports Products. We're just going to hit it as hard as we can in Sacramento."

-tm-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Dennis Taylor , Bernie Harrington , Mert Littlefield