Phoenix: Goodyear preview, fast facts

'Feverish preparation,' Goodyear tires propel Johnson. AKRON, Ohio (Feb. 17, 2003) -- In all of drag racing, there are few places where victory is harder to earn than in the National Hot Rod Association's Pro Stock class. It is a ...

'Feverish preparation,' Goodyear tires propel Johnson.

AKRON, Ohio (Feb. 17, 2003) -- In all of drag racing, there are few places where victory is harder to earn than in the National Hot Rod Association's Pro Stock class. It is a significant achievement just to make the 16-car Pro Stock field.

And no man stands taller in the Pro Stock class than Warren Johnson. Johnson is the winningest driver in Pro Stock history and he started the 2003 season by setting a new speed record during the NHRA season opener at Pomona earlier this month. Johnson was clocked at 204.91 mph.

Like the other successful Pro Stock drivers, Johnson races on Goodyear tires.

"You can prepare as feverishly as possible, getting more power and tuning the chassis, but none of that happens until the rubber meets the road," Johnson said. "Without the proper tires none of that happens."

Johnson has been making things happen in the Pro Stock class since 1971. He is a six-time Pro Stock champion and was the first in his class to exceed 200 mph. He was also the first pro stocker to cover the quarter mile in less than 6.9 seconds.

The next race for the NHRA is the Feb. 20-23 Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals at Firebird International Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona. Johnson collected his only victory at Firebird in 1998.

How tough is it to win in the Pro Stock class? Look at it this way: When Johnson won the opener at Pomona, he was the second Pro Stock driver to set a new speed record that day.

Johnson credits the NHRA's policy of stabilizing the rules for the closeness of the competition.

"The last five years we've had almost spec bodies and various other dimensions have been locked in." Johnson said. "The same basic engine rules have been in for, in reality, 20-plus years. All of that keeps narrowing things down and the performance gains are getting significantly smaller every day."

Johnson's team has been working with Goodyear engineers on various aspects of Pro Stock racing tires and he said, "Your side of it is as integral as our side of it."

Goodyear was undefeated in NHRA Pro Stock competition in 2002.


Number of Tires Supplied: 500


Front -- 6-7.5 psi
Rear -- 50-80 psi

Front -- 6-7.5 psi
Rear -- 50-80 psi

Front -- 5-9 psi
Rear -- 40-plus psi

TIRES: Goodyear Eagle Dragway Specials


Top Fuel
Rear - 114-116 inches
Front - 69 inches

Funny Car
Rear - 114-116 inches
Front - 72.5-75.4 inches

Pro Stock
Rear - 100.5-102 inches
Front - 77.3 inches


Top Fuel
Rear - D1486-D1430
Front - D3417

Funny Car
Rear - D1486-D1430
Front - D3701-D3702

Pro Stock
Rear - D1239
Front - D2981

Feb. 22 -- ESPN2 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. (Eastern Time)
Feb. 23 -- ESPN2 9-11 p.m. (Eastern Time)

Did you know?... Goodyear-shod cars set three NHRA records at the season opener at Pomona. Warren Johnson registered the highest speed in Pro Stock history, 204.91 mph. Tony Bartone set the Top Alcohol Dragster elapsed time record, 5.22 seconds. Al Corda recorded the first sub-10 second run in a national event among Stock Eliminator class racers with a lap of 9.90 seconds. Corda's record was set on Goodyear Eagle Radial Dragway Specials. Johnson and Bartone set their records on bias-ply tires.

GOODYEAR QUOTE: Carolyn Ashbee, operations manager, drag racing: "We look forward to third year of our exclusive supplier agreement with the NHRA for the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes and the challenges that go along with that. We are also very excited with our ongoing development work in the Sportsman categories that will produce new products in the Super Stock, Alcohol, Super Comp and Sport Compact classes this season."

GOODYEAR NOTE: Goodyear cars have won 284 final rounds in the last 48 NHRA national events, dating back to the first race of the 2001 season. That figure leads all tiremakers. Of those wins, 126 have come in the Sportsman classes, also best in the industry.


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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson , Tony Bartone , Al Corda