Cooner Wire Racing Way Cool! Motorsports Tireshake leads to early exit for Taylor in Pomona POMONA, Calif. - NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car driver Dennis Taylor didn't open the 2002 season off with quite the bang he wanted to during this past ...
Cooner Wire Racing
Way Cool! Motorsports
Tireshake leads to early exit for Taylor in Pomona
POMONA, Calif. - NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car driver Dennis Taylor didn't open the 2002 season off with quite the bang he wanted to during this past weekend's K&N Filters Winternationals at Pomona Raceway. Despite not reaching his goals, the former Top Fuel pilot feels that the weekend was only a minor speed bump in what looks to be a promising year for the Cooner Wire backed team.
Taylor, from just down the road in Anaheim, Calif., was shooting for much better times than the 5.80's he ran this weekend, but experienced several problems during qualifying that put them behind the proverbial '8 ball.' Taylor was able to run a 5.887 second elapsed time at 239.70 mph in his second attempt, to qualify him 15th.
"The information we gathered in testing definitely paid off going into the first runs," said Taylor. "Not only did we learn a lot of 'what to do's' but also a lot of 'what not to do's.' We got behind the '8 ball' in qualifying. On the first run, it got up into a wheelstand, and got over close to the centerline because I obviously couldn't steer it. So I just clicked it off for that run. The weekend got better from there, but we were still behind a step."
In round one, Taylor stepped up to a 5.839 at 245.90 mph, but it was not enough to cover No. 2 qualifier and eventual winner Pat Austin's 5.662 at 254.52 mph.
"We did step it up a good bit for the first round," commented Taylor. "We didn't jump on it as hard as we could have, but we didn't know that at the time. There is still a lot left in this car; we ran a 5.83 over in the 'marbles' against the wall. It certainly should have ran a mid to high .70 had it stayed in the groove. It moved over towards the wall, and I stayed with it because I didn't see Pat. We left pretty close together, and I didn't see him until high gear. That was all she had for that run. We just need to tune this Cooner Wire hot rod up a little bit more."
Undeterred, Taylor and the Cooner Wire team will move to their next race, the Division 7 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series opener at Firebird Raceway in Phoenix, Mar. 1-3. There Taylor hopes to gain a strong start for his quest to win the 2002 Division 7 title.
"We are certainly going to expand on our combination and what we learned here," stated Taylor. "We'll probably try to do a little bit of testing the day before the race, and try to sort this thing out a little more. The good news is it is running the numbers nice and easy; we didn't hurt a part all weekend. We hope to continue that trend by running quicker and not hurting parts."