Sonoma: Dennis Taylor wrap up

Taylor shows improvement with quarterfinal finish. SONOMA, Calif. - After working hard for most of the year with little to show for it, NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car pilot Dennis Taylor showed signs of turning the corner during this past weekend's...

Taylor shows improvement with quarterfinal finish.

SONOMA, Calif. - After working hard for most of the year with little to show for it, NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car pilot Dennis Taylor showed signs of turning the corner during this past weekend's Fram-Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. For Taylor and his Cooner Wire backed team, the showing was a tremendous boost to their confidence and left them with the feeling they are heading in the right direction.

Taylor, who runs his racing safety equipment company Taylor Motorsports Products in Anaheim, Calif., qualified the Cooner Wire Camaro tenth with a 5.817 second elapsed time at 245.14 mph. In round one, Taylor used a .494 to .537 holeshot over his opponent John Patton coupled with a 5.831 at 242.16 mph to defeat Patton's quicker-but-later 5.830 at 247.57 mph. In the quarterfinals, Taylor met up with No. 2 qualifier and eventual runner-up Steve Gasparrelli. Taylor once again got the jump off the line, but launched into severe tireshake, while Gasparrelli streaked to a 5.668 at 254.18 mph.

"Coming into Saturday, I was really starting to doubt my ability to drive one of these things," said Taylor. "But if you don't have a horse to ride, you can't ride it. We finally got things straight on Saturday, and made some nice laps. Between winning the first round on a holeshot and leaving on Gasparrelli in the second round, really gave a huge boost to my confidence."

"Most people wouldn't be real happy with a second round outing," Taylor continued. "But with the season we have had to date, we're pretty happy with it. I really think we are turning the corner to being competitive once again. Things really started turning around at the Divisional here last month, then this past weekend was another step in the right direction. It's one thing for the guys that have been running good all year to go out there and run .60's. Now that we have the car where we can consistently get it down the track, we can start to make the small adjustments it takes to go from where we are now to where they are."

"I can't thank my sponsors enough for sticking behind me so far this year," Taylor added. "Cooner Wire, Plumbing Concepts, Valvoline, Pepsi, Shaker Shirts, Ultimate Designs, Bear State Heat and Air, and Taylor Motorsport Products have all been great to us this year. I definitely think we are on track to make up for it during the rest of the season."

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Patton , Dennis Taylor