Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Goodyear Takes Six Wins in NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
by Lee Elder, Goodyear Racing
CONCORD, N.C. -- Robert Hight won his fourth consecutive race, leading a group of six drivers who raced to victory on Goodyear tires at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway.
Hight’s Funny Car victory evened him with drag racing giants Kenny Bernstein, John Force, Cruz Pedregon and Don Prudhomme who also won four or more races in a row during their NHRA careers.
Goodyear’s other winners included Spencer Massey (in Top Fuel) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) in Full Throttle Drag Racing Series for professionals and Bill Reichert (Top Alcohol Dragster), Tim Molnar (Top Sportsman) and Michelle Furr (Super Comp) in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series for sportsmen racers.
“We were very happy with the performance of our Goodyear Eagles this weekend,” said Bryce Jones, Goodyear’s sales account manager for drag racing. “It was exciting to see Michelle Furr win two years in a row with Goodyear.”
Goodyear’s six wins bested totals of all other tiremakers combined.
The weekend saw speed records fall. Tony Schumacher became the first Top Fuel driver to hit 330 mph over the 1,000-foot distance during the first round of eliminations. Spencer Massey surpassed Schumacher’s mark later in the same round and then bested his own mark in the final round with a speed of 332.18 mph. That speed is now the national speed record. Jason Line recorded the Pro Stock speed record during qualifying when he was clocked at 213.91 mph.
The conditions were comfortable and mostly sunny. Sunday’s elimination round started with a cloud cover, which helped the powerful cars generate speed.
The event features the only time NHRA professionals line up and race in four lanes at once, a tricky proposition.
“I really wasn’t concerned at all because I have a lot of faith in my team right now,” Hight said. “We only made one pass in qualifying (without a problem), but we were (under-powered) and that’s easy to fix.”
Cruz Pedregon finished second in the race. Hight’s lead in the standings is very large for such an early point in the season. He leads teammate Mike Neff 520-375.
Tony Schumacher finished second to Massey in the race and remained second to Massey in the standings.
Massey agreed the four-wide format is confusing, but he said, “You’ve just got to be focused.”
Anderson’s confusion came at the finish line, where he completed the quarter-mile sprint behind teammate Jason Line. Line’s pass did not count because he jumped the start and fouled out. Then Erica Enders’ win light indicated she was the winner. But a review of the video clearly showed Anderson was the winner.
“The confusion at the end of the race came from seeing Jason Line ahead of me and I thought I’d lost to him,” Anderson admitted. “I didn’t look at my win light because I knew Jason was ahead of me. I honestly thought I lost. I guess I lost of couple of ways and yet I won.”
Anderson’s win extended his lead in the category. He holds a 475-407 advantage over second-place Line.
More information about Goodyear Racing is available at www.racegoodyear.com. More information about the NHRA is available at www.nhra.com.