Goodyear-shod cars win five times in NHRA Vegas race
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Nov. 2, 2014) – The weather was warm, cool, sunny and cloudy during the four-day NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The track temperatures were a moving target.
It was a hard weekend for crew chiefs in both the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series for professional teams and the Lucas Oil drag Racing Series for sportsman racers.
Crew chiefs racing making decisions on cars with Goodyear tires made the right calls, winning in five categories. No tiremaker won more at Las Vegas.
“Our Goodyear Eagles performed well this weekend,” said Goodyear’s Bryce Jones. “This was a challenging weekend for the teams. As always, we worked with everyone that came to us with questions.”
Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Del Worsham (Funny Car) and Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock) were the Goodyear-shod professional winners. Justin Lamb (Competition Eliminator) and Jason DeForrest (Super Stock) were the sportsman drivers who won on Goodyear Eagles.
Massey won for the first time since the race at Topeka, Kansas in May.
“It feels like forever since I was up here talking to you guys (the media),” Massey said.
Massey beat JR Todd in the final round, capping a day that wildly changed the championship standings in the professional categories.
Top Fuel championship leader Tony Schumacher lost in the first round of eliminations. Schumacher could have clinched the championship at Las Vegas but Massey’s victory left him with a chance to get wrest the title away in the final race of the season in Pomona, Calif. Schumacher leads the NHRA’s Top Fuel Countdown to the Championship 2,501-2,392 over Massey.
Worsham defeated John Force in the Funny Car final and joked later about Force, “That guy has abused me for 20 years.” The victory was Worsham’s first in Funny Car since 2009. He won the 2011 Top Fuel title.
Drivers, Worsham said, worry less about ambient conditions than do crew chiefs.
“That’s all crew chief,” Worsham said. “I’m just trying to get on the Christmas tree (starting lights).”
Force trails Funny Car Countdown leader Matt Hagan 2,510-2,489 with only the Pomona event still to go.
Enders-Stevens helped her championship cause when she defeated Jason Line in the semi-finals. Line is second to Enders-Stevens in the Countdown standings, 2,513-2,496.
“I just wanted to come in with a positive mental attitude,” she said. “That really helped.”
Enders-Stevens has three wins at LVMS this year. Two came in the regularly-scheduled Mello Yello events. The other was the K&N Challenge special event that was part of the spring race at the track.
Goodyear employs about 69,000 people at manufacturing plants and facilities in 22 nations. Based in Akron, Ohio, Goodyear is among the largest tiremakers in the world and is the worldwide leader in race tire innovation.