Goodyear, NHRA at zMAX

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Lee Elder

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Records fall at 4 Wide NHRA race at zMAX Dragway


            CONCORD, N.C. (March 29, 2015) – Drag racing is an unpredictable sport. The power and speed of the machines are difficult to harness.

            You never know what might happen next and that’s when they race two at a time under typical weather conditions.

            But the National Hot Rod Association event at zMAX Dragway here this weekend featured four racers hammering down the track at a time under horsepower-rich conditions and the results were, well, wild.

           Four drivers won at the 4 Wide while racing on Goodyear tires. Antron Brown (in Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car) and Larry Morgan (Pro Stock) won in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series for professional teams. Mia Tedesco (Top Alcohol Dragster) won in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series for sportsman teams.

            Mother Nature washed out Friday’s qualifying rounds and gave the teams cool ambient temperatures Saturday and Sunday with abundant sunshine. That gave the engines in all categories good conditions for generating horsepower and the Goodyear Eagles plenty of opportunity to grip the track surface.

            Pro Stock racer Allen Johnson posted the fastest lap in the history of the category and lost in the first round. A short time later, Johnson’s time was bested by Jason Line. A track record also fell in Top Fuel.

            Larry Morgan’s victory in Pro Stock was his first since 2009.

            “I had to do a whole lot more back then,” Morgan said. He raced for his own team in 2009.

            Morgan beat Greg Anderson, Johnathan Gray and Vincent Nobile in the final.

            Line leads the standings with 359 points. Rodger Brogdon is next with 316.

            Beckman beat Del Worsham, Chad Head and Tommy Johnson Jr. in the Funny Car final. The victory was the first for Beckman since 2012, a winless string of 54 races.

            “It feels a little bit surreal,” Beckman said about winning. “You never know when your last win will be your last win.”

            Beckman said he did not race Sunday in either of the lanes he used in qualifying Saturday.

            Del Worsham, with 305 points, and Matt Hagan, with 303, lead the Funny Car points chase.

            Brown, who won at the 4 Wide for the second year in a row, beat Steve Terrence, Richie Crampton and Clay Millican in the Top Fuel final. It was the first win of 2015 for Brown but it gave him the points lead with 354. Tony Schumacher is next with 328.

            Brown said, “It’s been an incredible run for us at this race. The reason we love coming here is because the fans get really, really excited about it.”

            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.