2012 NHRA Winternationals
February 13, 2012 by staff
2012 NHRA Winternationals, 2012 NHRA: Force, Massey, Anderson Win At NHRA Winternationals, John Force highlighted the winners list when he won the Funny Car final at the NHRA O’Reilly Auto Parts Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. It was the 2012 season opener for drag racers. Spencer Massey was the Top Fuel winner and Greg Anderson won in Pro Stock.
The event was hobbled by damp conditions on Saturday and Sunday. The Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series sportsman racing was scheduled to conclude Monday. The track conditions were remarkably consistent during Sunday’s elimination rounds, ranging from 75 degrees at the start of the first round to 67 degrees at the start of Sunday’s final round.
“We saw sunny, warm conditions for two days and cloudy, cool conditions Saturday and Sunday,” said Bryce Jones, sales account manager for drag racing. “Our Goodyear Eagles were consistent for the teams through all of that.”
One of Goodyear’s newest products, the D4461 drive tire, was successful in the sportsman ranks. Veteran driver Ed Sigmon, whose 1934 Chevy roadster sports a set of D4461s, advanced to the semi-final round of Competition Eliminator before racing stopped on Sunday.
“The D4461 is already a success,” Jones noted. “We expected the tire to perform well, but it is always good to see the expectations come to fruition in competition.”
The weekend marked the first Full Throttle Drag Racing Series nitro class appearances for two high-profile rookies. Courtney Force, John’s daughter, advanced to the second round before falling victim to teammate Mike Neff. Khalid Albalooshi, driving for the powerful Al Anabi team and making his competitive debut in Top Fuel, was knocked out in the first round.
Force won for the 15th time at Pomona and said, “It was good to get a win under my belt.” He beat teammate Mike Neff in the final.
Massey established a new national speed record in Top Fuel, 328.62 mph, in the semifinal round. He broke the track elapsed time record on the same run with an elapsed time of 3.745 seconds.
“We wanted to run a (3.76) on that run,” Massey said. “We sat a little bit longer in the staging beams, waiting for Tony (Schumacher) to turn on the pre-stage light. We sat there burning about two gallons more (than usual). That’s about 18 pounds on the front end that we lost.”
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