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Old New Names Capture Wins at NHRA WinterNationals

4 February 1998

Contestants and spectators--107,000 of them--came from all corners of
the U.S. to participate in the first NHRA national race of 1998, The
Winternationals at the Fairplex in Pomona, California.  When the smoke
had cleared after four days of laying down rubber and lighting the
hides, the biggest winner of the meet hailed from just a few miles
down the road in Sherman Oaks, CA.  Don "The Snake" Prudhomme saw his
Lite sponsored dragster with Larry Dixon aboard take Top Fuel honors
with a slow run against Jim Head, who popped an engine part way down
the strip. Prudhomme's Funny Car entry also won the day as the
Copenhagen backed Camaro in the hands of Ron Capps blew off Tim
Wilkerson in a wild final pass that saw both cars losing traction then
getting back on the loud pedal with Capps a bit quicker and Wilkerson
crossing the center stripe for a disqualification.  No one around
could remember when, if ever, a single owner team had copped the two
most prestigious classes at a major NHRA meet.

In Pro Stock, Warren Johnson's dominance was thwarted as Jim Yates won
over Jeg Coughlin with a 6.968 et for the quarter.

The weather kept playing tricks with the program as drivers would line
up at the Christmas tree and hope against hope the rain would hold off
for 5-6 seconds.

Top Fuel

Larry Dixon                          4.732 et       252.28 mph
Jim Head                             4.739          261.33
Funny Car

Ron Capps                            6.603          211.71
Tim Wilkereson                       broke

Pro Stock

Jim Yates                            6.968          197.49
Jeg Coughlin                         6.969          198.32

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel