Brainerd: John Force Racing final summary

Castrol Highlight: With one qualifying race remaining, the Team Castrol Fords locked up the 1-2-3 starting positions for the 25th annual Skoal Showdown Funny Car bonus race contested next month at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis,...

Castrol Highlight: With one qualifying race  remaining, the Team Castrol
Fords locked up the 1-2-3 starting positions for the  25th annual Skoal Showdown
Funny Car bonus race contested next month at the Mac  Tools U.S. Nationals at
Indianapolis, Ind.  First round pairings won't be  determined until the
completion of qualifying at this week's O'Reilly Mid-South  Nationals at Memphis,
Tenn.  Robert Hight, driver of the Team  Castrol/Automobile Club of Southern
California Ford Mustang, currently leads the  points.  If he holds on to his lead
through Memphis, he will become the  first Funny Car driver other than John
Force to earn the No. 1 seed in the last  17 seasons.

FORCE QUALIFIES NO. 1; CUTS DEFICIT TO JUST 58 POINTS

John Force's streak of never having lost a round of racing at Brainerd International Raceway after qualifying No. 1 came to an abrupt end in Sunday's 25th annual Lucas Nationals when the engine in the 13-time Funny Car champion's Castrol GTX Ford expired in a second round match with Del Worsham's Chevrolet.

Despite his unexpected ouster, Force managed to gain ground on points  leader
Ron Capps, who was dumped in the first round by journeyman Bob  Gilbertson.

As a result, Force will move on to Memphis, Tenn., for this week's 19th annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals trailing the leader by just 58 points.

Force, the No. 1 qualifier for the fifth time this season and for th 130th time in his career, got off to an impressive start, beating Phil Burkart Jr. in round one with what at the time was the quickest quarter mile of the entire weekend (4.754 seconds).

Unfortunately, it came apart in round two when a burned piston slowed the Mustang to 5.360 seconds, allowing Del Worsham to advance. Neither of the other Team Castrol Fords fared any better. Two-time defending champion Eric Medlen, trying to win on his 33rd birthday, was ousted in round two when a supercharger drive belt broke on the Castrol SYNTEC Ford and Robert Hight and the Team Castrol/Auto Club Ford were ousted in round one.

TEAM CASTROL Details:

JOHN FORCE, 57, Castrol GTX Ford  Mustang

Qualifying position and performance: 1st at 4.773 seconds, 323.74 mph.

Race results: Beat Phil Burkart Jr.; lost to Del Worsham.

Notable: Earned the 130th Skoal Showdown No. 1 qualifying bonus of his career and extended to 385 the number of consecutive events for which he has qualified a Castrol GTX Funny Car.

Quotable: "We picked up  another round on (points leader Ron) Capps and we
proved that we have a real  fast hot rod.  Looks like this points race is going
to go down to the wire  and we're gonna be one of those with a chance to win
it.  That's all you  can ask for." -- JOHN FORCE.
ERIC MEDLEN, 33, Castrol SYNTEC Ford  Mustang

Qualifying position and performance: 4th at 4.781 seconds, 320.20 mph.

Race results: Beat Bob Bode; lost to Tommy Johnson Jr.

Notable: Saw his BIR winning streak end at nine rounds.

Quotable: "I stepped on the gas and it broke a blower  belt.  We're still
trying to figure out why it happened.  It was  pretty disappointing because I
think we had a car that could've won it." -- ERIC  MEDLEN.
ROBERT HIGHT, 36, Team Castrol/Auto Club of Southern  California Ford Mustang

Qualifying position and performance: 7th at 4.799 seconds, 316.97 mph.

Race results: Lost to Jim Head.

Notable: Fell to sixth in points after failing to advance beyond the second round for the sixth straight race.

Quotable: "We're just  having a lot of things happen that usually don't
happen.  It seems like all  at once.  All you can do is go on down to Memphis and
try to do better." --  ROBERT HIGHT.

-credit: jfr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Del Worsham , Ron Capps , John Force , Tommy Johnson , Phil Burkart , Bob Bode , Robert Hight