RAIN POSTPONES RACES AT INAUGURAL FOUR-WIDE NATIONALS -Force and Force Hood in Final Quartet- CONCORD, NC -- Late afternoon rain showers and the threat of severe weather forced the NHRA to postpone the final sessions of Top Fuel and Funny Car at...
RAIN POSTPONES RACES AT INAUGURAL FOUR-WIDE NATIONALS
-Force and Force Hood in Final Quartet-
CONCORD, NC -- Late afternoon rain showers and the threat of severe weather forced the NHRA to postpone the final sessions of Top Fuel and Funny Car at the Inaugural NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway in Concord. Racing action will resume at 10 a.m. with sportsman racing followed by the finals/semi-finals of Top Fuel then Funny Car at 11 a.m. Spectator gates will open at 9 a.m.
Two rounds of Funny Car racing were completed today with Ashley Force Hood and her Castrol GTX Ford Mustang joining father and team owner John Force in his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang winning their way into the last quartet alongside a pair of Don Schumacher owned Dodge Chargers driven by veteran Ron Capps and upstart Matt Hagan.
John Force will have lane choice in the final based on his second round run of 4.064 seconds. His elapsed time was equal to Ron Capps' but Force's mile per hour speed was faster 313.29 vs. 312.50. Capps will have second choice of lanes followed by Ashley Force Hood who recorded a time of 4.075 seconds in her second round elimination stanza.
John Force Racing driver Robert Hight was ousted in the first round. Hight lost half his 8,000 horsepower early in the run when four cylinders briefly misfired. However, when three of the four uncooperative cylinders re-fired, the 14-time tour winner still thought he might be okay. Unfortunately the damage already had been done. The Auto Club Ford had already moved to the left of the desired racing groove and crew chief Jimmy Prock's supposition is that as it drifted nearer the centerline, the left tire began to spin while the right tire continued to track forward. That shot the blue-and-white Mustang across the centerline and into the path of the Toyota of Jeff Arend. The two cars came together as Hight's Mustang slowed and Arend's brushed past him in the left side.
Although the damage was confined primarily to the carbon fiber bodies and the headers, it was an unexpectedly early end of the day for both drivers.
The Top Fuel finals/semi-finals will be contested by Cory McClenathan, Doug Kalitta, Antron Brown, and Doug Herbert. Following the Top Fuel and Funny Car races the second round of Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will be run.