Force wins Mac Tools U.S. Nationals for fourth time. John Force overcame a mental lapse in the semifinals Monday and won drag racing's most prestigious event for the fourth time, beating Tommy Johnson Jr. in the final round of hte 48th annual...
Force wins Mac Tools U.S. Nationals for fourth time.
John Force overcame a mental lapse in the semifinals Monday and won drag racing's most prestigious event for the fourth time, beating Tommy Johnson Jr. in the final round of hte 48th annual U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Force drove his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang past the Pontiac of Cruz Pedregon in the semifinals despite his worst starting line reaction time of the season (.590).
That provided all the momentum the 53-year-old veteran need to earn his 104th career victory and his third straight on the NHRA POWERade tour.
In the final, Force used a .482 reaction time to beat Johnson Jr. whose Pontiac was slightly quicker in performance, 4.996 to 5.028.
"I had to redeem myself," Force said. "I've got a bunch of guys on this team who make me look good every week and I let them down. I couldn't do that again in the finals. I had to get back in the zone and fortunately everything worked out."
The victory, the 104th of Force's career and his third straight this year, enabled the 53-year-old veteran to open up a 199-point lead on teammate Tony Pedregon and a 304-point advantage on the first non-Castrol car in the standings, that Pontiac of Del Worsham.
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TEAM CASTROL Details:
JOHN FORCE, Castrol GTX Ford Mustang Funny Car
Qualifying position and performance: 2nd at 4.800 seconds, 318.84 mph.
Race results: Beat John Lawson, Bob Gilbertson, Cruz Pedregon and Tommy Johnson Jr.
Notable: Claimed third straight tour victory and fourth win in the world's biggest drag race to extend his points lead to 199 points over teammate Tony Pedregon.
Quotable: "Hey, I screwed up in the semifinals and I had to make up for it in the finals. This is a great team and we won a great drag race." --JOHN FORCE
TONY PEDREGON, Castrol SYNTEC Ford Mustang Funny Car
Qualifying position and performance: 1st at 4.797 seconds, 319.36 mph.
Race results: Beat Cory Lee; lost to Dean Skuza.
Notable: No. 1 qualifier at Indy for first time in his career; quick time of the weekend (4.797) and quick time on race day (4.879).
Quotable: "This can be a very frustrating sport. For the second straight year, we had the best car and didn't put it in the winners' circle. But we'll regroup and be ready for Reading. There are six races left and we plan on winning at least a couple of them." TONY PEDREGON.
GARY DENSHAM, Team Castrol/Auto Club of Southern California Ford Funny
Qualifying position and performance: 11th at 4.899 seconds, 312.57 mph.
Race results: Beat Tim Wilkerson; lost to Cruz Pedregon.
Notable: Held onto third place in points and won his second round of racing at the U.S. Nationals.
Quotable: "It wasn't one of our best weekends, but we got out of it still in third place with a car that we know is capable of winning some more races." -- GARY DENSHAM.
ROB SLAVINSKI, Castrol AccuVision Pontiac, Competition Eliminator
Qualifying position and performance: 7.358 seconds, .452 under the B/AA class index.
Race results: Lost to Brian Self.
ROB SLAVINSKI, Castrol Super Clean dragster, Super Comp Eliminator
Qualifying position and performance: All run.
Race results: Lost to Kenneth Bowers.
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Next event(s): Lucas Oil Keystone Nationals, Sept. 12-15, Reading, Pa.; O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals, Sept. 19-22, Memphis, Tenn.; Craftsman Nationals, Sept. 26-29, Joliet, Ill.; O'Reilly Fall Nationals, Oct. 10-13, Dallas, Texas; AC Delco Las Vegas Nationals, Oct. 24-27, Las Vegas, Nev.; Auto Club of Southern California Finals, Nov. 7-10, Pomona, Calif.