Castrol Highlight: Ashley Force drove her Castrol Top Alcohol Dragster to its second win of the new season when Karen Stalba was guilty of a foul start in the final round of the rain delayed Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals at Atlanta...
Castrol Highlight: Ashley Force drove her Castrol Top Alcohol Dragster to its second win of the new season when Karen Stalba was guilty of a foul start in the final round of the rain delayed Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.
HIGHT EARNS RUNNER-UP HONORS IN SUMMIT SOUTHERN NATIONALS
Robert Hight drove the Team Castrol/Auto Club Ford Mustang to the two quickest times during eliminations, but the 2005 NHRA Rookie of the Year couldn't close the deal at the 26th annual Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.
Hight, the No. 2 qualifier behind boss, teammate and father-in-law John Force, was clocked in 4.700 seconds in round one and a career best 4.680 seconds in round two. In a semifinal win over close friend Del Worsham, tire shake slowed him to 4.753 seconds, costing him the choice of lanes for the final.
Although Hight ran 4.738 in the final, it wasn't good enough to overcome a slightly slower 4.740 by Tony Pedregon.
Force, who came in as the defending champion, was ousted in round two of the season's seventh event after qualifying No. 1 for the fourth time this year in the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang.
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TEAM CASTROL Details:
JOHN FORCE, 57, Castrol GTX Ford Mustang
Qualifying position and performance: 1st at 4.686 seconds, 329.58 mph.
Race results: Beat Tommy Johnson Jr.; lost to Tony Pedregon.
Notable: Extended to 376 the number of consecutive events for which he has qualified a Castrol GTX Funny Car; reduced his points deficit by 26.
Quotable: "We just got beat. Like I've said before, we've got a fast car. It seems like we can do everything but win (a race)." -- JOHN FORCE.
ERIC MEDLEN, 32, Castrol SYNTEC Ford Mustang
Qualifying position and performance: 4th at 4.734 seconds, 318.54 mph.
Race results: Beat Tim Wilkerson, Gary Scelzi; lost to Tony Pedregon.
Notable: Took over sole possession of No. 4 spot with third trip to the semifinals in seven races.
Quotable: "I hate that we blew up so many parts, but we'll figure it out. Despite a lot of adversity, my guys got us to the semifinals. If we can keep going rounds, we're going to keep ourselves in the hunt."-- ERIC MEDLEN.
ROBERT HIGHT, 36, Team Castrol/Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang
Qualifying position and performance: 2nd at 4.698 seconds, 325.61 mph.
Race results: Beat Mike Ashley, Cruz Pedregon, Del Worsham; lost to Tony Pedregon.
Notable: Moved up to No. 3 in points as the Southern Nationals Funny Car runner-up for the second consecutive season.
Quotable: "Drag racing can be a very humbling sport. We should of won, but we didn't. That's why we race. We'll just have to do better at Columbus, that's all." -- ROBERT HIGHT.
ASHLEY FORCE, 23, Castrol Top Alcohol Dragster
Qualifying position and performance:
Race results: Beat Ray Hack, Steve Federlin, Mike Kosky and Karen Stalba.
Notable: Second national victory of the year and fifth of her career.
Quotable: "It was great to be able to get a win for our team. I hadn't driven in almost a month so I didn't know how I would react but everything as just fine." -- ASHLEY FORCE.