Joliet: Team Castrol finals summary

Castrol Fords still 1-2-3 after Chicagoland Nationals. John Force upset arch rival Whit Bazemore in the first round of the fifth annual Chicagoland Dodge Dealers Nationals Sunday at Route 66 Raceway but the 11-time NHRA series champion couldn't...

Castrol Fords still 1-2-3 after Chicagoland Nationals.

John Force upset arch rival Whit Bazemore in the first round of the fifth annual Chicagoland Dodge Dealers Nationals Sunday at Route 66 Raceway but the 11-time NHRA series champion couldn't ride the momentum to the Funny Car winners' circle.

Force, who has won a record 100 NHRA tour events, was ousted in round two by .002 of a second by eventual race winner Del Worsham.

For the first time in 10 races, neither of the three Team Castrol Fords reached the final round, but they still left the season's 10th race 1-2-3 in POWERade points.

Points leader Gary Densham, who lost to Worsham in the semifinals, still managed to reach another milestone, becoming only the sixth Funny Car driver over the last 13 seasons to maintain the points lead for three or more consecutive races.

Tony Pedregon, driver of the third Ford, the Castrol SYNTEC Mustang, reached the semifinals before losing to Scotty Cannon on a rare foul start.

The most successful of the Team Castrol drivers, however, was Rob Slavinski who won four rounds of racing before being eliminated in the semifinals of Super Comp Eliminator when his Castrol Super Clean dragster was victimized by a malady usually restricted to the pro cars tire shake.

Slavinski was ousted by eventual race winner David Connolly of Elyria, Ohio.

TEAM CASTROL Details:

JOHN FORCE, Castrol GTX Ford Mustang Funny Car

Qualifying position and performance: 13th at 4.941 seconds, 309.84 mph.

Race results: Beat Whit Bazemore; lost to Del Worsham.

Notable: Beat Bazemore for the fourth time in five 2002 meetings on a hole shot.

Quotable: "We broke a blower (supercharger drive) belt right in the lights and Worsham came flying by. But to leave 1-2-3 in points for the second straight race, tha's bitchin'." JOHN FORCE

TONY PEDREGON, Castrol SYNTEC Ford Mustang Funny Car

Qualifying position and performance: 6th at 4.848 seconds, 316.45 mph.

Race results: Beat Johnny Gray, Dean Skuza; lost to Scotty Cannon.

Notable: Maintained third place in points.

Quotable: "I tried to go in deep and just lost concentration. They say if you don't red light (foul) every now and then, you're not trying hard enough, but that doesn't make me fell any better. We'll just have to shake off the disappointment and get ready for Columbus (and the June 16 Pontiac Excitement Nationals)." TONY PEDREGON.

GARY DENSHAM, Team Castrol/Auto Club of Southern California Ford Funny Car:

Qualifying position and performance: 9th at 4.877 seconds, 305.36 mph.

Race results: Beat Ron Capps, Bruce Sarver; lost to Del Worsham.

Notable: Became only the sixth driver in the last 13 years to lead the Funny Car points for three consecutive races. The others, in addition to John Force, are Ron Capps, Ed McCulloch, Cruz Pedregon and Jerry Toliver.

Quotable: "It's all good.  I always thought I would win a race; I never
thought I would lead the points.  It's a credit to my crew, to John Force and
especially to my Crew Chief, Jimmy Prock.  GARY DENSHAM.

* * * *

ROB SLAVINSKI, Castrol AccuVision Pontiac, Competition Eliminator Qualifying position and performance: 23rd at 7.367 seconds, .443 under the B/AA class index.

Race results: Lost to Mike Trumble Jr.

ROB SLAVINSKI, Castrol Super Clean dragster, Super Comp Eliminator

Qualifying position and performance: All run.

Race results: Beat Jeff Klomps, Bill Yates Sr., Jarod Bowman, Dick Ouding, bye; lost to David Connolly.

Notable: Best outing of the year in the Castrol Super Clean dragster, companion to the Castrol AccuVision Pontiac in which he was runner-up at Englishtown, N.J.

* * * *

Next event(s): Pontiac Excitement Nationals, Columbus, Ohio, June 13-16; Sears Craftsman Nationals, Madison, Ill., June 27-30; Mopar Mile-High Nationals, July 19-21, Denver, Colo.; Lucas Oil Northwest Nationals, July 26-28, Seattle, Wash; Fram/Autolite Nationals, Aug. 2-4, Sonoma, Calif.

-jfr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Sarver , Tony Pedregon , Dean Skuza , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Gary Densham , Scotty Cannon , Cruz Pedregon , Johnny Gray , David Connolly , Mike Trumble , Jerry Toliver