Madison: John Force final summary

Castrol Highlight: John Force extended to 381 the number of consecutive events for which he has qualified a Castrol GTX Funny car by putting his 2006 Ford Mustang in the No. 7 qualifying position at Gateway International Raceway. The last time...

Castrol Highlight: John Force extended to 381 the number of consecutive events for which he has qualified a Castrol GTX Funny car by putting his 2006 Ford Mustang in the No. 7 qualifying position at Gateway International Raceway. The last time Force failed to make a 16-car starting lineup was Oct. 31, 1987.

FORCE TRIMS POINTS DEFICIT TO 44 DESPITE FINAL ROUND LOSS

John Force trimmed Ron Capps' lead to just 44 points at the mid-season break, providing a measure of consolation for a final round loss to former pro Tony Pedregon in the 10th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Midwest Nationals.

Force, bidding for an unprecedented 14th series title, was en route to an apparent final round victory at Gateway International Raceway when a supercharger drive belt snapped on his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang just before the finish.

That problem, a recurring one for the Team Castrol Fords, left Force dead in the water at the 1,000 foot mark, allowing Pedregon to drive by for the win. Pedregon won in 4.859 seconds at 320.43 mph. Force was clocked in 4.904 seconds at only 269.35 mph.

It was the 193rd final round of Force's career and his fifth in the Midwest Nationals. However, few have been more unlikely.

The 120-time tour winner struggled in the heat during qualifying and wasn't much better in the first two rounds of eliminations. However, once the track cooled off, the 13-time Auto Racing All-America selection put up the quickest time of the day at 4.843 seconds, good enough to get him past Tommy Johnson Jr. and into his sixth final round of the season.

"I didn't have any warning," Force said of his final round problems. "It was running fine. Then it was dead."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Ron Capps , John Force , Tommy Johnson Jr.