Baytown: John Force Racing eliminations summary

Team Castrol track fax - Baytown: Pedregon extends lead with third win of season. Highlights: Tony Pedregon drove the Castrol SYNTEC Ford to victory for the third time in five races and extended his lead in the race for the 2003 NHRA POWERade ...

Team Castrol track fax - Baytown:
Pedregon extends lead with third win of season.

Highlights: Tony Pedregon drove the Castrol SYNTEC Ford to victory for the third time in five races and extended his lead in the race for the 2003 NHRA POWERade Funny Car Championship by winning the 16th annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park.

Pedregon, 37, beat Del Worsham in the final after stopping boss and teammate John Force in the second round. It was career win No. 22 for Pedregon, tying him for fourth place on the all-time list with brother Cruz behind only Force, Kenny Bernstein and Don "the Snake" Prudhomme.

On a track on which he already had won more races than on any other in the series, Pedregon won for the fourth time. It was the Chino Hills, Calif., driver's second victory in as many weeks, coming on the heels of his April 6 success in the SummitRacing.com Nationals at Las Vegas. He also won the season-opening K&N Filters Winternationals at Pomona, Calif.

Pedregon, who has finished second in driver points four of the last seven seasons, now has won six of the last 11 NHRA tour events dating back to last September.

As for Force, he failed to advance beyond round two for the fifth time this season at the wheel of the Castrol GTX0x00ae High Mileage Ford. The good news was that the 12-time series champion and 106-time tour winner moved back into the Top 10 into ninth place with 19 events remaining.

Despite a semifinal loss to Worsham, the third Team Castrol Funny Car driver, Gary Densham, managed to leave in second place in season points with new HRP track records of 4.755 seconds and 325.69 mph.

Team Castrol Details:

JOHN FORCE , Castrol GTX Ford Mustang Funny Car

Qualifying position and performance: No. 6 at 4.820, 315.49 mph.
Race results: Beat Frank Pedregon; lost to Tony Pedregon.
Notable: Jumped back into the Top 10, advancing to the No. 9 spot.
Quotable: "We're improving, but we're not there yet so it's back into test mode tomorrow. We're not done."

TONY PEDREGON , Castrol SYNTEC Ford Mustang Funny Car

Qualifying position and performance: No. 3 at 4.794, 316.23 mph.
Race results: Beat Tim Wilkerson, John Force, Whit Bazemore and Del Worsham.
Notable: Extended his POWERade points lead with his third win of the season and the 22nd of his career.
Quotable: "It was just another great team effort. I didn't even know who had won until some guy at the far end gave me the thumbs up, but John Medlen and Dickie Venables made the right calls and it was another good day at the office."

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

Qualifying position and performance: No. 1 at 4.755, 325.69 mph.
Race results: Beat Dale Creasy Jr., Tommy Johnson Jr.; lost to Del Worsham.
Notable: Career best quarter mile time secured fourth No. 1 qualifying award of his career; set track records for both time and speed.
Quotable: "It's very disappointing after what we did in qualifying, but we went some rounds and stayed No. 2 in points, so it wasn't all bad."

-jfr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Frank Pedregon , Kenny Bernstein , Tony Pedregon , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , John Force , Dale Creasy Jr. , Gary Densham , Tim Wilkerson , Tommy Johnson Jr.