DISAPPOINTING DAY IN HOUSTON FOR JFR BAYTOWN, TX --- A promising qualifying effort literally went up in smoke for John Force Racing today at Houston Raceway Park. The trio of Force owned Ford Mustangs dominated qualifying for two days winding up...
DISAPPOINTING DAY IN HOUSTON FOR JFR
BAYTOWN, TX --- A promising qualifying effort literally went up in smoke for John Force Racing today at Houston Raceway Park. The trio of Force owned Ford Mustangs dominated qualifying for two days winding up 1-2-3 led by a resurgent John Force, Ashley Force Hood and 2009 Funny Car champ Robert Hight.
In the first round No. 1 qualifier John Force was upset by two-time Funny Car champion and No. 16 qualifier Tony Pedregon. This was the fifth time these two drivers have squared off in the first round and Pedregon now has a 3-2 record versus Force. The loss for Force's marked the first time in 2010 that Force has not advance to at least the second round of racing action.
Robert Hight made the quickest run of the first session defeating Paul Lee handily. Hight covered the 1000 ft. track in 4.108 seconds at 309.13 mph versus Lee's 7.644 second run.
In the second round Hight pulled up beside Jeff Arend. Hight had an 8-0 record and lane choice over Arend. On paper this match-up might have looked like a walk over but Arend exacted some sweet revenge on the AAA Texas Ford Mustang. Hight's Jimmy Prock tuned Mustang blasted off the starting line with the quickest 60 ft. time of the session but at the transition in the left lane his Mustang lost traction smoking the tires and handing the win to Arend.
"The motor did everything we wanted it to. This was the first really hot day we have had this season. The track temperature was over 115 degrees and that is incredibly hot. That makes just about any track tricky. Our motor hooked up and we had a great 60 ft. time but we just missed it a little. We are disappointed to not get the win. This AAA Texas Mustang was in great position to get into the winner's circle. It just didn't happen for us today. We'll regroup, learn from this, and head to Las Vegas," said Robert Hight.
2009 Full Throttle Funny Car runner-up Ashley Force Hood qualified No. 2 with two excellent passes on Saturday. On Sunday morning she defeated Jeff Diehl in the first round. This was the first time Force Hood has faced Diehl.
Force Hood pulled up beside Del Worsham and the Al-Anabi sponsored Toyota in the second round. In 2008 Worsham defeated Force Hood in the final at Houston Raceway Park but the next eight times the two racers met Force Hood had the upper hand. That streak ended today as both Funny Cars smoked the tires and as Del and Ashley pedaled their 8,000 horsepower Funny Cars to the finish line it was Worsham who got the win light. The time slips read Worsham, 4.596 and Force Hood 4.635 seconds.
"The pain of this loss is lessened by the fact that this is just a really tricky track. We didn't get lane choice which is just another hurdle we had to jump over. I pedaled the car and it actually hooked back up. I am happy about that. Even though we did not come out the winner I am getting better at pedaling this Mustang. Come summer that is probably going to be a part of just about every race. I think the thing that bit us was that lane. Del also got into trouble and we both recovered but when I recovered we were at a tricky spot on the track. It was at the wrong spot at the wrong time. It is unfortunate that dad and Robert also went out. We were all running so strong qualifying 1-2-3 this weekend. That is a part of racing," said Force Hood.
"We ran really strong and we gained some points in qualifying each session. The car is running really good. It is just a difficult track today. It could have gone our way but it didn't. We'll just go to Vegas and we seem to do well in Las Vegas. It is a great track with good conditions. It is not too hot. I think we will be all right. It is early in the season and you never want to lose a race but you can't win them all. When you consider how well our qualifying has gone at least we can leave here saying at least we are not lost. We didn't have the luck we needed. We still have three really strong cars."
For the first time in the Full Throttle Drag Racing 2010 season there will not be a Ford Mustang in the final. John Force reached the final round in Pomona, Phoenix and Charlotte grabbing two wins (Pomona and Charlotte). In Gainesville at the NHRA Gatornationals it was Tim Wilkerson carrying the Ford Mustang banner to the winner's circle.
Regardless of the outcome today John Force will leave Houston with the Full Throttle Funny Car points lead. Next weekend all three Mustangs will attack the track at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
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FULL THROTTLE POINT STANDINGS (unofficial after semi-finals of the 23rd O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals)
FUNNY CAR - 1. John Force, Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang, 441; 2. Matt Hagan, 251/371; 3. Ron Capps, 345; 4. Ashley Force Hood, Castrol GTX Ford Mustang, 312; 5. Jack Beckman, 311; 6. Tony Pedregon, 283; 7. Tim Wilkerson, 283; 8. Robert Hight, AAA Texas Ford Mustang, 281; 9. Bob Tasca III, 268; 10. Del Worsham, 240; 11. Jeff Arend, 223/243.
TOP FUEL - 1. Cory McClenathan, 456; 2. Larry Dixon, 408/428; 3. Doug Kalitta, 381; 4. Antron Brown, 378/398; 5. Tony Schumacher, 366; 6. Shawn Langdon, 275; 7. Morgan Lucas, 245; 8. Steve Torrence, 228; 9. Brandon Bernstein, 219; 10. David Grubnic, 206
PRO STOCK -- 1. Mike Edwards, 574; 2. Allen Johnson, 382/402; 3. Jason Line, 338; 4. Greg Anderson, 311; 5. Jeg Coughlin, 279/299; 6. Greg Stanfield, 267; 7. Rodger Brogdon, 250; 8. Bob Yonke, 240; 9. Ron Krisher, 254; 10. Ronnie Humphrey, 199
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE - 1. Hector Arana, 284/304; 2. Eddie Krawiec, 244; 3. Matt Smith, 235; 4. Andrew Hines, 194/214; 5. Karen Stoffer, 167; 6. Craig Treble, 164; 7. Steve Johnson, 158; 8. Michael Phillips, 157; 9. David Hope, 142; 10. Shawn Gann, 129.
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JOHN FORCE, 60, Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang Final Qualifying: 1st with a 4.021 at 316.08 mph Bonus Qualifying Points: +6 (Quickest of Q1 and Q2) Race Results: Lost to Tony Pedregon.
ASHLEY FORCE HOOD, 27, Castrol GTX Ford Mustang Final Qualifying: 2nd with a 4.042 at 314.90 mph Bonus Qualifying Points: +8 (3rd quickest of Q1 and Q2, quickest of Q3 and Q4) Race Results: Beat Jeff Diehl. Lost to Del Worsham.
ROBERT HIGHT, 40, AAA Texas Ford Mustang Final Qualifying: 3rd with a 4.051 at 312.64 mph Bonus Qualifying Points: +2 (2nd quickest of Q2) Race Results: Beat Paul Lee. Lost to Jeff Arend.
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NEXT EVENTS: 11th annual SummitRacing.com Nationals, April 16-18, Las Vegas, Nev. 14th annual NHRA Midwest Nationals, April 30-May 2, Madison, Ill.
Dave Densmore Elon Werner Denswood Sports John Force Racing, Inc. 214-244-0008 214-244-1184