Force wins Brainerd for 10th time. John Force won for the fifth time this season and for the 10th time at Brainerd International Raceway Sunday when he beat teammate Gary Densham in the final round of the 21st annual Rugged Liner Nationals. In...
Force wins Brainerd for 10th time.
John Force won for the fifth time this season and for the 10th time at Brainerd International Raceway Sunday when he beat teammate Gary Densham in the final round of the 21st annual Rugged Liner Nationals.
In extending his points lead, Force won for the second straight time in the NHRA POWERade Series and, as he did two weeks before at Sonoma, Calif., he won wire-to-wire in claiming the 103rd victory of his remarkable career.
Force, who further extended his lead in an ongoing bid for an unprecedented 10th straight series title, was clocked in only 5.405 at 216.62 mph in the final, the first this year between Castrol teammates.
Force scored his biggest wins in the first two rounds when he took out first Scotty Cannon and then Dean Skuza. Against Skuza, to whom he had lost in four times in the previous six races, he pushed his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to a track speed record of 319.82 mph.
The victory enabled Force to extend his lead over teammate Tony Pedregon to 140 points. He leads Densham by 149 and Del Worsham by 220 in his ongoing bid for an unprecedented 10th consecutive series title and 12th overall.
TEAM CASTROL Details:
JOHN FORCE, Castrol GTX Ford Mustang Funny Car
Qualifying position and performance: 1st at 4.859 seconds, 319.60 mph.
Race results: Beat Scotty Cannon, Dean Skuza, Bruce Sarver and Gary Densham.
Notable: Set track record speed of 319.82 mph in second round; claimed fifth No. 1 qualifying bonus of season and 111th of this career; won for the 10th time at BIR.
Quotable: "It may have been an ugly win, but it was a win. It was a great race for this team and to win 10 races at Brainerd, that's special." JOHN FORCE
TONY PEDREGON, Castrol SYNTEC Ford Mustang Funny Car
Qualifying position and performance: 2nd at 4.866 seconds, 309.63 mph.
Race results: Beat Todd Paton, Del Worsham; lost to Gary Densham.
Notable: Posted quickest time in eliminations at 4.864 seconds in round one but lost in the semifinals when asphalt from the track rolled up on the rear tires when he was backing up from the burnout.
Quotable: "We keep finding new ways not to win, but we're not discouraged. We know we've got a good race car and we're looking forward to Indy." TONY PEDREGON.
GARY DENSHAM, Team Castrol/Auto Club of Southern California Ford Funny
Qualifying position and performance: 6th at 4.915 seconds, 310.13 mph.
Race results: Beat Frank Pedregon, Whit Bazemore, Tony Pedregon; lost to John Force.
Notable: Cut deficit between himself and teammate Tony Pedregon for second place to just nine points.
Quotable: "That's our third final round loss at Brainerd. You think we'd win one sometime. But it was a good weekend for us and for the entire John Force team. Three cars to the semifinals, you can't do better than that." GARY DENSHAM.
ROB SLAVINSKI, Castrol AccuVision Pontiac, Competition Eliminator
Qualifying position and performance: 7.372 seconds, .438 under the B/AA class index.
Race results: Lost to Al Ackerman.
Next event(s): U.S. Nationals, Aug. 29-Sept. 2, Indianapolis, Ind.; Lucas Keystone Nationals, Sept. 12-15, Reading, Pa.; O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals, Sept. 19-22, Memphis, Tenn.; Craftsman Nationals, Sept. 26-29, Joliet, Ill.