Brainerd Wrap-up

FORCE STEPS ONE CLOSE TO GLIDDEN'S ALL-TIME NHRA CAREER VICTORY RECORD BRAINERD, Minn. - SUMMIT FastNews - Eight-time NHRA Winston champion John Force captured his eighth win...

FORCE STEPS ONE CLOSE TO GLIDDEN'S ALL-TIME NHRA CAREER VICTORY RECORD BRAINERD, Minn. - SUMMIT FastNews - Eight-time NHRA Winston champion John Force captured his eighth win of the 1999 NHRA Winston Drag Racing season by defeating Whit Bazemore at the Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals Sunday. Force, from Yorba Linda, Calif., covered the quarter mile at Brainerd International Raceway in 4.929 seconds and 313.80 mph to record his 78th career victory. Force defeated Whit Bazemore who ran a 5.000 seconds at 305.77 mph and moved into second place in NHRA career victories behind Bob Glidden's 85 wins. Force gave all the credit for this win to his crew chief Austin Coil and his crew. "They're really great!" Force said. "We make a mistake, man, they are right there for you if I make a mistake. Those guys are really something with what they can do with a Hot Rod." Larry Dixon, Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Craig Treble were also winners in their respective categories. The Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals is the 15th of 22 events in the $40 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Force set new track records at Brainerd International Raceway. Force laid down runs of 4.869 seconds and 318.17 to shatter the old track records of 4.916 seconds and 312.39 mph. Cruz Pedregon previously set the speed record last year while Bazemore previously set the elapsed time record in 1997. Force showed Bazemore's team a lot of respect. "Bazemore, with all respect, said he wanted to dance. He quit dancing at 800 foot." Force said. "They've got a good Hot Rod. Timmy Richards and that team, and (team owner Chuck) Etchells, that cars going to be right there." Force extended his stranglehold on the NHRA Winston points lead with this win. Force stands on top of the Winston points with 1,479 and enters the Big Bud Shootout in Indianapolis as the top seed. Force's teammate Tony Pedregon is second while Bazemore stands in the number three spot. Bazemore said despite the loss to Force, his team Funny Car has been running well lately. "Being in four finals in a row feels awfully good." Bazemore said. "Today was important because we got the job done and made it to the final when we didn't expect to win. When you're able to get good results when you are struggling, that's a good weekend." Dixon, from San Diego, ran down Eddie Hill in the Top Fuel category to capture his first win of the 1999 NHRA Winston Drag Racing season. Hill blew a blower belt at the 1,000-foot mark and Dixon needed a pass of 4.594 seconds at 294.95 mph to catch him. Dixon said the advantage went to Hill at the starting line. "He pulled away at about three-quarter track. He probably had about a half a car length, and I could see all of that Pennzoil on the side." Dixon said. "At that point you're just praying something will happen. I was looking to push buttons into high gear. Anything, just to get her up there. He dropped away real quick, and I saw the win light." Hill advanced to his first final round since 1996 at Brainerd International Raceway and dispelled any rumors surrounding his possible retirement. "I want to work as long as long as I can find sponsors." Hill said. "Although Pennzoil has already said that they won't renew for 2000, we're going full boar to try to find someone else. We have a half of a deal already, so retirement was never my idea." Dixon's win moved him up to a tie with Doug Herbert in the Top Fuel NHRA Winston points race. Mike Dunn holds on to the top spot with 951 points. Jeg Coughlin Jr., from Columbus, Ohio, nailed down his third Pro Stock victory of the season. Coughlin recorded a pass of 7.063 seconds at 194.60 mph to beat Warren Johnson who ran a 7.167 seconds at 179.95 mph. Coughlin said teamwork was the key to victory in Brainerd. "The team has worked really hard and we have done some testing since Sonoma and here. Coughlin said. "Anytime you beat him (Johnson), no matter what round it is in, it's certainly a thrill. Winning the event and beating him in the final, I mean, it doesn't get any better than that." Coughlin used a .444 reaction time compared to Johnson's .507 to seal the win. "We were number one and two in the standings last year." Coughlin said. "We're trying to make an interesting run for the championship this year. Days like today are going to help." Despite the loss, Warren Johnson held on to the number one position in the Winston points chase. Johnson stands at 1,221, 122 points above his son Kurt Johnson. Craig Treble of Chandler, Ariz., visited the winners circle for the first time of his career. Treble's Pro Stock Motorcycle run of 7.445 seconds at 177.44 mph was just enough to edge David Schultz, who ran 7.539 seconds at 179.16 mph. Treble knew in order to beat Schultz, he needed to have a great start at the line. "I was definitely going to try to push that (Christmas) tree." Treble said. "By the same token, every time I've try to push the tree, I run .395. It came up .417and I am totally happy with a 17. Unfortunately Dave got a 12! He's on the stick every time I have to race him." Since Angelle Seeling, Antron Brown and Matt Hines all lost in the first round, the Winston points lead did not change. Seeling stands in the number one slot with 796 points. The next NHRA Winston Drag racing event is the 45th annual US Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway. Results provided by the FastNews Network, courtesy of Summit Racing Equipment ** **

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Antron Brown , Matt Hines , Jeg Coughlin , Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Warren Johnson , Tony Pedregon , Whit Bazemore , Cruz Pedregon , Craig Treble , Austin Coil