Force Claims First Bristol Win; Schumacher and Anderson Also Take Win Lights At Bristol Dragway BRISTOL, Tenn. - Bristol Dragway was the only track on the NHRA schedule where John Force has not posted a win in his career. That ended Monday as...
Force Claims First Bristol Win; Schumacher and Anderson Also Take Win Lights At Bristol Dragway
BRISTOL, Tenn. - Bristol Dragway was the only track on the NHRA schedule where John Force has not posted a win in his career. That ended Monday as Force earned his 110th career victory and completed a sweep of NHRA national events during the fourth annual O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.
Tony Schumacher and Greg Anderson also earned victories in their respective categories at the $1.2 million race, the sixth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. The race was delayed one day because persistent rain showers fell on the track Sunday.
Force beat Whit Bazemore in the Funny Car final and is now 42 points out of first place in the standings, behind leader Del Worsham. Force drove his Castrol GTX High-Mileage Ford Mustang to a 4.781-second run at 322.88 mph to beat a tire-smoking 13.224 pass at 93.50 by Bazemore in his Matco Tools Dodge Stratus.
"Rusty Wallace told me I was a weak dog the other day, and that I needed to just go out there and win, just get it done," Force said. "He did it a few weeks ago in Martinsville [Va.] and now I finally got my 110th, so I guess we both still have some left in the tank."
It was the first win of the season for Force, who lost to Worsham in the final round at Gainesville, Fla. in March.
"It really was great to watch all three of my teams work together this weekend," Force said. "Eric Medlen went out there and took out the reigning champ and then he knocked off the points leader. Gary Densham and that group did a good job. It was a great team win. It's great to slide in here and finally win one at Bristol. Beating my old buddy Bazemore in the final was just a bonus. The Funny Car race is going to be tough all year. Del Worsham has the baddest hot rod and we're all chasing him."
Tony Schumacher earned his fourth win of the season and 15th of his career by beating Clay Millican in the Top Fuel final. Schumacher drove his U.S. Army dragster to the victory with a 5.802 at 283.73 while Millican smoked the tires of his 104+ Octane dragster and slowed to a 10.446 run at 73.75.
"Being 4-0 (in final rounds this year) sounds great until you stand next to Greg Anderson and see that he's 5-0," Schumacher said. "Man, that's incredible but we're not doing too bad either. I'm so proud of this entire Army team. We have to thank the diehard fans who stayed with us through the rain. I think we have every fan who was able to come back here today partying right here with us in the winner's circle and they deserve our thanks."
Greg Anderson beat his teammate, Jason Line, for the second consecutive race. The two racers qualified in the No. 1 and 2 spots, as Anderson took the top spot in qualifying for the 11th consecutive event. Anderson's fifth win of the season and 21st of his career came with a 6.754 at 203.12 in his Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am. Line, in his second consecutive final round, went 6.790 at 202.94, in his KB Framers Grand Am.
"Jason is tougher by the run. Not the weekend, by the run," Anderson said. "I knew I was going to have to dig deep to get the win away from him. He's going to be a major player in this category. I thought it was going to take six months or so, but I think it is going to happen much sooner."
Anderson has a 198-point lead over Kurt Johnson. Line beat Johnson in the semifinal round.
"It was a good race for all of us," Anderson said. "A great day for KB Racing and Ken Black. We're all enjoying ourselves so much right now. We all shake our heads every day. You just never expect to run like this in this class. And to put up these kind of numbers at altitude is just another big boost for us. I can't believe it's happening, but it sure is fun. Maybe not for everyone else, but it is for us."
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga., May 13-16.