Funny Car driver Courtney Force victorious at O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals; Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel) and Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) also winners at Mello Yellow season-opener.
POMONA, Calif. – Courtney Force raced to victory in Funny Car Sunday at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel) and Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) also were winners at the first of 24 events in the 2013 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Force powered her Traxxas Ford Mustang past NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger driver Ron Capps with a pass of 4.025 seconds at 317.12 mph to earn her second career victory.
“It was definitely unbelievable,” Force said. “My team, (crew chiefs) Ron Douglas and Dan Hood, thanks to them, they had given me great race car all weekend long. I just try to keep it straight down the center and they really made my job easy. I really owe it to those guys. It was kind of bittersweet finishing here (at the NHRA Finals in November) and not getting that win, then coming back and picking up where we left off and finishing our job. We got the win and I’m just proud of my team.”
“Couldn’t have scripted it any better really,” Langdon said. “We struggled a little in qualifying. We didn’t really have the car that we thought we should have had, but we qualified seventh. We knew the things we learned in testing that we had a car capable of winning. It showed today.”
In the second round of eliminations, 2012 world champion Antron Brown’s Matco Tools dragster went out of control and crashed near the finish line. Brown emerged from the crashed car under his own power and was checked and released by NHRA emergency services officials. He received only very minor injuries in the incident.
“I am feeling good,” Brown said. “I’ve got some scrapes on my legs and my back is a little sore, but overall I feel good. The best feeling was seeing how quickly the NHRA Safety Safari got to my car after it stopped. The car did its job and we’ll be ready for Phoenix.”
“It’s pretty awesome leaving here with the points lead,” said Nobile. “That’s every team’s goal. Now we just want to stay there, stay consistent and keep the wins coming.”
The Mello Yello Drag Racing Series rolls in to Phoenix Feb. 22-24 for the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway which will be aired on ESPN2HD.