Dallas: Team Castrol wins two titles

ENNIS, Texas - John Force continued his Texas Motorplex winning streak Saturday. Steve Johns just started his. Force and Johns shared the winners' circle at the rain-plagued 15th annual O'Reilly Nationals presented by Castrol SYNTEC,...

ENNIS, Texas - John Force continued his Texas Motorplex winning streak Saturday. Steve Johns just started his. Force and Johns shared the winners' circle at the rain-plagued 15th annual O'Reilly Nationals presented by Castrol SYNTEC, giving Team Castrol a double victory for the first time in the new millennium. Force, who last week clinched his 10th Winston Championship, won the O'Reilly Nationals for the third straight year with a dominating performance that included the event's quickest time (4.862) and fastest speed (312.28 mph) against teammate Tony Pedregon in the semifinals. Force started his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang from the No. 1 qualifying spot without turning a tire at the Motorplex after the NHRA, in an unprecedented move, cancelled qualifying on Friday and set the field for Saturday's eliminations based on Winston driver points. From there, he marched to his 10th win of the season, beating Jerry Toliver in the final round with a time of 4.863 seconds at only 302.55 mph. Johns won for the second time in his career, the first time in the Castrol Super Clean Chevy S-10 by beating Winston Champion Bob Panella Jr. in the semifinals and second place Randy Daniels in the final.

WINNERS: Top Fuel, Cory McClenathan def. Melanie Troxel; Funny Car, John Force def. Jerry Toliver; Pro Stock, Kurt Johnson def. Jeg Coughlin Jr.; Pro Stock Truck, Steve Johns def. Randy Daniels. NEXT EVENT: 36th annual AAA of Southern California Finals, Los Angeles County Fairplex, Pomona, Calif., Nov. 9-12.

JOHN FORCE, Castrol GTX® Ford Mustang
Qualifying position: 1st (Qualifying position based on Winston points) Race Results: Beat Cristen Powell, Del Worsham, Tony Pedregon and Jerry Toliver. Notable: Force won his 10th race of the season, the fifth time he has earned double digit victories in his career. He also won 10 or more in 1993, 1994, 1996 and 1999. This was his third straight win in the O'Reilly Nationals presented by Castrol SYNTEC and his fourth win in the last five races at the Texas Motorplex. Quotable: "This was the first time we ran the five-disc clutch and it looks like it's gonna be pretty gnarly. (Crew Chief Austin) Coil said we had wrung all we could out of the four disc. We had a lot of data because Tony's run it for the last three years." - John Force.

TONY PEDREGON, Castrol SYNTEC Ford Mustang
Qualifying position: 4th (Qualifying position based on Winston points) Race Results: Beat Al Hofmann, Jim Epler; lost to John Force. Notable: By reaching the semifinals, Pedregon locked up fourth place in the 2000 driver standings, the fourth time in his five-year stint with Team Castrol that he has finished among the Top 5. Quotable: "Second and third place were a long shot. When Toliver got to the finals, that about ended our chances (of catching him). Realistically, we just wanted to finish strong. The car's been running great. We just happened to run into a buzzsaw today." - Tony Pedregon.

<pre> Unofficial 2000 Winston Funny Car Points (22 of 23 races complete)

1. John Force, Castrol GTX Ford Mustang (10)                1,874
2. Jerry Toliver, WWF Firebird (3)                          1,481
3. Ron Capps, U.S. Tobacco Camaro (1)                       1,477 
4. Tony Pedregon, Castrol SYNTEC Ford Mustang (2)           1,389
5. Jim Epler, WWF Camaro (2)                                1,232  
6. Scotty Cannon, Oakley Camaro                             1,061   
7. Whit Bazemore, Kendall GT-1 Camaro (1)                   1,057 
8. Del Worsham, CSK Firebird                                1,000   
9. Bruce Sarver, e-moola.com Firebird   (1)                   941
10. Dean Skuza, Matco Tools Avenger                           935     

Note: season victories in parentheses (Bob Gilbertson and Cruz Pedregon also have won races this season)

STEVE JOHNS, Castrol Super Clean Chevy S-10 Truck
Qualifying position: 5th (Qualifying position based on Winston points) Race Results: Beat Mark Whisnant, Taylor Lastor, Bob Panella and Randy Daniels. Notable: In winning for the second time in his Pro Stock Truck career, Johns moved from fifth to fourth in season points, just seven points back of third place John Coughlin. ROB SLAVINSKI, Castrol Super Clean Chevy S-10 Truck
Qualifying position: DNQ (Qualifying position based on Winston points) Notable: Of the cars on the grounds at the Motorplex, Slavinski's was No. 17 points. Only the top 16 were seeded into the field after qualifying was cancelled because of rain. <pre> Official 2000 Winston Pro Stock Truck Points (13 of 14 races complete)

1. Bob Panella (5)                            1,299             
2. Randy Daniels (5)                          1,088           
3. John Coughlin (1)                            794     
4. Steve Johns (1)                              777     
5. Greg Stanfield                               707         
6. Mike Coughlin (1)                            652         
7. Brian Self                                   598     
8. Rick Jones                                   540 
9. Jeff Gracia                                  539
10. John Lingenfelter                           506           

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Sarver , Jeg Coughlin , Bob Panella , Kurt Johnson , Bob Gilbertson , Jim Epler , Tony Pedregon , Al Hofmann , Dean Skuza , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Jeff Gracia , Randy Daniels , Mike Coughlin , John Lingenfelter , Scotty Cannon , Cruz Pedregon , Cory McClenathan , Greg Stanfield , Melanie Troxel , Mark Whisnant , Brian Self , Jerry Toliver , Steve J , Cristen Powell