DESPITE EARLY EXIT, FORCE KEEPS POWERADE POINTS LEAD Neither of the Team Castrol Ford Mustangs was able to negotiate a tricky, bumpy right lane at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, opening the door for Del Worsham, who ended a season-long...
DESPITE EARLY EXIT, FORCE KEEPS POWERADE POINTS LEAD
Neither of the Team Castrol Ford Mustangs was able to negotiate a tricky, bumpy right lane at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, opening the door for Del Worsham, who ended a season-long victory drought by beating Ron Capps in the final round of the 36th annual K&N Filters SuperNationals.
As each of the Team Castrol drivers was relegated to the less favored right lane, the result was predictable. Eric Medlen lost in round one in the Castrol SYNTEC Ford, John Force in round two in the Castrol GTX Start Up Ford and Robert Hight in round three in the Auto Club of Southern California Ford.
The only team member to reach the finals was 22-year-old Ashley Force, whose Castrol/Hot Wheels dragster wasn't quite quick enough to hold off the car driven by former series champion Randy Meyer.
Ms. Force, the national points leader in the Top Alcohol Dragster class, was the No. 1 qualifier and sped to quick time (5.262 seconds) and top speed (270.16 miles per hour) of the meet in round two. Nevertheless, put into the dreaded right lane for the final, she slowed to 5.421, not enough to beat Meyer despite her .012 of a second advantage at the start.
Despite his second round exit, John Force retained a 62-point lead over Gary Scelzi in his bid for an unprecedented 14th NHRA Funny Car Championship. Hight remained third and despite his misfortune at facing teammate Hight in a round one match one of them had to lose, Medlen dropped just one position to seventh.
TEAM CASTROL Details:
JOHN FORCE, 55, Castrol GTX Start Up Ford Mustang
Qualifying position and performance: 5th at 4.798 seconds, 322.42 mph.
Race results: Beat Bob Gilbertson; lost to Del Worsham.
Notable: Extended qualifying streak to 357 consecutive races and maintained 62-point lead in the race for the 2005 POWERade Championship.
ERIC MEDLEN, 31, Castrol SYNTEC Ford Mustang
Qualifying position and performance: 9th at 4.833 seconds, 320.81 mph.
Race results: Lost to Robert Hight.
Notable: Lost one position in points after dropping first round decision to teammate Robert Hight in the first meeting between the two Next Generation drivers.
ROBERT HIGHT, 35, Automobile Club of Southern California Ford Mustang
Qualifying position and performance: 8th at 4.832 seconds, 318.84 mph.
Race results: Beat Eric Medlen, Jim Head; lost to Del Worsham.
Notable: Stayed third in POWERade points by reaching the semifinals for the fourth time this season.
ASHLEY FORCE, 22, Castrol/Hot Wheels A/Fuel dragster (Top Alcohol
Qualifying position and performance: 1st at 5.388 seconds, 265.12 mph.
Race results: Beat Paul Sylvester, Rich McPhillips, Mike Kosky; lost to Randy Meyer.
Notable: No. 1 qualifier for the third time in as many appearances at Raceway Park; POWERade Series finalist for the second time this year.