Force, Wilkerson, Line and Hines earn Four-Wide Nationals victories
Brittany Force became the first woman to win a Four-Wide race.
Concord, N.C. – Brittany Force raced to her second victory of the season Sunday at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Foods, and became the first female driver to win the unique event.
Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners at the distinctive NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event where teams compete in a four-lane format.
Force held off the two-time defending winner of the race, Antron Brown, along with class veterans Doug Kalitta and Clay Millican to take the historic win at zMAX Dragway. Force powered her Monster Energy dragster to a final round performance of 3.764 seconds at 319.98 mph, while defending world champ Brown finished second with a 3.779 at 316.75 in his Matco Tools dragster.
Force was also quickest in her first two quads. She beat Brown, Pat Dakin and Leah Pritchett in the opening round and then raced past Brown, Richie Crampton and J.R. Todd in round two. She produced three straight 7.3-second runs to take the victory and extend her series points lead.
In addition to being the first woman to win a Four-Wide race, she’s also the first female to win in a nitro class at zMAX Dragway. She says all of the accolades coming her way are just surreal.
Top Fuel final finish order:
1. Brittany Force; 2. Antron Brown; 3. Doug Kalitta; 4. Clay Millican; 5. Richie Crampton; 6. Steve Torrence; 7. Tony Schumacher; 8. J.R. Todd; 9. Terry McMillen; 10. Pat Dakin; 11. Smax Smith; 12. Shawn Langdon; 13. Leah Pritchett; 14. Chris Karamesines; 15. Scott Palmer; 16. Terry Haddock.
Wilkerson powered to his second Funny Car victory of the season and 20th of his career with a final round performance of 3.967 at 315.56 in his Levi Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang. He was followed across the finish line by Cruz Pedregon with a 3.995 at 313.37 in his Snap-on Tools Toyota Camry, and the trailing Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Chargers of NAPA Auto’s Ron Capps and Mopar’s Matt Hagan.
“I had a very good car,” Wilkerson said. “We don’t come here to chase girls and drink beer, we are here to kick some butts and go home. Me and [assistant crew chief] Richard Hartman are of the same philosophy and that’s why we communicate so well with each other. He has been a great addition to our team and he did a great job up there [on the starting line] today.”
Wilkerson’s machine was the class of the field, and in all three quads he finished first. He opened with a win against Jeff Diehl, top qualifier Alexis DeJoria and series points leader Robert Hight. In round two he outran Pedregon, Courtney Force and Diehl.
Funny Car final finish order:
1. Tim Wilkerson; 2. Cruz Pedregon; 3. Ron Capps; 4. Matt Hagan; 5. John Force; 6. Courtney Force; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 8. Jeff Diehl; 9. Del Worsham; 10. Jack Beckman; 11. Alexis DeJoria; 12. Chad Head; 13. John Hale; 14. Bob Tasca III; 15. Robert Hight; 16. Daniel Wilkerson.
In Pro Stock, Line won his third race of the season in his fifth consecutive final round, posting a winning time of 6.565 at 211.33 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro and finishing in front of teammate Bo Butner, who trailed with a 6.591 at 210.77 in his Jim Butner Auto Camaro. Drew Skillman and Chris McGaha, also driving Camaros, were third and fourth in the quad final.
It was Line’s first Four-Wide Nationals win and the 40th victory of his career.
Pro Stock final finish order:
1. Jason Line; 2. Bo Butner; 3. Drew Skillman; 4. Chris McGaha; 5. Kenny Delco; 6. Greg Anderson; 7. Erica Enders; 8. Deric Kramer; 9. Shane Gray; 10. Allen Johnson; 11. Vincent Nobile; 12. Alex Laughlin; 13. John Gaydosh Jr; 14. Shane Tucker; 15. Jeg Coughlin; 16. V. Gaines.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Hines continued his mastery of the Four-Wide Nationals in Pro Stock Motorcycle and held off top qualifier Eddie Krawiec, Chip Ellis and Matt Smith to take the victory, his third in a row at this event and his sixth zMAX Dragway victory. Hines clocked a 6.844 at 194.42 on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson, while Krawiec finished in 6.849 at 194.44 on his Harley-Davidson to take runner-up honors. It was points leader Krawiec’s fourth consecutive runner-up finish at this event.
Hines became the third driver in NHRA history, joining Greg Anderson and Hight, and first in the bike class to finish second in both of the first two quads and then win the race. In the opener Hines finished second to Jerry Savoie, but in front of Brian Pretzel and Jim Underdahl. In round two, Hines trailed Krawiec, but finished in front of Savoie and Michael Ray.
With his 43rd career victory, he is closing in on the 44 official victories that the late Dave Schultz won during his career.
Pro Stock Motorcycle final finish order:
1. Andrew Hines; 2. Eddie Krawiec; 3. Chip Ellis; 4. Matt Smith; 5. Angelle Sampey; 6. Jerry Savoie; 7. Hector Arana; 8. Michael Ray; 9. Scotty Pollacheck; 10. Angelle Sampey; 11. Brian Pretzel; 12. Melissa Surber; 13. LE Tonglet; 14. Steve Johnson; 15. Karen Stoffer; 16. Jim Underdahl.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues April 29-May 1 with the NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston.
Brittany Force, Wilkerson, Line and Hines earn Four-Wide wins
Antron Brown aims for 100th Final in Houston