John Force race to 100 notebook

WINNING IS TOUGH WORK: John Force, 11-time National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Funny Car champion, is seeking his 100th career victory this weekend at the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Should the Yorba...

WINNING IS TOUGH WORK:
John Force, 11-time National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Funny Car champion, is seeking his 100th career victory this weekend at the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Should the Yorba Linda, Calif. drag racer achieve the milestone with a victory at the $1.8 million race, he would join an elite list of professional athletes in traditional individual sports who have earned 100 victories or more. To illustrate how tough the feat, there are only five athletes in major individual sports to have earned more than 100 career victories. Women's tennis dominator Martina Navratilova scored 167 career titles, the most on the courts for any pro tennis player, male or female. Two other retired women's tennis phenoms, Chris Evert (154) and Steffi Graf (107), also broke the century mark. In men's tennis, Jimmy Conners claimed 109 victories during his illustrious career. In boxing, Julio Cesar Chavez scored 101 decisions. The following shows how Force stacks up when compared to the most successful atheletes in traditional individual sports: <pre> Martina Navratilova, tennis 167 Chris Evert, tennis 157 Jimmy Conners, tennis 109 Steffi Graf, tennis 107 Julio Cesar Chavez, boxing 101 John Force, drag racing 99 Ivan Lendl, tennis 94 Kathy Whitworth, golf 88 Mickey Wright, golf 82 Sam Snead, golf 81 Margaret Court, tennis 79 John McEnroe, tennis 77 Jack Nicklaus, golf 70 Rocky Graziano, boxing 67 Larry Holmes, boxing 67 Ben Hogan, golf 63 Joe Louis, boxing 63 Arnold Palmer, golf 63 Marvin Hagler, boxing 62 Pete Sampras, tennis 61 Ilie Nastase, tennis 57 Muhammad Ali, boxing 56 Babe Didrikson Zaharias, golf 55 Louise Suggs, golf 50 Andre Agassi, tennis 49 Boris Becker, tennis 49 Rocky Marciano, boxing 49 Mike Tyson, boxing 49 Nancy Lopez, golf 48 Monica Seles, tennis 48 Rod Laver, tennis 47 Greg Louganis, diving 47 Earl Anthony, bowling 41 Primin Zirbrigger, skiing 40 </pre>

ROUND AND ROUND:
In the sport of drag racing, in order for a competitor to claim one event victory, he or she must earn four round wins during the race. During Force's career, he has earned 763 career round wins, the most for any competitor in NHRA history.

WHAT COULD'VE BEEN:
If winning NHRA drag races wasn't so difficult, Force could be going for his 156th career victory this weekend. Force has been a runner-up 56 times during his career, which is more losing final round appearances that his closest rival has victories in the category. Following Force's 99 career Funny Car victories, retired driver turned team owner Don Prudhomme is second, with 35 career Funny Car wins. Kenny Bernstein's 30 titles anchors the third spot. The active driver with the most Funny Car wins after Force is Cruz Pedregon, who has 22.

FROM NO. 1 TO VICTORY:
Nearly half of John Force's victories have come from the No. 1 position. He has claimed 49 of his 99 victories from the top qualifying position. Force has qualified No. 1 108 times in his career.

TOP AND BOTTOM:
John Force's odds of winning greatly improve if he qualifies in the top half of the field (positions 1-8). Of his 99 career victories, 98 have come from positions 1-8 in the 16-car order. He has only one victory when he qualifies in positions 9-16 (12th, Phoenix 1995).

TWO MORE TO CONQUER:
Of all 20 current facilities on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, John Force has claimed trophies at all but two tracks: Bristol Dragway and The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He has earned the most victories -- nine -- at Pomona (Calif.) Raceway and Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway. <pre> THE ROAD TO 100: TRACKING JOHN FORCE'S CAREER VICTORIES:

NO. YEAR WHERE DEFEATED 1 1987 Montreal Ed McCulloch * 2 1988 Columbus Bruce Larson 3 1988 Brainerd John Martin 4 1988 Pomona 2 Kenny Bernstein 5 1989 Reading Bruce Larson 6 1990 Houston Bruce Larson 7 1990 Baton Rouge Richard Hartman 8 1990 Columbus Jim White 9 1990 Montreal Mark Oswald 10 1990 Sonoma Bruce Larson 11 1990 Brainerd Ed McCulloch 12 1990 Reading Mark Oswald 13 1991 Pomona 1 Glen Mikres 14 1991 Houston Ed McCulloch 15 1991 Sonoma Ed McCulloch 16 1991 Seattle Jim White 17 1991 Brainerd Mark Oswald 18 1992 Gainesville Jim Epler 19 1992 Atlanta Del Worsham 20 1992 Montreal Al Hofmann 21 1992 Sonoma Cruz Pedregon 22 1993 Pomona 1 Del Worsham 23 1993 Houston Al Hofmann 24 1993 Gainesville Al Hofmann 25 1993 Atlanta Chuck Etchells 26 1993 Memphis Tom Hoover 27 1993 Englishtown Chuck Etchells 28 1993 Topeka 1 Gordie Bonin 29 1993 Seattle Cruz Pedregon 30 1993 Indianapolis Kenji Okazaki 31 1993 Reading Al Hofmann 32 1993 Dallas Chuck Etchells 33 1994 Phoenix Cruz Pedregon 34 1994 Gainesville K.C. Spurlock 35 1994 Atlanta Dean Skuza 36 1994 Topeka 1 Cruz Pedregon 37 1994 Denver Chuck Etchells 38 1994 Sonoma Chuck Etchells 39 1994 Seattle Al Hofmann 40 1994 Brainerd Gary Densham 41 1994 Reading Cruz Pedregon 42 1994 Pomona 2 Cruz Pedregon 43 1995 Phoenix Tom Hoover 44 1995 Gainesville Dean Skuza 45 1995 Atlanta Cruz Pedregon 46 1995 Richmond K.C. Spurlock 47 1995 Denver Al Hofmann 48 1995 Brainerd Gary Densham 49 1996 Phoenix Chuck Etchells 50 1996 Gainesville Chuck Etchells 51 1996 Houston Al Hofmann 52 1996 Richmond Cruz Pedregon 53 1996 Englishtown Gary Densham 54 1996 Memphis Tony Pedregon 55 1996 Topeka 1 Cruz Pedregon 56 1996 Denver Chuck Etchells 57 1996 Seattle Tony Pedregon 58 1996 Brainerd Tony Pedregon 59 1996 Indianapolis Al Hofmann 60 1996 Topeka 2 Tony Pedregon 61 1996 Pomona 2 Tony Pedregon 62 1997 Pomona 1 Al Hofmann 63 1997 Phoenix Dean Skuza 64 1997 Brainerd Ron Capps 65 1997 Reading Chuck Etchells 66 1997 Topeka 2 Randy Anderson 67 1997 Memphis Cruz Pedregon 68 1998 Englishtown Jim Epler 69 1998 Indianapolis Randy Anderson 70 1998 Dallas 2 Dean Skuza 71 1999 Phoenix Cruz Pedregon 72 1999 Gainesville Cory Lee 73 1999 Houston 1 Tony Pedregon 74 1999 Richmond Tony Pedregon 75 1999 Atlanta Whit Bazemore 76 1999 Englishtown Cruz Pedregon 77 1999 St. Louis Tony Pedregon 78 1999 Brainerd Whit Bazemore 79 1999 Topeka Tommy Johnson Jr. 80 1999 Dallas 2 Tommy Johnson Jr. 81 1999 Houston 2 Jim Epler 82 2000 Phoenix Ron Capps 83 2000 Richmond Ron Capps 84 2000 Atlanta Ron Capps 85 2000 Dallas 1 Tony Pedregon ** 86 2000 Chicago Jerry Toliver *** 87 2000 Seattle Frank Pedregon 88 2000 Sonoma Tony Pedregon 89 2000 Brainerd Jim Epler 90 2000 Topeka Ron Capps 91 2000 Dallas 2 Jerry Toliver 92 2000 Pomona 2 Bruce Sarver 93 2001 Phoenix Bruce Sarver 94 2001 Gainesville Dean Skuza 95 2001 Columbus Del Worsham 96 2001 Pomona 3 Whit Bazemore 97 2001 Denver Bob Gilbertson 98 2001 Reading Whit Bazemore 99 2002 Pomona 1 Del Worsham 100 ? ? ? </pre> * Force's emotional first career victory came finally after he posted nine runner-up finishes.

** Force's 85th victory tied NHRA Pro Stock legend Bob Glidden for most wins in NHRA history.

*** Force passed Glidden to become NHRA's all-time win leader.

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Sarver , Frank Pedregon , Kenny Bernstein , Bob Gilbertson , Jim Epler , Tony Pedregon , Al Hofmann , Dean Skuza , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Chuck Etchells , Gary Densham , Bob Glidden , Bruce Larson , Cruz Pedregon , Don Prudhomme , Cory Lee , Jerry Toliver , Richard Hartman , Martina Navratilova , John Martin , Mickey Wright , Tommy Johnson Jr.