Force Sets National Records at Joliet John Force did everything but win the fourth annual CARQUEST Nationals Sunday at Route 66 Raceway where he regained his lost national record, became the first Funny Car driver to break the 4.70 second...
Force Sets National Records at Joliet
John Force did everything but win the fourth annual CARQUEST Nationals Sunday at Route 66 Raceway where he regained his lost national record, became the first Funny Car driver to break the 4.70 second barrier and moved one step closer to claiming his 13th NHRA POWERade Championship.
Ironically, even though Del Worsham won the race, Force actually extended his championship lead thanks to the 20 bonus points he earned for lowering the Funny Car record to 4.665 seconds.
Also he earned no points for the feat, he also boosted the national speed record to 333.58 miles per hour, faster even than the national record in the Top Fuel dragster class (333.41 mph by Brandon Bernstein).
Nevertheless, after posting times of 4.665, 4.714 and 4.729 in the first three rounds, Force's Castrol GTX Start Up Ford Mustang lost traction in the final, allowing Worsham to get by for the win in 4.809 seconds.
Despite his disappointment, Force moved into position to clinch his 13th title when the tour moves this week to Reading, Pa., for the Lucas Oil Nationals. He leads Worsham by 237 points. If he leaves Reading leading by at least 277 points, he will mathematically shut the door on Worsham.
JOHN FORCE, 55, Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang Funny Car
Qualifying position and performance: 1st at 4.697 seconds, 332.75 mph.
Race results: Beat Tony Bartone, Tony Pedregon, Cruz Pedregon; lost to Del Worsham.
Notable: (1) Became first Funny Car driver to break the 4.70 second barrier (4.697 seconds); (2) set NHRA national records for quarter mile time (4.665 seconds) and speed (333.58 mph); (3) extended his qualifying streak to 343 consecutive events; (4) earned the 123rd No. 1 qualifier award of his career; and (5) extended his points lead to 237 over Del Worsham.
Quotable: "We made a statement, but we didn't finish the job. We could have closed everybody out. I just want to get it done. We're taking a good race car to Reading (and this week's Lucas Nationals) so I feel pretty good." -- JOHN FORCE.
ERIC MEDLEN, 31, Castrol SYNTEC Ford Mustang
Qualifying position and performance: 3rd at 4.763 seconds, 325.30 mph.
Race results: Beat Jeff Arend, Phil Burkart Jr.; lost to Del Worsham.
Notable: Recorded his first sub-4.80 second quarter miles since May, raced to a personal best top speed of 328.22 mph and reached the semifinals for the second consecutive event.
Quotable: "We've got our race car back I guess the driver still needs a little work. Lucky, we've get chance to redeem ourselves in five days (at Reading, Pa.). " -- ERIC MEDLEN.
GARY DENSHAM, 57, Team Castrol/Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang Funny Car
Qualifying position and performance: 5th at 4.769 seconds, 326.32 mph.
Race results: Beat Whit Bazemore; lost to Cruz Pedregon.
Notable: Took out one of the drivers chasing boss and teammate John Force for the 2004 POWERade championship.
Quotable: "I just made an error. If I had stuck with it, I might've held on. As good as I felt about beating Whit (Bazemore) in the first round, that's how bad I felt losing to Cruz in the second." -- GARY DENSHAM.