Force Loses National Record; Wins the Race John Force lost the national record that has been his almost exclusively for the last 10 years, but the 12-time NHRA Funny Car Champion left Route 66 Raceway with what he really wanted -- his 111th...
Force Loses National Record; Wins the Race
John Force lost the national record that has been his almost exclusively for the last 10 years, but the 12-time NHRA Funny Car Champion left Route 66 Raceway with what he really wanted -- his 111th career victory.
Force drove the Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang through the quarter mile timers in 4.752 seconds at 325.30 miles per hour to turn back new national record holder Whit Bazemore (4.713 seconds, 333.25 miles per hour) and the Matco Tools Dodge in the final round of the seventh annual NHRA Route 66 Nationals.
It was Force's second win in three races and it moved the 55-year-old veteran to within 16 points of the lead, which currently is Bazemore's
The No. 8 qualifier, Force turned back his newest nemesis, Phil Burkart, in round one and beat teammate Eric Medlen in the semifinals to reach the final round for the 171st time in his career. However, his biggest victory came in a round two matchup with former teammate Tony Pedregon, the No. 1 qualifier at 4.716 seconds.
A mechanical problem in the pits almost caused Force to miss the round in a situation eerily similar to the one the team endured earlier this year at Houston, Texas. Force brought the Mustang to the starting line basically dead, the result of a bent intake valve and a fouled ignition system.
Force left the starting line, then, at crew chief Austin Coil's direction, shut the car off. Pedregon, unaware of the extend of Force's problems, briefly lost control at mid-track and crossed the centerline, resulting in automatic disqualification.
Medlen, who took the Castrol SYNTEC Ford the semifinals for the fourth time in his eight career races, beat Jeff Arend in round one and teammate Gary Densham in round two before suffering a clutch failure against Force.