Las Vegas: John Force Racing eliminations summary

Pedregon speeds back into Powerade points lead with win. Tony Pedregon proved Sunday that he can win even when he doesn't have a dominant race car. Plagued by a series of mechanical problems including a second round supercharger explosion, ...

Pedregon speeds back into Powerade points lead with win.

Tony Pedregon proved Sunday that he can win even when he doesn't have a dominant race car.

Plagued by a series of mechanical problems including a second round supercharger explosion, Pedregon still managed to find his way to the winners' circle at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway where he won the fourth annual SummitRacing.com Nationals when final round opponent Whit Bazemore was guilty of a foul start.

The No. 3 qualifier, Pedregon took out teammates John Force and Gary Densham en route to his 21st career victory, one less than older brother Cruz and more over the last eight seasons than anyone but Force.

In earning his second victory over the season, Pedregon sped back into the POWERade points lead ahead of Densham, Bazemore and Ron Capps.

Despite his semifinal loss, Densham left with a new track speed record of 326.56 mph, just off his own NHRA national record of 326.87 mph.

Force, off to his worse start since 1980, managed to salvage something from a weekend during which he qualified only 14th and lost to Pedregon in the very first round. The 12-time series champion and 106-time tour winner moved from 12th to 11th in season points. He'll have a chance to climb back into the Top 10 this week when the circuit moves to Houston Raceway Park for the 16th annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals.

Force also managed to qualify for his 304th consecutive event, setting another drag racing record. The old mark of 303 consecutive starts was established by Pro Stock driver Warren Johnson. The last time Force failed to make the starting lineup was Oct. 31, 1987 at Pomona, Calif.

TEAM CASTROL Details:

JOHN FORCE , Castrol GTX Ford Mustang Funny Car
Qualifying position and performance: No. 14 at 4.919, 312.93 mph.
Race results: Lost to Tony Pedregon.

Notable: Qualified for a record-breaking 304th consecutive event and moved from 12th to 11th in season points, just 13 points outside the Top 10.

Quotable: "What can I say?  We're still struggling, but it's still early
in the season.  We'll figure it out, though."

TONY PEDREGON , Castrol SYNTEC Ford Mustang Funny Car
Qualifying position and performance: No. 3 at 4.807, 316.90 mph.
Race results: Beat John Force, Ron Capps, Gary Densham and Whit Bazemore.

Notable: 21st career victory and first at Las Vegas catapulted Tony back
into the POWERade points lead ahead of teammate Gary Densham.

Quotable: "I think today was a prime example that it's not always the knock 'em dead-type of performance that wins. It's the team that's the most resilient. We had some problems today, but we had good recovery from every one of them."

GARY DENSHAM , Team Castrol/Auto Club of Southern California Ford Funny
Qualifying position and performance: No. 2 at 4.796, 326.56 mph.
Race results: Beat Dale Creasy Jr., Frank Pedregon; lost to Tony Pedregon.

Notable: Lost the points lead after just one race atop the Funny Car standings but left wit the track speed record of 326.56 mph.

Quotable: "It wasn't exactly what we wanted, but it was still a good day. We're just a round back of Tony."

-jfr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Frank Pedregon , Warren Johnson , Tony Pedregon , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Dale Creasy Jr. , Gary Densham