Force, Medlen Reach Semifinals at Las Vegas John Force sliced almost 40 points off Del Worsham's points lead and Eric Medlen reached the semifinals for the second time in four races as Team Castrol began to make its presence felt in the battle...
Force, Medlen Reach Semifinals at Las Vegas
John Force sliced almost 40 points off Del Worsham's points lead and Eric Medlen reached the semifinals for the second time in four races as Team Castrol began to make its presence felt in the battle for the 2004 NHRA POWERade points championship.
Force, only the ninth qualifier at the rain-plagued fifth annual Summitracing.com Nationals, took out both Cruz and Tony Pedregon before his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang suffered traction problems in a semifinal duel with Phil Burkart.
Medlen, meanwhile, made the third time a charm against Jerry Toliver. After losing to Toliver in the first round in two of the season's first three races, the rookie driver of the Castrol SYNTEC Ford got even at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Medlen used his best time of the weekend (4.836) to get past Toliver, then beat No. 3 qualifier Ron Capps before dropping a narrow semifinal decision to Whit Bazemore. The performance enabled Medlen to move up to sixth in ploints.
Gary Densham, driver of the third Team Castrol Ford, posted top speed of the meet at 327.27 mph but was upset in round two by Bazemore.
TEAM CASTROL Details:
JOHN FORCE, 54, Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang Funny Car
Qualifying position and performance: 9th at 4.833 seconds, 304.12 mph.
Race results: Beat Cruz Pedregon, Tony Pedregon; lost to Phil Burkart Jr.
Notable: Made 327th consecutive start and the 400th of his career a successful one by paring almost 40 points from Del Worsham's lead.
Quotable: "We made up some on Worsham, but we didn't get it done. We had a chance. The problem is that anybody out there can beat you." -- JOHN FORCE.
ERIC MEDLEN, 30, Castrol SYNTEC Ford Mustang
Qualifying position and performance: 11th at 4.874 seconds, 312.57 mph.
Race results: Beat Jerry Toliver, Ron Capps; lost to Whit Bazemore.
Notable: Reached the semifinals for the second time in four career starts.
Quotable: "I was bummed a little but it was a good showing an we moved up some in the standings."-- ERIC MEDLEN
GARY DENSHAM, 57, Team Castrol/Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang
Qualifying position and performance: 2nd at 4.753 seconds, 327.27 mph.
Race results: Beat Bob Gilbertson, lost to Whit Bazemore.
Notable: Posted quick time of eliminations at 4.812 seconds and top speed of the meet at 327.27 mph.
Quotable: "We've got a fast hot rod, but you've got to give credit to Bazemore. They stepped up when they had to." -- GARY DENSHAM.