SONOMA, California - John Force beat teammate Tony Pedregon in the second all-Castrol final of the new millennium Sunday to win the 13th annual FRAM/Autolite Nationals at Sears Point Raceway and move back into his customary position atop...
SONOMA, California - John Force beat teammate Tony Pedregon in the second all-Castrol final of the new millennium Sunday to win the 13th annual FRAM/Autolite Nationals at Sears Point Raceway and move back into his customary position atop the NHRA Winston Funny Car standings.
In winning for the seventh time in 2000, Force broke another of Bob Glidden's career records, becoming the first driver in any pro category to win as many as seven races in six different seasons. He won seven times in 1990, 11 times in 1993, 10 times in 1994, 13 in 1996 and 11 in 1999. . The No. 2 qualifier, Force got a free ticket to his 88th career victory when Pedregon was guilty of a rare foul start when the brakes failed in the final.
"After we crashed (in the semifinals), we had to change the rear end and I told the guys when we warmed it that I didn't have any brakes," Pedregon said.
When Pedregon tried to stage the car for the final, the brakes refused to hold and his Castrol SYNTEC Mustang creeped out of the light beams and activated the red foul light.
WINNERS: Top Fuel, Doug Kalitta defeated Larry Dixon; Funny Car, John Force defeated Tony Pedregon; Pro Stock, Kurt Johnson defeated Allen Johnson. NEXT EVENT: 19th annual Colonel's Truck Accessories Nationals, Brainerd International Raceway, Brainerd, Minn.
JOHN FORCE, Castrol GTX Ford Mustang Qualifying position: 2nd at 5.005 seconds, 304.53 miles per hour. Race Results: Beat Tommy Johnson Jr., Ron Capps, Scotty Cannon and Tony Pedregon. Notable: The victory, coupled with Jerry Toliver's failure to qualify for the 16-car field, enabled Force to assume his customary position atop the Winston Funny Car standings. Quotable: "You hate to win like that because you want to give the fans a race. I'm sick about it because our old hot rod ran good all weekend - until the final." - John Force.
TONY PEDREGON, Castrol SYNTEC Ford Mustang Qualifying position: 4th at 5.016 seconds, 305.98 mph. Race Results: Beat Louis Sweet, Gary Densham, Dean Skuza; lost to John Force. Notable: Tony raced in his fifth final round of the season despite a tire explosion in the semifinals which destroyed the carbon fiber body shell and sent the car sliding into the guardwall past the finish line. Quotable: "When they changed the rear end after our crash in the semifinals, I guess it messed up the brakes. That's not how John wanted to win and it's certainly not how I wanted to lose." - Tony Pedregon. <pre> Unofficial 2000 Winston Funny Car Points (14 of 23 races complete)
1. John Force, Castrol GTX Ford Mustang (7) 1,169 2. Jerry Toliver, WWF Firebird (3) 1,094 3. Tony Pedregon, Castrol SYNTEC Ford Mustang (1) 943 4. Ron Capps, U.S. Tobacco Camaro 891 5. Jim Epler, WWF Camaro (1) 766 6. Scotty Cannon, Oakley Camaro 689 7. Dean Skuza, Matco Tools Avenger 677 8. Whit Bazemore, Kendall GT-1 Camaro (1) 650 9. Del Worsham, CSK Firebird 626 10. Al Hofmann, Mooneyes Firebird 569
Note: season victories in parentheses (Bob Gilbertson also has a victory this season)
FORCE VERSUS PEDREGON IN ALL-CASTROL FINAL ROUNDS
Event Site WINNER
1. 1996 FRAM Nationals Atlanta, Ga. Pedregon 2. 1996 Mid-South Nationals Memphis, Tenn. Force 3. 1996 Northwest Nationals Seattle, Wash. Force 4. 1996 NorthStar Nationals Brainerd, Minn. Force 5. 1996 Western Auto Nationals Topeka, Kansas Force 6. 1996 Winston Finals Pomona, Calif. Force 7. 1997 Winston Finals Pomona, Calif. Pedregon 8. 1998 O'Reilly Nationals Houston, Texas Pedregon 9. 1999 O'Reilly Nationals Houston, Texas Force 10. 1999 Virginia Nationals Richmond, Va. Force 11. 1999 Sears Craftsman Nat'ls St. Louis, Mo. Force 12. 2000 Castrol Nationals Dallas, Texas Force 13. 2000 FRAM/Autolite Nationals Sonoma, Calif. Force