JOHN FORCE, 51, of Yorba Linda, Calif., driver of the Castrol GTXÃ‚Â® Ford Mustang, is the most prolific winner in NHRA drag racing history. After winning his seventh race of the season, the 88th of his career, Force has a 75 point lead...
JOHN FORCE, 51, of Yorba Linda, Calif., driver of the Castrol GTXÂ® Ford Mustang, is the most prolific winner in NHRA drag racing history. After winning his seventh race of the season, the 88th of his career, Force has a 75 point lead over Jerry Toliver, the former points leader who failed to qualify for the 16-car field at the 13th annual FRAM/Autolite Nationals.
VERSUS TONY PEDREGON: This is the 13th time overall and the second time this season that John and Castrol teammate Tony Pedregon have met in an NHRA final round. John now has won 10 times including the last five in succession. In career meetings, John enjoys a 32-6 advantage.
RECORDS: John is the official NHRA national record holder for both quarter mile time (4.788 seconds) and speed (324.05 mph).
AT SEARS POINT: John now has won five times at the FRAM/Autolite Nationals: 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994 and 2000. He also was runner-up in 1993, 1995 and 1996. His performance today ended a streak of two straight first round losses at Sears Point Raceway.
SEASON-TO-DATE: This is John's seventh win in 14 races this year. He won earlier at Phoenix, Richmond, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago and Seattle. This is the sixth season that John has won at least seven races. That breaks a tie with Bob Glidden.
TONY PEDREGON, 35, Chino Hills, Calif., driver of the Castrol SYNTECâ„¢ Ford Mustang, reached the final round for the fifth time this season but lost to teammate and mentor John Force for the 10th time in 13 final round meetings and for the 32 time in 38 meetings overall. Winner of the June 18 Pontiac Excitement Nationals at Columbus, Ohio, Tony also was runner-up to Jerry Toliver at the season opening AutoZone Winternationals at Pomona, Calif., to Jim Epler at the inaugural SummitRacing.com Nationals at Las Vegas and to Force at the Castrol Nationals at Dallas. A finalist 26 times in 99 starts since joining Team Castrol and John Force Racing in 1996, Pedregon has nine career victories. This is Tony's first final round loss via foul start. The brakes failed on his Ford in the final after a rebuilding job necessitated by an impact with the guardwall in the semifinals.
QUICKEST MAN ON THE PLANET: Tony owns the quickest quarter mile in Funny Car history (4.779 seconds last March in the 1999 MAC Tools Gatornationals at Gainesville, Fla.).
WINSTON POINTS: Runner-up to Castrol GTX teammate John Force for the Winston Funny Car Championship three of last four seasons (1996, 1997 and 1999), Tony is third in the current point standings, 151 behind Jerry Toliver.
DID YOU KNOW? Tony was the initial winner (1996) of the Automobile Club of Southern California's Road to the Future Award (and the $10,000 cash bonus that accompanies it) which identifies one of the sport's future stars....Tony is an accomplished custom painter specializing in driving helmets and motorcycle fuel tanks. Among those for whom he has painted helmets are Kenny Bernstein, Cory McClenathan, teammate John Force, Pro Stock points leader Jeg Coughlin Jr. and his Funny Car racing brothers Cruz Pedregon and Frank Pedregon....
<pre> JOHN FORCE VERSUS TONY PEDREGON FINAL ROUNDS
1. 1996 Atlanta, Ga. Pedregon 2. 1996 Memphis, Tenn. Force 3. 1996 Seattle, Wash. Force 4. 1996 Brainerd, Minn. Force 5. 1996 Topeka, Kansas Force 6. 1996 Pomona, Calif. Force 7. 1997 Pomona, Calif. Pedregon 8. 1998 Houston, Texas Pedregon 9. 1999 Houston, Texas Force 10. 1999 Richmond, Va. Force 11. 1999 St. Louis, Mo. Force 12. 2000 Dallas, Texas Force 13. 2000 Sonoma, Calif. Force