Sonoma: John Force Racing finals summary

Force wins for sixth time in Fram/Autolite Nationals. Highlights: John Force answered the bell Sunday in the battle for the 2002 NHRA POWERade Funny Car Championship, winning his fourth race of the current season and leaving Infineon Raceway as...

Force wins for sixth time in Fram/Autolite Nationals.

Highlights: John Force answered the bell Sunday in the battle for the 2002 NHRA POWERade Funny Car Championship, winning his fourth race of the current season and leaving Infineon Raceway as the points leader for the 12th time in the last 13 seasons.

In the final round, Force drove his Castrol GTX Ford past the Chevrolet Camaro of Ron Capps to win the Fram/Autolite Nationals for a record sixth time. The .003 margin of victory (4.953 to 4.958 seconds after identical .490 reaction times) was the second narrowest victory of Force's career.

In claiming his 102nd tour victory, Force opened up a 99-point lead on teammate Tony Pedregon, who remained second in points despite a second round loss. The third Team Castrol driver, Gary Densham, remains third in points with just eight races remaining.

Rob Slavinski, driver of the Castrol AccuVision Pontiac, enjoyed his second best qualifying performance of the year in Comp Eliminator, but was victimized in round one by a broken connecting rod.

TEAM CASTROL Details:

JOHN FORCE, Castrol GTX Ford Mustang Funny Car
Qualifying position and performance: 1st at 4.864 seconds, 309.20 mph.
Race results: Beat Todd Paton, Tony Pedregon, Dean Skuza and Ron Capps.
Notable: Earned his 102nd tour victory, his fourth of the season, and opened up a 99-point lead in his bid for an unprecedented 10th straight NHRA Funny Car Championship.

Quotable: "I've got to give all the credit to Austin Coil.  He's the guy
that makes this ol' heap run.  I just get to steer it.  I'm just excited
to be able to race with these guys.  These young kids, they're coming
after me but as long as I can do my job good, I'm gonna be out here.  I
just love it."  JOHN FORCE

TONY PEDREGON, Castrol SYNTEC Ford Mustang Funny Car
Qualifying position and performance: 8th at 4.940, 294.63 mph.
Race results: Beat Johnny Gray; lost to John Force.
Notable: Hung on to second place in points.
Quotable: "We didn't have the best race car today but we feel really good to have finished the Western Swing second in points behind John. There's still a lot of season left." TONY PEDREGON.

GARY DENSHAM, Team Castrol/Auto Club of Southern California Ford Funny Car:
Qualifying position and performance: 6th at 4.935 seconds, 301.00 mph.
Race results: Lost to Frank Pedregon.
Notable: Remained third in points.
Quotable: "We don't really know what happened. Jimmy (Crew Chief Jimmy Prock) didn't change anything except the tires from Saturday when we ran (4.)93, (4.)93. We'll take a week off and get after 'em at Brainerd." GARY DENSHAM.

ROB SLAVINSKI, Castrol AccuVision Pontiac, Competition Eliminator
Qualifying position and performance: 7.245 seconds, .565 under the B/AA class index.
Race results: Lost to Alan Freese.
Notable: Season's second best qualifying performance negated by first round engine failure.

ROB SLAVINSKI, Castrol Super Clean dragster, Super Comp Eliminator
Qualifying position and performance: Did not compete.

Next event(s): Rugged Liner Nationals , Aug. 16-18, Brainerd, Minn.; U.S. Nationals, Aug. 29-Sept. 2, Indianapolis, Ind.; Lucas Keystone Nationals, Sept. 12-15, Reading, Pa.; O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals, Sept. 19-22, Memphis, Tenn.; NHRA Nationals, Sept. 26-29, Joliet, Ill.

-jfr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Frank Pedregon , Tony Pedregon , Dean Skuza , Ron Capps , John Force , Gary Densham , Todd Paton , Johnny Gray , Austin Coil