JOHN FORCE, 51, of Yorba Linda, Calif., driver of the Castrol GTXÂ® Ford Mustang, y won claimed his 90th NHRA tour victory by beating Ron Capps in the final round for the fourth time this season. It was Force's 10th final this season and his ...
JOHN FORCE, 51, of Yorba Linda, Calif., driver of the Castrol GTX® Ford Mustang, y won claimed his 90th NHRA tour victory by beating Ron Capps in the final round for the fourth time this season. It was Force's 10th final this season and his seventh in 12 appearances in the Advance Auto Parts Nationals. It's his fourth win in five years at the fall race. He also won the now defunct spring race in 1993, 1994 and 1996. Of John's record 90 career wins, 44 have come from the No. 1 spot from which he started the Advance Nationals. Six of his seven wins at Topeka have come from No. 1, the only exception being his win a year ago which came from the No. 3 spot.
VERSUS RON CAPPS: John is now 20-4 against final round foe Ron Capps who he has beaten 13 straight times. Capps last defeated Force in the final round of the 1998 Northwest Nationals at Seattle, Wash. Force also won over Capps in the final round this year at Phoenix, Richmond and Atlanta and now has beaten Capps en route to seven of his nine season victories.
SEASON TO DATE: John has won nine races this season: Phoenix, Richmond, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Seattle, Sonoma, Brainerd, Minn., and Topeka to become the first driver in history to win as many as seven races in six different seasons (1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1999 and 2000). The most races he's won in a single season is 13 (1996), a Winston Series record.
RECORDS: John is the official NHRA national record holder for both quarter mile time (4.788 seconds) and speed (324.05 mph) as well as the Heartland Park-Topeka record of 4.797 seconds.
WINSTON CHAMPIONSHIP: John leaves Heartland Park with a 272-point lead over Jerry Toliver, who he defeated in the semifinals. That's the equivalent of 15 rounds of racing with only 16 rounds remaining.
DID YOU KNOW: This was John's 249th consecutive start. He last failed to qualify at the 1987 Winston Finals in Pomona, Calif....John is the only drag racer to have won the Driver of the Year Award for all of American motor racing (1996)....John qualified No 1 at Topeka for the 98th time in his career....Heartland Park is one of four tracks on which Force has broken the 4.80 second barrier. The others are the Texas Motorplex (Dallas), Houston Raceway Park and Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway. John and teammate Tony Pedregon are the only Funny Car drivers to have broken 4.80....Tony Pedregon was ousted in round two by Jerry Toliver when the supercharger exploded as the car approached the finish line, splitting the case in two and destroying the carbon fiber Mustang body. Despite the problems, Pedregon hung on to fourth place in the season standings with four races remaining. He has finished second to Force three of the last four years (1996, 1997 and 1999)....among the other winners at Heartland Park were Gary Ormsby Jr. in Federal Mogul Dragster class and Pat Austin in Federal Mogul Funny Car. Ormsby is the son of the late Gary Ormsby who, as a member of Team Castrol, won the 1989 Winston Top Fuel Championship. Austin also is a former member of Team Castrol whose victory was the 72nd of his career, fourth behind Force, Bob Glidden (85) and Warren Johnson (80).