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Four-Wide Crowns Four Champs

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Monday, March 29 2010

John Force picked up another Wally on Monday. He won the Four Wide Nationals. (Photo courtesy of the NHRA)

John Force’s comeback season continued to come back in force on Monday as he won the Funny Car title in the inaugural Four Wide Nationals at zMAZ Dragway in Concord, N.C.

Cory McClenathan won in Top Fuel while Mike Edwards won Pro Stock and Matt Smith won Pro Stock Motorcyle in the rain-delayed event.

Force continued his resurgence and made history Monday by racing to victory.

It was the second win of the season for the 60-year-old Funny Car icon, who increased his series points lead to 89 over his rivals. Force, a 14-time world champion who suffered career-threatening injuries in a spectacular crash in Sept. 2007 in Dallas and endured one of the worst competitive seasons of his storied career in 2009, has returned to his familiar position as a championship-challenger this season.

“This is a little taste of history,” Force said. “This was special, like beating the dragsters at Bristol (2000 Winston Showdown). Thanks to (zMAX Dragway owners) Bruton and Marcus Smith. They took the money and spent it to make this happen. The hardest part was racing Ron Capps. He is always tough and (Matt) Hagan, now that he has (co-crew chief) John Medlen there, will put the fear into you. My own daughter also leaves nothing on the table. I’m proud of Ashley. She’s learned the game. This track is so good that we took wing off of it. I don’t usually run big speed, but it did this weekend.”

In the four-wide final, Force powered his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang to a 4.036 second run at 316.23 mph to finish ahead of his daughter, Ashley Force Hood, longtime rival Ron Capps and second-year driver Matt Hagan. It was Force’s 128th career victory and first at zMAX Dragway. Runner-up Force Hood set a national speed record at 316.38 mph in her Castrol GTX Mustang.

Veteran driver McClenathan became the first Top Fuel driver to win a four-wide race, finishing in front of runner-up Doug Kalitta and semifinalists Antron Brown and Doug Herbert. McClenathan, who regained the series points lead with the effort, finished in 3.820 at 319.60 in his FRAM dragster to earn his 33rd career victory and second of the season.

“(Crew chiefs) Todd Okuhara, Phil Shuler and the FRAM boys are just so good this year,” McClenathan said. “They give me what it takes to go out there and win drag races. We came here with the opinion that we need to be able to go four-wide, we need to be able to understand the lights, and I had a certain way that I went about it all weekend long. I kept the same plan and it worked out for us. I was happy with the whole thing.”

Edwards raced to his third victory of the season and 23rd overall in Pro Stock, holding off Jason Line, Greg Stanfield and Bob Yonke. Edwards finished in 6.596 at 210.05 in his Penhall/Interstate Batteries Pontiac GXP to take his second win at the North Carolina track and first-ever in the four-wide configuration.

“I’ll tell ya, this four-wide deal is hard on people, but it’s been a great weekend,” Edwards said. “It was fun; it was confusing a lot of times, but it was fun. It was different, but you still had to do everything right. I had a good time, and anytime you can win a race it’s a great time. This is a great start to hopefully another great season. I feel real blessed to have won again and thank God and give him all the glory.”

Local-favorite Smith of King, N.C., raced to his first Pro Stock Motorcycle victory of the season and 11th of his career. He rode his Al-Anabi Buell to a 6.973 at 189.84 to finish in front of defending world champ Hector Arana, Steve Johnson and Michael Phillips.

“I love this four wide deal,” Smith said. “I’m glad that NHRA and Bruton [Smith] did this. It was fun, just like NASCAR having road races. It was a different atmosphere.”

The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series continues April 9-11 with the O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park, Baytown, Texas.

Final finish order (1-16) for Full Throttle Series categories at the inaugural NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway.  The race is the fourth of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:

1.  Cory McClenathan; 2.  Doug Kalitta; 3.  Antron Brown; 4.  Doug Herbert; 5.  Larry Dixon; 6.  Tony Schumacher; 7.  Shawn Langdon; 8.  Rhonda Hartman-Smith; 9.  Doug Foley; 10.  Bobby Lagana Jr.; 11.  David Grubnic; 12.  Brandon Bernstein; 13.  Terry McMillen; 14.  Morgan Lucas; 15.  Pat Dakin; 16.  Steve Torrence.

FUNNY CAR:

1. John Force; 2. Ashley Force Hood; 3. Ron Capps; 4. Matt Hagan; 5.  Tim Wilkerson; 6.  Cruz Pedregon; 7.  Jack Beckman; 8.  Paul Lee;  9.  Tony Pedregon; 10  Melanie Troxel; 11.  Del Worsham; 12. Jeff Arend; 13.  Bob Tasca III; 14.  Bob Gilbertson; 15.  Jeff Diehl; 16.  Robert Hight.

PRO STOCK:

1.  Mike Edwards; 2. Jason Line; 3. Bob Yonke; 4. Greg Stanfield; 5. Rodger Brogdon; 6.  Allen Johnson; 7.  Rickie Jones; 8.  John Nobile; 9.  Warren Johnson; 10.  Larry Morgan; 11.  Shane Gray; 12.  Greg Anderson; 13.  Jeg Coughlin; 14.  Kurt Johnson; 15. Vinnie Deceglie; 16.  Erica Enders.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

1.  Matt Smith; 2.  Hector Arana; 3.  Steve Johnson; 4.  Michael Phillips; 5.  David Hope; 6.  Junior Pippin; 7.  LE Tonglet; 8. Mike Berry; 9. Eddie Krawiec ; 10. Andrew Hines; 11. Douglas Horne; 12.  Karen Stoffer; 13.  Angie Smith; 14.  Craig Treble; 15. Jim Underdahl; 16.  Shawn Gann.

Monday’s final results from the inaugural NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway @ Concord. The race is the fourth of 23 in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel — Cory McClenathan, 3.820 seconds, 319.60 mph def. Doug Kalitta, 3.825 seconds, 316.60 mph and Antron Brown, 3.862 seconds, 312.64 mph and Doug Herbert, 4.268 seconds, 193.79 mph;

Funny Car — John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.036, 316.23 def. Ashley Force Hood, Mustang, 4.042, 316.38 and Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.088, 306.33 and Matt Hagan, Charger, 6.736, 105.27.

Pro Stock — Mike Edwards, Pontiac GXP, 6.596, 210.05 def. Jason Line, GXP, 6.632, 209.36 and Bob Yonke, GXP, 6.662, 207.98 and Greg Stanfield, GXP, 12.558, 69.69.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — Matt Smith, Buell, 6.937, 189.84 def. Hector Arana, Buell, 7.000, 190.92 and Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.305, 157.32 and Michael Phillips, Suzuki, foul;

Competition Eliminator — Dan Fletcher, Chevy Cobalt, 7.787, 160.12 def. Allen Stanfield, Pontiac Grand Am, 8.658, 155.15.

Top Dragster — Dave Connolly, 7.003, 178.54 def. Ray Miller, 9.044, 99.46.

Top Sportsman — Ryan Ondrejko, Pontiac GTO, 6.869, 194.30 def. Marco Abruzzi, Chevy Camaro, 66.940, 196.93.

Super Stock — Gene Daugherty, chevy Camaro, 10.105, 130.73 def. Emily Stott, 10.365, 126.92.

Stock — Anthony Bertozzi, Chevy Camaro, 10.412, 124.96 def. Joe Santangelo, Camaro, 10.504, 119.98.

Super Comp — Dan Northrop, Dragster, 8.958, 169.25 def. Tom Seemann, Chevy Beretta, 8.915, 177.58.

Super Gas — Sherman Adcock Jr., Pontiac Trans Am, 9.900, 163.02 def. Tommy Turner, Chevy Corvette, 9.929, 169.19.

Super Street — Eddie Brooks, Chevy Camaro, 10.895, 142.15, def. David Owens, Chevy S-10, Foul.

Final round-by-round results from the inaugural NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway, the fourth of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE — Tony Schumacher, 3.810, 318.39 and Doug Kalitta, 4.022, 271.19 def. Doug Foley, 4.000, 282.95 and Pat Dakin, 9.415, 75.88; Antron Brown, 3.858, 313.58 and Doug Herbert, 3.936, 304.12 def. David Grubnic, 5.962, 124.22 and Terry McMillen, 6.176, 111.13; Shawn Langdon, 3.907, 307.72 and Larry Dixon, 4.302, 303.98 def. Bobby Lagana Jr., 5.701, 132.15 and Steve Torrence, 9.529, 78.60; Cory McClenathan, 3.799, 319.14 and Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 4.630, 258.32 def. Brandon Bernstein, 6.609, 118.13 and Morgan Lucas, 7.964, 83.31;

SEMIFINALS — Brown, 3.840, 314.31 and Herbert, 3.851, 308.50 def. Dixon, 3.818, 317.42 and Langdon, 3.914, 308.85; Kalitta, 3.809, 317.57 and McClenathan, 3.809, 318.77 def. Schumacher, 3.842, 318.62 and Hartman-Smith, 4.403, 236.38;

FINAL — McClenathan, 3.820, 319.60 def. Kalitta, 3.825, 316.60, Brown, 3.862, 312.64 and Herbert, 4.268, 193.79.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE — Ashley Force Hood, Ford Mustang, 4.075, 294.31 and Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Solara, 4.258, 297.81 def. Del Worsham, Solara, 4.287, 293.86 and Bob Gilbertson, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.931, 184.67; Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.068, 312.06 and John Force, Mustang, 4.096, 311.99 def. Tony Pedregon, Chevy Impala, 4.123, 308.07 and Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.151, 304.25; Ron Capps, Charger, 4.032, 313.80 and Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.079, 299.40 def. Melanie Troxel, Charger, 4.129, 305.49 and Jeff Diehl, Monte Carlo, 8.100, 83.47; Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.040, 312.42 and Paul Lee, Chevy Impala SS, 4.327, 296.50 def. Jeff Arend, Solara, no time and Robert Hight, Mustang, DQ;

SEMIFINALS — Force Hood, 4.122, 288.64 and Hagan, 4.106, 305.98 def. C. Pedregon, 4.292, 299.60 and Lee, 7.224, 93.48; Force, 4.064, 313.29 and Capps, 4.064, 312.50 def. Wilkerson, 4.061, 306.26 and Beckman, 4.505, 199.73;

FINAL — Force, 4.036, 316.23 def. Force Hood, 4.042, 316.38; Capps, 4.088, 306.33, and Hagan, 6.736, 105.27.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE — Greg Stanfield, Pontiac GXP, 6.616, 209.69 and Rickie Jones, GXP, 6.863, 206.32 def. Greg Anderson, GXP, 7.608, 161.69 and Kurt Johnson, Chevy Cobalt, 14.670, 59.51; Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger, 6.624, 209.14 and Jason Line, GXP, 6.622, 210.24 def. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 6.744, 199.79 and Erica Enders, Mustang, broke; Mike Edwards, GXP, 6.590, 210.64 and John Nobile, Mustang, 6.663, 207.85 def. Warren Johnson, GXP, 6.697, 208.36 and Vinnie Deceglie, Avenger, 35.117, 205.35; Bob Yonke, GXP, 6.603, 209.36 and Rodger Brogdon, GXP, 6.659, 208.84 def. Shane Gray, GXP, 6.777, 207.27 and Jeg Coughlin, Cobalt, 6.913, 174.23;

SEMIFINALS — Stanfield, 6.632, 208.97 and Yonke, 6.637, 208.52 def. Brogdon, 6.661, 208.20 and Jones, 6.860, 206.16; Edwards, 6.612, 209.72 and Line, 6.617, 209.56 def. A. Johnson, 23.909, 48.35 and Nobile, broke;

FINAL — Edwards, 6.596, 210.05 def. Line, 6.632, 209.36; Yonke, 6.662, 207.98 and Stanfield, 12.558, 69.69.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

ROUND ONE — Hector Arana, Buell, 6.897, 192.22 and David Hope, Buell, 7.040, 187.73 def. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.314, 167.30 and Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, broke; Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.041, 189.71 and Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 6.973, 194.52 def. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.090, 191.32 and Angie Smith, Buell, 7.955, 176.70; LE Tonglet, Buell, 7.037, 191.43 and Mike Berry, Buell, 7.086, 188.15 def. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.944, 193.40 and Shawn Gann, Buell, broke; Matt Smith, Buell, 6.907, 190.24 and Junior Pippin, Buell, 7.000, 190.14 def. Douglas Horne, Buell, 7.145, 185.05 and Craig Treble, Suzuki, 16.805, 30.32;

SEMIFINALS — Phillips, 7.017, 192.60 and Johnson, 7.017, 186.30 def. Tonglet, 7.102, 189.90; M. Smith, 6.916, 192.00 and Arana, 6.908, 192.71 def. Hope, 7.040, 187.76 and Pippin, 7.026, 190.16;

FINAL — M. Smith, 6.937, 189.84 def. Arana, 7.000, 190.92, Johnson, 7.305, 157.32 and Phillips, foul.

CONCORD, N.C. — Point standings (top 10) for NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series categories following the inaugural NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway, the fourth of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series -

Top Fuel

1.  Cory McClenathan, 379; 2.  Tony Schumacher, 327; 3.  Doug Kalitta, 326; 4.  Larry Dixon, 302; 5.  Antron Brown, 273; 6.  Shawn Langdon, 221; 7.  Steve Torrence, 193; 8.  Morgan Lucas, 173; 9.  Brandon Bernstein, 168; 10.  David Grubnic, 154.

Funny Car

1.  John Force, 397; 2.  Ron Capps, 308; 3.  Jack Beckman, 278; 4.  Matt Hagan, 255; 5.  Ashley Force Hood, 247; 6.  Bob Tasca III, 236; 7.  Tim Wilkerson, 230; 8.  Robert Hight, 223; 9.  Tony Pedregon, 212; 10.  Del Worsham, 166.

Pro Stock

1.  Mike Edwards, 484; 2.  Jason Line, 303; 3.  Allen Johnson, 285; 4.  Greg Anderson, 256; 5.  Greg Stanfield, 233; 6.  Bob Yonke, 209; 7.  Rodger Brogdon, 198; 8.  Jeg Coughlin, 182; 9.  Ron Krisher, 172; 10.  Ronnie Humphrey, 147.

Pro Stock Motorcycle

1.  Hector Arana, 175; 2.  (tie) Eddie Krawiec, 160; Matt Smith, 160; 4.  Shawn Gann, 129; 5.  Steve Johnson, 127; 6.  Karen Stoffer, 115; 7.  David Hope, 110; 8.  Craig Treble, 108; 9.  Michael Phillips, 104; 10.  Andrew Hines, 94.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Monday, March 29 2010
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