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Force Powers To NHRA Pole

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, April 9 2010

John Force rolled to the provisional pole in Houston on Friday. (Photo courtesy of the NHRA)

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John Force earned the provisional pole in Funny Car with a 4.021-second pass at 316.08 mph on the first day of qualifying at the 23rd annual O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals Friday.

The other provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the fifth of 23 races in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season were Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

Force, 60, has already won twice this season in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang and if the No. 1 holds up it would be the 133rd of his career, leaving him just five shy of Warren Johnson (138) on the all-time No. 1 qualifier list. It’s really the one major NHRA milestone that the 14-time NHRA champion and current points leader does not possess.

The stunning pass continues a season-long resurgence for Force, who has led the points from Day 1 in 2010 after a three-year stretch from 2007-2009 in which he never led the points.

“My dad always told me, ‘If there’s no oranges on the ground, shake the tree and you’ll have lots of oranges’ and I just kept shaking the tree … I shook our tree and out of it comes, so far so good,” Force said.

There were also a couple of spectacular explosions in the final Funny Car session, first Robert Hight’s Auto Club Ford popped near the finish line and then Tony Pedregon’s NitroFish Chevy blew up sending his body up some 25 feet in the air. Neither driver was injured.

Brown, who won his first career race in Top Fuel at Houston Raceway Park, secured the provisional No. 1 with his 3.803-second pass at 317.64 mph in his Matco Tools dragster.

“After (crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald) saw the Force run, that 4.02, that was pretty sporty, they decided to push it,” said Brown, who was just two pairs behind Force after a 7.339 Q1 pass. “We were just really stoked (with the run).”

In Pro Stock, defending NHRA Full Throttle Series champion Edwards earned the provisional No. 1 with a 6.539-second pass at 211.93 mph in his Penhall/Interstate Batteries Pontiac GXP. This would be Edwards’ 14th No. 1 in the last 15 races dating back to last season.

“The track was just really good, we feel like we might have left a little out there,” Edwards said.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Hector Arana continued his impressive run dating back to 2009 with a 6.856 at 193.49 aboard his Lucas Oil Buell. The time was the fourth-quickest Pro Stock Motorcycle pass in NHRA history.

“It’s been 14-to-15 years since we’ve had these conditions here in Houston,” Arana said. “The conditions here are awesome.”

Qualifying at the O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals concludes with the third and fourth sessions on Saturday when the fields will be set for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Results Friday after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 23rd annual O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park, fifth of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.  Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel — 1. Antron Brown, 3.803 seconds, 317.64 mph; 2. Larry Dixon, 3.808, 320.74; 3. Steve Torrence, 3.839, 313.80; 4. Doug Kalitta, 3.847, 318.17; 5. Tony Schumacher, 3.848, 318.99; 6. Cory McClenathan, 3.856, 318.54; 7. Shawn Langdon, 3.860, 314.24; 8. Terry McMillen, 3.891, 313.73; 9. David Grubnic, 3.916, 312.71; 10. Troy Buff, 3.936, 293.28; 11. Morgan Lucas, 3.939, 296.63; 12. T.J. Zizzo, 3.982, 277.72.  Not Qualified: 13. Terry Haddock, 4.055, 284.93; 14. Bobby Lagana Jr., 5.361, 125.82; 15. Brandon Bernstein, 6.324, 102.14.

Funny Car — 1. John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.021, 316.08; 2. Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.051, 312.64; 3. Ashley Force Hood, Mustang, 4.060, 312.06; 4. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.089, 310.77; 5. Jeff Arend, Toyota Solara, 4.095, 309.98; 6. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.097, 311.63; 7. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.098, 306.12; 8. Jim Head, Solara, 4.129, 300.33; 9. Del Worsham, Solara, 4.137, 302.62; 10. Melanie Troxel, Charger, 4.176, 303.64; 11. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.179, 295.46; 12. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.183, 302.75.  Not Qualified: 13. Tony Pedregon, 4.242, 236.01; 14.

Paul Lee, 4.254, 298.54; 15. Todd Simpson, 4.335, 240.47; 16. Jeff Diehl, 5.193, 151.39; 17. Cruz Pedregon, 6.052, 110.79.

Pro Stock — 1. Mike Edwards, Pontiac GXP, 6.539, 211.93; 2. Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Cobalt, 6.557, 212.23; 3. Ron Krisher, Cobalt, 6.557, 211.03; 4. Greg Stanfield, GXP, 6.566, 210.83; 5.

Jason Line, GXP, 6.567, 211.20; 6. Ronnie Humphrey, GXP, 6.573, 211.26; 7. V. Gaines, Dodge Avenger, 6.574, 211.20; 8. Shane Gray, GXP, 6.575, 210.24; 9. Allen Johnson, Avenger, 6.580, 211.73; 10. Justin Humphreys, GXP, 6.584, 210.08; 11. Johnny Gray, GXP, 6.584, 209.82; 12. Rodger Brogdon, GXP, 6.585, 210.83.  Not Qualified: 13. John Nobile, 6.591, 209.79; 14. Kurt Johnson, 6.591, 209.62; 15. Steve Spiess, 6.594, 210.24; 16. Greg Anderson, 6.598, 210.90; 17. Larry Morgan, 6.599, 209.79; 18. Rickie Jones, 6.602, 209.65; 19. Warren Johnson, 6.603, 209.98; 20. Bob Yonke, 6.620, 210.44; 21. Mike Trumble Jr, 6.635, 209.26; 22. Jim Cunningham, 6.653, 209.23; 23. Steve Schmidt, 6.662, 208.23; 24. Mark Buehring, 6.721, 205.13; 25. John Gaydosh Jr, 6.797, 202.27; 26. Erica Enders, 13.980, 60.25.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.856, 195.25; 2. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.870, 196.93; 3. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.875, 197.10; 4. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.881, 193.65; 5. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 6.919, 197.13; 6. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.932, 195.28; 7. Douglas Horne, Buell, 6.932, 193.07; 8. David Hope, Buell, 6.935, 193.21; 9. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.964, 192.30; 10. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 6.965, 192.91; 11. Mike Berry, Buell, 7.005, 190.65; 12. Junior Pippin, Buell, 7.010, 193.32.  Not Qualified: 13. Redell Harris, 7.037, 186.92; 14. Karen Stoffer, 7.210, 168.43; 15. Joe DeSantis, 7.283, 190.16; 16. Steve Johnson, 7.802, 138.58; 17. Angie Smith, 8.903, 99.84.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, April 9 2010
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