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Force Leads JFR To Swing Sweep

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Monday, August 4 2014

John Force and his team owned the Western Swing this year. (File photo courtesy of the Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing Series)

Funny Car icon John Force earned his third win of the season Sunday at the 27th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals, capping a sweep of the annual three-race Western Swing for his powerhouse team.

Brut Force’s victory at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash., near Seattle, was preceded by Robert Hight’s win at Morrison, Colo., near Denver, and Courtney Force in Sonoma, Calif.

Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) also were winners Sunday in their respective categories during the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.

Force defeated former teammate Gary Densham in the final round for his 141st career win. Force registered a 1,000-foot run of 4.173-seconds at 302.48 mph in his Castrol GTX High-Mileage Ford Mustang to defeat Densham’s Chevy Impala, which lost traction early and finished in 5.808-seconds at 120.44 mph. Force has raced to four consecutive finals and has won twice during that stretch.

“I want to win, that’s what it’s all about,” said Force, the reigning/16-time world champion. “But we were having so much down there in the staging lanes. I know you’re supposed to be serious because it’s race day but you’re racing a friend. He comes up here on a budget. Look how good he does. Steps-up and races with these guys after only being out a few times all year and gets in the finals. I always say ‘If I lose to my teammates I didn’t lose’ and if I had lost to Gary Densham I would not have lost.”

Kalitta recorded his second win of the season in Top Fuel, defeating former world champion Antron Brown by powering his Mac Tools dragster to a 1,000-foot pass of 3.844-seconds at 318.84 mph to Brown’s 3.887-second run at 311.70 mph. Kalitta posted his 35th career win, tying him with legendary “Big Daddy” Don Garlits for fifth on the all-time list.

“I’m real proud of (crew chief) Jim Oberhofer and my crew; they’ve given me a consistent car and I just try to do the best I can do,” said Kalitta, who also has six runnerup finishes this season. “The competition out here is tough; it’s really something to even make it to a final. We’ve been banging on the door trying to get another win. Beating Antron for this one was big for us. We’ve just been trying to win rounds but Antron’s been winning a lot, too. He’s got five wins this year, so I’m glad we were able to get another one here. We’ve got some momentum going into the next few races.”

Seven-time world champion Tony Schumacher, who qualified his U.S. Army dragster No. 1 but was defeated in the semifinals by Don Schumacher Racing teammate Brown, secured his berth in the Countdown to the Championship. “The Sarge” was the only Top Fuel driver to clinch a position in the playoffs during the event.

In Pro Stock, two-time world champion Line ousted teammate Greg Anderson in the final to claim his third career win at Pacific Raceways. Line and his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro trailered Anderson on a hole-shot and quarter-mile run of 6.611-seconds at 210.67 mph to Anderson’s effort of 6.608-seconds at 210.54 mph.

On the strength of his runnerup result, Anderson moved into the Top 10 in the Countdown to the Championship point standings for the first time this season. A four-time world champion, Anderson missed the first five events of 2014 while recuperating from open heart surgery.

“It was a very good day for KB Racing,” Line said. “We got both cars to the final and Greg got in the Top 10. He’s not going to look back from there. He’s got a great car. I was good when I needed to be today. The car wasn’t great but it was good enough. I guess the racing gods owed me one. It feels good to get another win. I’ve never won three races in a row though, so we’ll see what happens at Brainerd.”

Pro Stock drivers Shane Gray and Vincent Nobile also secured positions in the six-race Countdown during the event.

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will continue Aug. 14-17 with the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway.

Final finishing order (1-16) at the 27th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Pacific Raceways. The race was the 16th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL_1. Doug Kalitta; 2. Antron Brown; 3. Tony Schumacher; 4. Shawn Langdon; 5. Steve Torrence; 6. Troy Buff; 7. Khalid alBalooshi; 8. Richie Crampton; 9. Brittany Force; 10. Clay Millican; 11. Spencer Massey; 12. Terry McMillen; 13. Mike Salinas; 14. J.R. Todd; 15. Bob Vandergriff Jr.; 16. Jenna Haddock.

FUNNY CAR _1. John Force; 2. Gary Densham; 3. Alexis DeJoria; 4. Matt Hagan; 5. Cruz Pedregon; 6. Tim Wilkerson; 7. Robert Hight; 8. Jack Beckman; 9. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 10. Ron Capps; 11. Jeff Diehl; 12. Del Worsham; 13. Terry Haddock; 14. Tony Pedregon; 15. Bob Tasca III; 16. Courtney Force.

PRO STOCK _ 1. Jason Line; 2. Greg Anderson; 3. Shane Gray; 4. Allen Johnson; 5. Dave Connolly; 6. Jonathan Gray; 7. V. Gaines; 8. Jeg Coughlin Jr.; 9. Chris McGaha; 10. Deric Kramer; 11. Matt Hartford; 12. Larry Morgan; 13. Vincent Nobile; 14. Mark Wolfe; 15. Travis Mazza.

Sunday’s final results from the 27th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Pacific Raceways:

Top Fuel _Doug Kalitta, 3.844-seconds, 318.84 mph def. Antron Brown, 3.887-seconds, 311.70 mph.

Funny Car _ John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.173, 302.48 def. Gary Densham, Chevy Impala, 5.808, 120.44.

Pro Stock _Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.611, 210.67 def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.608, 210.54.

Top Alcohol Dragster _Joey Severance, 5.238, 273.11 def. Chris Demke, 5.251, 273.00.

Top Alcohol Funny Car _ Doug Gordon, Ford Mustang, 5.609, 256.55 def. Sean Bellemeur, Chevy Camaro, 5.650, 254.38.

Competition Eliminator _ Brandon Huhtala, Pontiac GXP, 7.600, 146.89 def. Ryan Warter, Chevy Camaro, foul.

Super Stock _ Terry Anderson, Chevy Nova, 10.076, 131.28 def. Alan Falcone, Chevy Cavalier, 9.380, 134.97.

Stock Eliminator _Tim Fletcher, Chevy Camaro, 11.148, 110.09 def. Mick Alley, Camaro, 10.488, 126.27.

Super Comp _ Marc Heritage, Dragster, 8.899, 174.17 def. Rodger Comstock, Dragster, 8.884, 176.51.

Super Gas _Mike Shannon, Chevy Corvette, 9.920, 145.66 def. Tanner Hiatt, Corvette, 9.914, 159.51.

Super Street _ Kyle Colletti, Chevy, 10.899, 147.52 def. John Ermish, Chevelle, broke.

Final round-by-round results from the 27th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Pacific Raceways:

TOP FUEL

ROUND ONE _Khalid alBalooshi, 3.809, 319.22 def. Brittany Force, 3.841, 314.31; Richie Crampton, 3.843, 317.27 def. Terry McMillen, 3.898, 316.75; Shawn Langdon, 3.787, 317.12 def. Clay Millican, 3.870, 309.77; Tony Schumacher, 3.828, 319.37 def. Jenna Haddock, 13.039, 76.94; Doug Kalitta, 3.794, 320.36 def. Mike Salinas, 4.114, 293.41; Antron Brown, 3.828, 317.79 def. Bob Vandergriff Jr., foul; Troy Buff, 3.816, 312.78 def. Spencer Massey, 3.880, 292.39; Steve Torrence, 3.932, 310.55 def. J.R. Todd, 4.140, 211.36;

QUARTERFINALS _Brown, 3.866, 309.77 def. Crampton, 10.822, 70.61; Schumacher, 3.840, 313.88 def. Torrence, 3.909, 310.70; Kalitta, 3.864, 314.09 def. Buff, 3.996, 294.69; Langdon, 3.983, 240.89 def. alBalooshi, 3.997, 299.86;

SEMIFINALS_ Kalitta, 4.032, 268.17 def. Langdon, 4.112, 262.39; Brown, 3.883, 312.13 def. Schumacher, 3.944, 295.66;

FINAL _Kalitta, 3.844, 318.84 def. Brown, 3.887, 311.70.

FUNNY CAR

ROUND ONE _ John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.102, 307.58 def. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 4.354, 282.36; Gary Densham, Chevy Impala, 4.314, 286.86 def. Courtney Force, Mustang, 6.564, 98.66; Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.109, 306.26 def. Terry Haddock, Impala, 4.583, 209.88; Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 4.140, 300.40 def. Tony Pedregon, Camry, 4.663, 171.23; Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.176, 295.59 def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.164, 302.75; Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.112, 305.98 def. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.918, 161.23; Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.134, 302.75 def. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.457, 219.44; Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.109, 304.05 def. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.171, 297.02;

QUARTERFINALS _ DeJoria, 4.202, 293.22 def. Beckman, 4.385, 230.45; J. Force, 4.161, 302.48 def. C. Pedregon, 4.184, 296.37; Hagan, 4.241, 278.98 def. Hight, 4.287, 263.20; Densham, 4.184, 278.46 def. Wilkerson, 4.228, 294.69;

SEMIFINALS _ Densham, 4.236, 288.89 def. Hagan, 4.285, 283.67; J. Force, 4.301, 258.42 def. DeJoria, 4.252, 277.72;

FINAL _ J. Force, 4.173, 302.48 def. Densham, 5.808, 120.44.

PRO STOCK

ROUND ONE _Dave Connolly, Chevy Camaro, 6.560, 210.73 def. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.666, 209.26; Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 6.578, 210.83 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.605, 210.08; V. Gaines, Dodge Dart, 6.581, 210.93 def. Matt Hartford, Dodge Avenger, 6.622, 209.65; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.556, 211.63 def. Deric Kramer, Avenger, foul; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.555, 211.16 def. Mark Wolfe, Ford Mustang, 6.810, 205.94; Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.546, 211.30, was unopposed; Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.544, 211.43 def. Travis Mazza, Mustang, 7.543, 133.88; Jeg Coughlin Jr., Dart, 6.565, 210.67 def. Larry Morgan, Mustang, 6.646, 208.17;

QUARTERFINALS _Anderson, 6.571, 211.30 def. Coughlin, 12.185, 54.52; Line, 6.579, 210.73 def. Gaines, 6.593, 210.77; Johnson, 6.569, 210.87 def. Connolly, 6.589, 210.28; S. Gray, 6.574, 210.87 def. J. Gray, 6.591, 210.24;

SEMIFINALS _Line, 6.606, 210.24 def. S. Gray, 6.625, 210.05; Anderson, 6.586, 210.90 def. Johnson, 16.159, 51.08;

FINAL _Line, 6.611, 210.67 def. Anderson, 6.608, 210.54.

Point standings (Top 10) following the 27th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Pacific Raceways:

Top Fuel _ 1. Doug Kalitta, 1,345*; 2. Antron Brown, 1,269*; 3. Shawn Langdon, 1,146*; 4. Tony Schumacher, 999*; 5. Steve Torrence, 920; 6. Spencer Massey, 895; 7. Brittany Force, 856; 8. Khalid alBalooshi, 855; 9. Richie Crampton, 808; 10. J.R. Todd, 774.

Funny Car _ 1. Robert Hight, 1,271*; 2. John Force, 1,224*; 3. Ron Capps, 989; 4. Courtney Force, 980; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., 975; 6. Alexis DeJoria, 961; 7. Matt Hagan, 949; 8. Cruz Pedregon, 894; 9. Del Worsham, 848; 10. Tim Wilkerson, 815.

Pro Stock _1. Erica Enders-Stevens, 1,229*; 2. Allen Johnson, 1,197*; 3. Jason Line, 1,192*; 4. Jeg Coughlin Jr., 1,128*; 5. Dave Connolly, 1,075*; 6. Shane Gray, 1,015*; 7. Vincent Nobile, 959*; 8. V. Gaines, 742; 9. Chris McGaha, 718; 10. Greg Anderson, 647.

Editor’s note _ *Clinched spot in the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Monday, August 4 2014
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