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Brittany Force Adds To Historic Roll At Four-Wides

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Monday, April 25 2016
Brittany Force became the first woman to win at the Four-Wide Nationals on Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Garry Eller)

Brittany Force became the first woman to win at the Four-Wide Nationals on Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Garry Eller)

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

CONCORD, N.C. – After taking 75 races to collect her first NHRA Top Fuel victory, Brittany Force wasted little time in snatching her second and etching her name in the history books Sunday at zMAX Dragway in the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Foods.

nhra logoForce’s second career Top Fuel victory made her the first woman to win a NHRA four-wide event and in a nitro class at zMAX. Her second victory in the season’s first five events also allowed her to increase her lead in the standings to 63 points over two-time Top Fuel champion Antron Brown.

“I keep hearing these things (historical events) and it’s all so surreal,” Force said about the historical victory. “It’s big enough that we won, but to do it at the Four-Wide where it wasn’t easy for me … this is huge. For my second one (win) to come this quickly, it’s amazing. My team is bad ass. They put together a car that was consistent on every run.”  

The daughter of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force defeated Brown, Doug Kalitta and Clay Millican in the final round of the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals with a 3.764-second E.T., 319.98 mph, run. Brown finished second, posting an E.T. of 3.779 seconds, 316.75 mph. However, the run almost didn’t occur for Force.

“When our guys got back in the staging lanes, I didn’t think we were going to make it up to run,” Force said. “When we bolted the car back together somehow my seat belts got tucked back behind and we had to completely unbolt the car to get the seat belts down. I was worried I’d be pulling my belts during the burnout. We were a little panicked at the moment.”

Force’s victory and Tim Wilkerson’s win in Funny Car made them the first two-time winners this year in the nitro category. Wilkerson defeated Cruz Pedregon, Matt Hagan and Ron Capps with a 3.967-second E.T. , 315.56 mph run.

It was Force, however, who stole the nitro show. She entered the elimination round as the fourth fastest qualifier, a position that left her sleepless the night before.

“I had nightmares just coming off of Q4,” Force said.

In Sunday’s first round, Force faced off against Pat Dakin, Brown and Leah Pritchett. Force and Brown advanced to the semifinals with an E.T. of 3.734 and 3.776, respectively. In the semifinal round, Force was the only one with a clean run, recording an E.T. of 3.747. Brown made it to the semifinals with a 5.779-second E.T., while J.R. Todd and Richie Crampton were eliminated. When it came time for the final round, Force was in lane two, the one that already had produced the victor in the other three classes. And it came through again, this time for Force.

“It is a great feeling to see her in the winner’s circle again,” John Force said about his daughter. “She struggled so long in A Fuel and Super Comp. It was a learning curve for her. She is ready to race now and she is with a great team.

“The Alan Johnson program and alliance with Steve Torrence is working out with Brian Husen as crew chief. You want to get that first win out of the way and we knew once she got over that hurdle she would win again. She has proven herself to her sponsors like Monster Energy, Auto Club, Traxxas, and Chevrolet that she can compete out here.”

In Pro Stock, KB Racing continued its domination. Jason Line claimed his third victory in five events this season, defeating teammate Bo Butner, Drew Skillman and Chris McGaha. Butner’s reaction time was quicker than Line’s, 0.025 to 0.030, but Line recorded the quicker E.T., 6.565 to 6.591. KB Racing has now won all five Pro Stock events this season with Greg Anderson claiming the other two.

Andrew Hines claimed his 43rd career victory in the Pro Stock Motorcycle category.  His reaction time of 0.002 and 6.844-second E.T. gave him the win over Eddie Krawiec, who had a reaction time of 0.043 and an E.T. of 6.849 seconds.

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Final finish order (1-16) for professional categories at the Seventh annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Foods at zMax Dragway.  The race is the fifth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:

  1. Brittany Force; 2.  Antron Brown; 3.  Doug Kalitta; 4.  Clay Millican; 5.  Richie Crampton; 6.  Steve Torrence; 7.  Tony Schumacher; 8.  J.R. Todd; 9.  Terry McMillen; 10.  Pat Dakin; 11.  Smax Smith; 12.  Shawn Langdon; 13.  Leah Pritchett; 14.  Chris Karamesines; 15.  Scott Palmer; 16.  Terry Haddock.

FUNNY CAR:

  1. Tim Wilkerson; 2.  Cruz Pedregon; 3.  Ron Capps; 4.  Matt Hagan; 5.  John Force; 6.  Courtney Force; 7.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 8.  Jeff Diehl; 9.  Del Worsham; 10.  Jack Beckman; 11.  Alexis DeJoria; 12.  Chad Head; 13.  John Hale; 14.  Bob Tasca III; 15.  Robert Hight; 16.  Daniel Wilkerson.

PRO STOCK:

  1. Jason Line; 2.  Bo Butner; 3.  Drew Skillman; 4.  Chris McGaha; 5.  Kenny Delco; 6.  Greg Anderson; 7.  Erica Enders; 8.  Deric Kramer; 9.  Shane Gray; 10.  Allen Johnson; 11.  Vincent Nobile; 12.  Alex Laughlin; 13.  John Gaydosh Jr; 14.  Shane Tucker; 15.  Jeg Coughlin; 16.  V. Gaines.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

  1. Andrew Hines; 2.  Eddie Krawiec; 3.  Chip Ellis; 4.  Matt Smith; 5.  Angelle Sampey; 6.  Jerry Savoie; 7.  Hector Arana; 8.  Michael Ray; 9.  Scotty Pollacheck; 10.  Angelle Sampey; 11.  Brian Pretzel; 12.  Melissa Surber; 13.  LE Tonglet; 14.  Steve Johnson; 15.  Karen Stoffer; 16.  Jim Underdahl.

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Sunday’s final results from the Seventh annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Foods at zMax Dragway. The race is the fifth of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel — Brittany Force, 3.764 seconds, 319.98 mph def. Antron Brown, 3.779 seconds, 316.75 mph and Doug Kalitta, 4.792 seconds, 161.34 mph and Clay Millican, 6.616 seconds, 90.24 mph;

Funny Car — Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.967, 315.56 def. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 3.995, 313.37 and Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.055, 315.42 and Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.069, 305.56;

Pro Stock — Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.565, 211.33 def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.591, 210.77 and Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.620, 209.43 and Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.646, 208.68;

Pro Stock Motorcycle — Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.844, 195.42 def. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.849, 194.44 and Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.884, 193.90 and Matt Smith, Victory, 12.878, 60.42;

Top Alcohol Dragster — Megan Meyer, 5.325, 278.46  def. Josh Hart, 5.634, 238.72.

Top Alcohol Funny Car — Kris Hool, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.557, 261.83  def. Jonnie Lindberg, Monte Carlo, 10.179, 84.19.

Competition Eliminator — David Rampy, Bantam, 7.283, 159.29  def. Randy Daniels, Grand Am, 8.655, 158.07.

Super Stock — Bryan Worner, Chevy Camaro, 10.223, 127.93  def. Herbie Null Jr., Camaro, 9.886, 131.99.

Stock Eliminator — Jeff Harrington, Ford Mustang, 10.129, 129.21  def. Michael Brand, Pontiac Firebird, 11.112, 110.97.

Super Comp — Ray Miller, Dragster, 8.949, 176.58  def. Danny Waters Jr., Dragster, 8.901, 174.55.

Super Gas — Jim Perry, Chevy S-10, 9.907, 169.25  def. Mia Tedesco, Chevy Cavalier, 9.908, 164.55.

Top Sportsman — Mark Payne, Chevy Cavalier, 6.846, 203.03  def. Michael Kaufman, Chevy Corvette, Foul – Red Light.

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Final round-by-round results from the Seventh annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Foods at zMax Dragway, the fifth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE — Clay Millican, 3.756, 326.40 and Doug Kalitta, 3.755, 326.56 def. Smax Smith, 4.197, 276.07 and Scott Palmer, broke; Brittany Force, 3.734, 321.88 and Antron Brown, 3.776, 321.58 def. Pat Dakin, 3.825, 310.55 and Leah Pritchett, 3.853, 316.90; J.R. Todd, 3.736, 328.06 and Richie Crampton, 3.739, 322.50 def. Terry McMillen, 3.816, 316.52 and Chris Karamesines, 4.074, 297.02; Steve Torrence, 3.744, 326.71 and Tony Schumacher, 3.796, 310.91 def. Shawn Langdon, 5.062, 150.43 and Terry Haddock, broke;

SEMIFINALS — Kalitta, 3.777, 325.92 and Millican, 3.787, 322.04 def. Torrence, 6.964, 96.29 and Schumacher, 9.205, 76.48; Force, 3.747, 321.88 and Brown, 5.779, 210.67 def. Crampton, 6.301, 189.31 and Todd, 9.531, 81.70;

FINAL — Force, 3.764, 319.98 def. Brown, 3.779, 316.75, Kalitta, 4.792, 161.34 and Millican, 6.616, 90.24.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE — Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.938, 320.13 and Ron Capps, Charger, 4.795, 202.70 def. Chad Head, Toyota Camry, 8.331, 85.68 and Daniel Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, broke; John Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.053, 316.23 and Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 5.495, 255.48 def. Jack Beckman, Charger, 5.639, 292.08 and Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 10.466, 79.19; Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.934, 322.34 and Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 5.359, 210.47 def. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 6.874, 127.86 and Robert Hight, Camaro, 10.742, 81.50; Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.979, 320.97 and Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.003, 309.91 def. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.981, 317.49 and John Hale, Charger, 4.031, 314.83;

SEMIFINALS — Hagan, 3.997, 317.64 and Capps, 4.045, 312.13 def. J. Force, 4.063, 315.05 and Johnson Jr., 8.148, 88.58; T. Wilkerson, 3.993, 319.82 and Pedregon, 4.367, 208.30 def. C. Force, 12.413, 64.50 and Diehl, broke;

FINAL — T. Wilkerson, 3.967, 315.56 def. Pedregon, 3.995, 313.37, Capps, 4.055, 315.42 and Hagan, 4.069, 305.56.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE — Bo Butner, Chevy Camaro, 6.570, 211.33 and Deric Kramer, Dodge Dart, 6.653, 208.01 def. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.635, 210.01 and Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.873, 171.86; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.555, 211.86 and Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.609, 209.72 def. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.647, 210.05 and V. Gaines, Dart, 7.223, 205.44; Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.586, 210.57 and Erica Enders, Dart, 6.630, 209.98 def. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.666, 208.68 and John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.698, 205.88; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.562, 211.99 and Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.615, 209.36 def. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.642, 207.69 and Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.852, 199.40;

SEMIFINALS — McGaha, 6.734, 208.04 and Butner, 6.628, 210.47 def. Anderson, 7.536, 164.17 and Kramer, broke; Line, 6.568, 211.16 and Skillman, 6.617, 208.91 def. Delco, 6.663, 207.98 and Enders, 11.597, 77.55;

FINAL — Line, 6.565, 211.33 def. Butner, 6.591, 210.77, Skillman, 6.620, 209.43 and McGaha, 6.646, 208.68.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

ROUND ONE — Jerry Savoie, Suzuki TL1000, 6.855, 196.62 and Andrew Hines, Harley V-Rod, 6.817, 195.68 def. Brian Pretzel, Suzuki GSXR, 6.928, 194.58 and Jim Underdahl, GSXR, 6.967, 196.90; Hector Arana, Buell XB9R, 6.836, 196.56 and Angelle Sampey, Buell XB12R, 6.861, 193.96 def. Shawn Gann, XB9R, 6.906, 193.05 and Karen Stoffer, Suzuki TL1000R, 6.954, 194.63; Matt Smith, Victory Gunner, 6.844, 195.03 and Chip Ellis, XB9R, 6.816, 195.48 def. Scotty Pollacheck, XB12R, 6.898, 192.38 and Steve Johnson, TL1000, 6.929, 192.99; Eddie Krawiec, V-Rod, 6.825, 195.08 and Michael Ray, XB9R, 6.903, 194.77 def. Melissa Surber, 6.928, 192.06 and LE Tonglet, GSXR, 6.876, 194.07;

SEMIFINALS — Krawiec, 6.810, 197.16 and Hines, 6.846, 195.11 def. Savoie, 6.916, 192.88 and Ray, 6.921, 194.72; M. Smith, 6.850, 195.00 and Ellis, 7.134, 153.35 def. Sampey, 6.831, 196.27 and Arana, 6.857, 196.96;

FINAL — Hines, 6.844, 195.42 def. Krawiec, 6.849, 194.44, Ellis, 6.884, 193.90 and M. Smith, 12.878, 60.42.

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Point standings (top 10) for NHRA professional categories following the Seventh annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Foods at zMax Dragway, the fifth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series –

Top Fuel

  1. Brittany Force, 428; 2.  Antron Brown, 365; 3.  Doug Kalitta, 344; 4.  Clay Millican, 318; 5.  Steve Torrence, 310; 6.  J.R. Todd, 289; 7.  (tie) Terry McMillen, 242; Tony Schumacher, 242; 9.  Richie Crampton, 240; 10.  Leah Pritchett, 220.

Funny Car

  1. Robert Hight, 369; 2.  Ron Capps, 361; 3.  John Force, 352; 4.  Tim Wilkerson, 334; 5.  Courtney Force, 322; 6.  Del Worsham, 318; 7.  Jack Beckman, 307; 8.  Alexis DeJoria, 277; 9.  Chad Head, 270; 10.  Cruz Pedregon, 238.

Pro Stock

  1. Jason Line, 583; 2.  Greg Anderson, 481; 3.  Bo Butner, 429; 4.  Drew Skillman, 343; 5.  Chris McGaha, 287; 6.  Allen Johnson, 244; 7.  (tie) Jeg Coughlin, 223; Erica Enders, 223; 9.  Vincent Nobile, 209; 10.  Alex Laughlin, 187.

Pro Stock Motorcycle

  1. Eddie Krawiec, 232; 2.  Andrew Hines, 197; 3.  Hector Arana, 154; 4.  Chip Ellis, 135; 5.  Jerry Savoie, 108; 6.  LE Tonglet, 107; 7.  Michael Ray, 104; 8.  Matt Smith, 93; 9.  Angelle Sampey, 92; 10.  Jim Underdahl, 84.
| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Monday, April 25 2016
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