Home » HEADLINE, NHRA

Nitro Stars Brilliant In Colorado

| , RacinToday.com Monday, July 25 2016
John Force defeated daughter Courtney Force in the Funny Car final Sunday at Bandimere Speedway in Colorado. The event win was the first of the season for the 16-time champion. (Photo courtesy of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series)

John Force defeated daughter Courtney Force in the Funny Car final Sunday at Bandimere Speedway in Colorado. The event win was the first of the season for the 16-time champion. (Photo courtesy of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series)

John Force and Tony Schumacher, the two winningest drivers in their respective NHRA nitro categories, scored historic victories Sunday in the 37th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.

Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners during the first NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series final to be televised live on a national broadcast network.

Force and Schumacher, who have won a combined 24 world championships in Funny Car and Top Fuel, respectively, each scored his first win of the season in Morrison, Colo., near Denver and on the FOX network. The event was the opener of the NHRA’s traditional three-race, summertime “Western Swing.”

“Brute” Force, a 16-time world champion, defeated daughter Courtney in a close Funny Car final. John Force covered the 1,000-foot distance in 3.965-seconds and 319.45 mph in his Realtree Peak Antifreeze Chevrolet Camaro SS to Courtney’s 3.963-second pass at 314.75 mph in her Traxxas Camaro. The elder Force posted his seventh victory at Bandimere and 144th of his career. Force had not won a race since June 2015 in Epping, N.H.

“I didn’t have a monkey on my back, it was a gorilla,” said Force, who at age 67 became the oldest driver in NHRA history to win a Funny Car race. “Let’s face it, the competition is the best I’ve ever seen. It’s tough to race my little girl there and it was a close one. I can do this game. I love it. I don’t have anywhere to go. I’m going to keep doing this. I want to keep building this sport.”

Force, who also made history earlier in the weekend by clocking the first three-second Funny Car run at Bandimere, outran Jeff Diehl, two-time world champion Matt Hagan and reigning world champ Del Worsham to advance to the final.

“I needed this real bad,” Force said. “I told Courtney I love her, but I’m giving this everything I’ve got. Let’s face it, we’ve been getting beat up lately by the (Don) Schumacher and (Connie) Kalitta teams. It’s a great day to come here and look like we know what we’re doing.”

Tony Schumacher, an eight-time world champion, snapped a lengthy winless streak via his third victory at Bandimere and 82nd of his career. “The Sarge” outran two-time/reigning world champ Antron Brown in the final with a 1,000-foot pass of 3.802-seconds and 324.28 mph in the U.S. Army dragster. Brown’s Matco Tools dragster slowed near mid-track and finished at 5.199-seconds and 144.75 mph. Schumacher, who climbed to fifth in the point standings, last won in July 2015 at Joliet, Ill., near Chicago.

“To win one of these (Wally) trophies you have to beat some bad dudes, and we beat a bunch of them today from Doug Kalitta to Antron Brown,” said Schumacher, who outran Kalitta in Round 1, top qualifier Steve Torrence in the quarterfinals and Clay Millican in the semis to advance to the final against his Don Schumacher Racing teammate. “I’ve enjoyed great moments in racing during my career, but coming back from a huge deficit when people have counted you out like we have done this weekend is the most satisfying to me.”

With the runnerup finish, his sixth final round of the season, Brown maintained a 57-point lead over second-place Kalitta.

In Pro Stock, Johnson continued his long run of success on “The Mountain” as he won the event for a record seventh time in his 10th consecutive final round Bandimere appearance, also a record in his category. Johnson powered his Marathon Petroleum Dodge Dart to a 6.982-second quarter-mile pass at 197.34 mph to hold off the Mountain View Tire Chevy Camaro of Vincent Nobile, who trailed at 7.037-seconds and 196.82 mph.

“We stunk the place up all weekend during qualifying,” said Johnson, who raced past Drew Skillman, two-time/reigning world champ Erica Enders and four-time world champ Greg Anderson to return to the final. “I wouldn’t have given us a one percent chance to win all weekend. The magic up here is just on our side for some reason. We’ve done it for Mopar all those years and now we get to do it for Marathon and Mopar.”

Johnson said his semifinal win over Anderson was especially sweet. Anderson and point-leader Jason Line, who lost in the semis to Nobile, have combined to win the first 13 races of the season in their Summit Racing Equipment Camaros.

“I’m sure I’m speaking for everyone in the pits, but to break that juggernaut is big,” Johnson said. “We might have got a break or two along the way but I guess that was that ‘Mountain Magic.’ It was great to win here for all the great Denver and Mopar fans and to get the win on live TV on FOX.”

Hines became the winningest Pro Stock Motorcycle rider in history, capturing his 45th career victory by outrunning teammate Eddie Krawiec in the final. Hines took his third win of the season and fourth at this event by posting a track record quarter-mile time of 7.134-seconds at 188.33 mph aboard his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to hold off Krawiec’s Harley V-Rod, which trailed at 7.148-seconds and 187.21 mph.

It was the third consecutive final-round appearance for Hines, the five-time/reigning world champ, who defeated Scotty Pollacheck, Cory Reed and 2010 world champ LE Tonglet to advance to the final.

“It doesn’t get much better racing up here on ‘The Mountain’ with the thin air requiring a different setup,” said Hines, who trimmed Krawiec’s point lead to 109. “Coming back to win on ‘The Mountain,’ it means a lot. My team has had my motorcycle really dialed-in right now. It’s our third final in a row and I’m just riding the wave. I don’t think I’ve ever put eight runs like that together in a weekend. The bike is such a joy to ride right now.” 

The series continues with the second stop of the “Western Swing,” the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals, next weekend at Sonoma Raceway in Northern California.

###

Final finishing order (1-16) at the 37th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.  The race is the 14th of 24 events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

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

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

Pro Stock _1.  Allen Johnson; 2.  Vincent Nobile; 3.  Jason Line; 4.  Greg Anderson; 5.  Bo Butner; 6.  Alex Laughlin; 7.  Erica Enders; 8.  Chris McGaha; 9.  Shane Gray; 10.  Jeg Coughlin Jr.; 11.  Richie Stevens; 12.  Drew Skillman; 13.  Deric Kramer; 14.  Matt Hartford; 15.  Alan Prusiensky.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1.  Andrew Hines; 2.  Eddie Krawiec; 3.  Jerry Savoie; 4.  LE Tonglet; 5.  Angelle Sampey; 6.  Chip Ellis; 7.  Cory Reed; 8.  Matt Smith; 9.  Hector Arana Jr.; 10.  Shawn Gann; 11.  Tyler Fisher; 12. Karen Stoffer; 13.  Angie Smith; 14.  Michael Ray; 15.  Scotty Pollacheck; 16.  Hector Arana.

Sunday’s final results from the 37th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway:

Top Fuel _ Tony Schumacher, 3.802-seconds, 324.28 mph def. Antron Brown, 5.199-seconds, 144.75 mph.

Funny Car _ John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.965, 319.45 def. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.963, 314.75.

Pro Stock _ Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.982, 197.39 def. Vincent Nobile, Chevy Camaro, 7.037, 196.82.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.134, 188.33 def. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 7.148, 187.21.

Competition Eliminator _ Lou Ficco Jr., Pontiac GXP, 7.664, 178.21 def. Clint Neff, Bantam Roadster, Foul/Red Light.

Super Stock _ Jackie Alley, Chevy Camaro, 10.380, 130.00 def. Dan Fletcher, Camaro, Foul/Red Light.

Stock Eliminator _ Ryan Montford, Chevy Camaro, 9.887, 128.33 def. Norman Warling, Pontiac Catalina, 13.110, 99.96.

Super Comp _ Kris Whitfield, Dragster, 9.472, 158.37 def. Gary Wamboldt, Dragster, 9.459, 159.97.

Super Gas _ Kevin Moore, Chevrolet, 10.501, 146.51 def. Craig Maddox, Prowler, 10.470, 149.46.

Super Street _ John Bianco, Chevy, 11.442, 137.74 def. Jason Schade, Rambler, 11.425, 122.11.

Top Dragster presented by RacingRVs.com _ Steve Johnson, Dragster, 6.471, 213.23 def. Larry Piper, Dragster, 6.694, 202.85.

Top Sportsman presented by RacingRVs.com _ John Baker, Chevy Cobalt, 7.205, 194.02 def. Nick Johanns, Chevy Camaro, 8.297, 165.27.

Final round-by-round results from the 37th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway:

TOP FUEL

ROUND ONE _ Tony Schumacher, 3.788, 321.19 def. Doug Kalitta, 3.832, 320.74; Clay Millican, 3.821, 316.23 def. Terry Haddock, 4.284, 286.80; Antron Brown, 3.870, 308.28 def. Rob Passey, 4.396, 208.91; Steve Torrence, 3.843, 321.35 def. Chris Karamesines, 4.089, 297.02; Richie Crampton, 4.113, 280.37 def. Bill Litton, 4.178, 280.49; Brittany Force, 3.829, 317.05 def. Terry McMillen, 5.684, 125.96; J.R. Todd, 3.844, 318.62 def. Scott Palmer, 4.019, 282.78; Shawn Langdon, 4.288, 194.97 def. Leah Pritchett, 4.877, 181.45;

QUARTERFINALS _ Brown, 3.840, 317.05 def. Langdon, 3.831, 316.90; Millican, 3.857, 313.80 def. Force, 4.204, 271.95; Todd, 3.841, 322.11 def. Crampton, 3.862, 312.57; Schumacher, 4.083, 275.73 def. Torrence, 4.381, 194.49;

SEMIFINALS _ Schumacher, 3.839, 319.90 def. Millican, 3.841, 317.49; Brown, 3.826, 307.86 def. Todd, 3.915, 274.05;

FINAL _ Schumacher, 3.802, 324.28 def. Brown, 5.199, 144.75.

FUNNY CAR

ROUND ONE _ Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.047, 316.45 def. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.078, 301.47; Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.972, 315.42 def. Jim Campbell, Toyota Camry, 5.964, 126.59; John Force, Camaro, 4.001, 312.35 def. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 6.219, 94.02; Del Worsham, Camry, 4.024, 317.12 def. Todd Simpson, Camaro, 4.411, 230.57; John Hale, Charger, 4.303, 240.64 def. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.324, 232.71; Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.992, 320.58 def. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 5.846, 123.67; Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.039, 318.62 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, Broke/No Show; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.041, 306.40 def. Chad Head, Camry, 5.001, 158.93;

QUARTERFINALS _ J. Force, 4.038, 310.98 def. Hagan, 4.050, 317.64; C. Force, 4.016, 315.56 def. Johnson Jr., 4.032, 315.71; Hight, 3.997, 322.81 def. Hale, 4.161, 289.38; Worsham, 4.052, 317.42 def. Capps, 4.399, 213.27;

SEMIFINALS _ J. Force, 4.005, 316.60 def. Worsham, 4.054, 315.78; C. Force, 3.937, 322.04 def. Hight, Foul /Red Light;

FINAL _ J. Force, 3.965, 319.45 def. C. Force, 3.963, 314.75.

PRO STOCK

ROUND ONE _ Vincent Nobile, Chevy Camaro, 7.000, 197.13 def. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Dodge Dart, 7.026, 195.62; Allen Johnson, Dart, 7.000, 196.59 def. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 7.047, 197.74; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.995, 197.22 def. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 7.054, 195.73; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.945, 198.47 def. Richie Stevens, Dart, 7.033, 195.85; Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 15.319, 55.23 was unopposed; Chris McGaha, Camaro, 7.025, 196.22 def. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.992, 198.12; Erica Enders, Dart, 6.970, 197.42 def. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 7.989, 188.31; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.959, 197.94 def. Deric Kramer, Dart, 7.049, 195.14;

QUARTERFINALS _ Nobile, 7.031, 196.50 def. Laughlin, Foul/Red Light; Anderson, 6.998, 197.25 def. McGaha, 7.020, 196.24; Johnson, 7.000, 196.53 def. Enders, 7.006, 195.62; Line, 6.977, 197.57 def. Butner, 6.979, 197.86;

SEMIFINALS _ Johnson, 6.986, 196.42 def. Anderson, 6.968, 197.19; Nobile, 16.014, 52.83 def. Line, Foul/Red Light;

FINAL _ Johnson, 6.982, 197.39 def. Nobile, 7.037, 196.82.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE

ROUND ONE _ Cory Reed, Buell, 7.234, 183.49 def. Shawn Gann, Buell, 7.278, 184.09; Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 7.204, 185.89 def. Michael Ray, Buell, 7.320, 182.26; Chip Ellis, Buell, 15.210, 93.84 def. Hector Arana Jr., Buell, Foul/Red Light; Angelle Sampey, Buell, 7.204, 183.49 def. Hector Arana, Buell, Foul/Red Light; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 7.230, 184.09 def. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.285, 183.82; LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 7.234, 184.77 def. Tyler Fisher, Suzuki, 7.284, 182.90; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.213, 184.90 def. Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 7.370, 179.85; Matt Smith, 7.251, 183.67 def. Angie Smith, 7.314, 180.00;

QUARTERFINALS _ Savoie, 7.221, 184.35 def. Sampey, 7.299, 184.35; Tonglet, 7.304, 182.33 def. M.Smith, 16.874, 44.19; Krawiec, 7.245, 184.37 def. Ellis, 7.317, 183.42; Hines, 7.234, 184.77 def. Reed, 12.995, 60.23;

SEMIFINALS _ Krawiec, 7.218, 186.23 def. Savoie, 7.227, 184.42; Hines, 7.151, 187.34 def. Tonglet, 7.228, 184.90;

FINAL _ Hines, 7.134, 188.33 def. Krawiec, 7.148, 187.21.

Point standings (top-10) following the 37th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway:

Top Fuel _ 1.  Antron Brown, 1,145; 2.  Doug Kalitta, 1,088; 3.  Steve Torrence, 982; 4.  Brittany Force, 953; 5.  Tony Schumacher, 916; 6.  Shawn Langdon, 800; 7.  J.R. Todd, 799; 8.  Clay Millican, 681; 9. Richie Crampton, 660; 10.  Leah Pritchett, 553.

Funny Car _1.  Ron Capps, 1,120; 2.  Courtney Force, 998; 3.  Jack Beckman, 976; 4.  Matt Hagan, 881; 5. (tie) Robert Hight, 877; Del Worsham, 877; 7.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 855; 8.  John Force, 821; 9.  Tim Wilkerson, 793; 10.  Alexis DeJoria, 733.

Pro Stock _1.  Jason Line, 1,548; 2.  Greg Anderson, 1,466; 3.  Bo Butner, 955; 4.  Allen Johnson, 885; 5. Vincent Nobile, 758; 6.  Drew Skillman, 753; 7.  Chris McGaha, 661; 8.  Shane Gray, 658; 9.  Jeg Coughlin Jr., 613; 10.  Alex Laughlin, 595.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1.  Eddie Krawiec, 742; 2.  Andrew Hines, 633; 3.  Angelle Sampey, 534; 4.  Jerry Savoie, 500; 5. Chip Ellis, 386; 6.  Hector Arana, 375; 7.  LE Tonglet, 364; 8.  Matt Smith, 290; 9.  Steve Johnson, 268; 10.  Michael Ray, 262.

 

| , RacinToday.com Monday, July 25 2016
No Comment

Comments are closed.