Crain News Service report
NORWALK, Ohio (July 10, 2014) — In a thrilling side-by-side final round duel with longtime rival Ron Capps, NHRA Funny Car icon John Force picked up his 140th career win on July 6 at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.
Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, near Cleveland.
In the championship round, Mr. Force powered his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang to a performance of 4.113 seconds at 317.27 mph while Mr. Capps, who was making his third runner-up finish at Norwalk, had a run of 4.135 at 305.56 in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger.
Mr. Force, the reigning Funny Car world champion, earned his first-ever win at Norwalk and second of the 2014 season. He outran Cruz Pedregon, Ohio native Chad Head and Tim Wilkerson to reach the final round against Mr. Capps.
“It was special to me,” Mr. Force said. “I’ve come to this track for decades. I’ve won here at the Night of Fire races. Robert [Hight] and my daughter Ashley [Force Hood] have won here. I keep coming back here.
“The Bader family is P.T. Barnum doing this year-round, 90-some races a year. They light the fire under those fans…. I’ve been real lucky in my career, and you want to win them all, but I really wanted this win.”
His fellow John Force Racing teammate Robert Hight maintained the points lead in the super-tight Funny Car class, while Mr. Force, the No. 2 event qualifier, jumped to second in the Mello Yello points standing.
“It’s a really great show, and I’m just excited to be a part of it,” Mr. Force said. “We raced some great kids: Capps, Cruz, Wilkerson, Chad Head. We gave them some good racing. Hey, we got the win. I’m just glad to get that one out of the way. Now I’ll try to get my second win here.”
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues July 18-20 with the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Denver.
This report appeared on the website of Autoweek magazine, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.