Force Earns 120th Career Win; Kalitta Continues Hot Streak

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Drag racing legend John Force won his record 120th Funny Car race Sunday at Route 66 Raceway to close to within 48 points of the championship lead. Doug Kalitta, Kurt Johnson, and Ryan Schnitz joined the 13-time series titlist in the winner's circle of the ninth annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, the 10th of 23 races in the $50 million POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Force's beat teammate Robert Hight in the money round with an off-pace 4.930-second pass at 233.60 mph in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang after both men encountered engine trouble. Hight posted a 4.890 at 244.56 mph but left the starting line .057 seconds behind Force. Coming into this race, the 13-time champion had tried unsuccessfully on four different occasions to get his 120th victory.

"You get older and you start to wonder what it's going to take," Force said. "I've had to monitor how I sleep the night and what I eat. I used to coffee-up."

Mac Tools ace Kalitta chipped away at Melanie Troxel's lead in Top Fuel by dismissing her in the final round with a 4.503 at 330 mph. With a career-best four wins in his last five races, Kalitta is unquestionably the hottest driver on tour. He may have only gained one round on Troxel at this event but his recent run has trimmed her once daunting lead from 174 to 71 points.

"Rahn [Tobler, crew chief] has a very aggressive tune-up but it's also very safe," Kalitta said. "We were able to stay in the same lane all day and the car was perfect. [Team owner Connie Kalitta] has pulled back a little and let Rahn run the car the way he wants to run it. It's great to see him develop that confidence in what he's doing."

Johnson and Anderson had another great Pro Stock final with Johnson scoring his 34th victory and second of the year by .03 seconds. The Chevrolet Cobalt driver used a great .012- to .050-second reaction time advantage to steal this one away as Anderson's quicker 6.641 at 208.10 mph lost to Johnson's 6.646 at 207.46 mph.

"It was fun to race Greg in the final," Johnson said of his former teammate. "It's all-star boxing when the helmets are on but we're friends again at the other end. Everyone has an opponent that brings out the very best in you. For me that person is Greg."

Schnitz collected his first win of the season and the fourth of his brief 34-race career at the starting line when first-time finalist Matt Guidera got a little too excited and jumped the Christmas Tree by -.004 seconds. It might have been a moot point as Schnitz zoomed to a 7.064 at 182.03 mph to Guidera's 7.105 at 185.08 mph.

"It was Matt's first final and that probably played in my favor," Schnitz said. "He ended up pushing the Tree just a little too hard. I'm sure his pulse was up. He's a good rider and he has a great bike. He'll win one real soon. I just hope it's not against me."

***

Final finish order (1-16) for professional categories at the Ninth annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. The $1.9 million race is the tenth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:

1. Doug Kalitta; 2. Melanie Troxel; 3. Cory McClenathan; 4. Alan Bradshaw; 5. Doug Herbert; 6. Bob Vandergriff; 7. J.R. Todd; 8. David Baca; 9. Rod Fuller; 10. Hillary Will; 11. Brandon Bernstein; 12. Tony Schumacher; 13. Morgan Lucas; 14. Larry Dixon; 15. Joe Hartley; 16. David Grubnic.

FUNNY CAR:

1. John Force, Ford Mustang; 2. Robert Hight, Mustang; 3. Gary Scelzi, Dodge Charger; 4. Eric Medlen, Mustang; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., Chevy Monte Carlo; 6. Phil Burkart, Monte Carlo; 7. Ron Capps, Charger; 8. Tony Pedregon, Monte Carlo; 9. Gary Densham, Monte Carlo; 10. Del Worsham, Monte Carlo; 11. Whit Bazemore, Charger; 12. Tony Bartone, Monte Carlo; 13. Cruz Pedregon, Monte Carlo; 14. Mike Ashley, Monte Carlo; 15. Tim Wilkerson, Monte Carlo; 16. Bob Gilbertson, Dodge Stratus.

PRO STOCK:

1. Kurt Johnson, Chevy Cobalt; 2. Greg Anderson, Pontiac GTO; 3. Richie Stevens, Dodge Stratus; 4. Jim Yates, GTO; 5. Jason Line, GTO; 6. Dave Connolly, Cobalt; 7. Mike Edwards, GTO; 8. Allen Johnson, Stratus; 9. V. Gaines, Stratus; 10. Steve Schmidt, GTO; 11. Ron Krisher, Cobalt; 12. Erica Enders, Cobalt; 13. Warren Johnson, GTO; 14. Dave Northrop, Stratus; 15. Mark Pawuk, Cobalt; 16. Dave Howard, Cobalt.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

1. Ryan Schnitz; 2. Matt Guidera; 3. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson; 4. Chip Ellis; 5. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki; 6. Antron Brown, Suzuki; 7. Matt Smith; 8. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki; 9. Tom Bradford; 10. Craig Treble, Suzuki; 11. Geno Scali, Suzuki; 12. Michael Phillips, Suzuki; 13. GT Tonglet, Harley-Davidson; 14. Chris Rivas; 15. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki; 16. Marco Andreano.

KING DEMON CROWN:

1. Greg Anderson, Pontiac GTO; 2. Jason Line, GTO; 3. Richie Stevens, Dodge Stratus; 4. Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt; 5. V. Gaines, Stratus; 6. Warren Johnson, GTO; 7. Kurt Johnson, Cobalt; 8. Allen Johnson, Stratus.

***

Sunday's final results from the Ninth annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. The $1.9 million race is the tenth of 23 in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel -- Doug Kalitta, 4.503 seconds, 330.23 mph def. Melanie Troxel, broke.

Funny Car -- John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.930, 233.60 def. Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.890, 244.56.

Pro Stock -- Kurt Johnson, Chevy Cobalt, 6.646, 207.46 def. Greg Anderson, Pontiac GTO, 6.641, 208.10.

Pro Stock Motorcycle -- Ryan Schnitz, Buell, 7.064, 182.03 def. Matt Guidera, Buell, foul.

Top Alcohol Dragster -- Todd Datweiler, 11.505, 73.11 def. Sean O'Bannon, broke.

Top Alcohol Funny Car -- Bob Newberry, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.573, 257.53 def. Steve Harker, Dodge Avenger, 5.648, 258.12.

Competition Eliminator -- Tony Stephenson, Pontiac GTO, 7.837, 167.97 def. Jeff Taylor, Pontiac Grand Am, 8.963, 149.27.

Super Stock -- Michael Mans, Pontiac Firebird, 9.532, 139.67 def. Gary Stinnett, Chevy Camaro, 9.385, 140.75.

Stock Eliminator -- Dan Fletcher, Chevy Camaro, 10.713, 116.29 def. David Rampy, Camaro, 11.175, 110.68.

Super Comp -- Ron Erks, Dragster, 8.898, 166.44 def. Jason Kenny, Dragster, 8.894, 166.76.

Super Gas -- Jeff Cheney, Chevy Camaro, 9.906, 154.35 def. Ray Connolly, Chevy Corvette, 9.880, 161.32.

Super Street -- Joe Urbino, Chevy Malibu, 10.931, 126.34 def. Steve Domingues, Chevy Camaro, 10.898, 145.20.

***

King Demon Crown -- Greg Anderson, Pontiac GTO, 6.620, 208.20 def. Jason Line, GTO, 6.637, 207.53.

Top Alcohol Funny Car Allstars -- Frank Manzo, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.546, 261.07 def. Cy Chesterman, Monte Carlo, 5.721, 254.52.

Top Alcohol Dragster Allstars -- Marty Thacker, 5.370, 262.64 def. Steve Torrence, 6.483, 164.81.

Competition Eliminator Allstars -- Jeff Taylor, Pontiac Grand Am, 8.928, 149.48 def. Glen Treadwell, '23 Ford Roadster, 8.033, 159.76.

Super Stock Allstars -- Don Duke, Chevy Nova, 16.229, 65.67 def. Kevin Smith, Chevy Camaro, foul.

Stock Allstars -- Don Pires Jr., Chevy Nova, 10.644, 120.44 def. Mickey Whaley, Nova, 11.976, 101.81.

Super Comp Allstars -- Shawn Langdon, Dragster, 8.947, 150.65 def. Gary Stinnett, Dragster, 8.911, 174.39.

Super Gas Allstars -- Rock Haas, Chevy Corvette, 9.965, 145.81 def. George Smith, Chevy Camaro, 9.888, 153.30.

Super Street Allstars -- Lynn Hoosigian, Chevy Chevelle, 10.898, 137.53 def. Michael Ruff, Chevy Camaro, foul.

***

Final round-by-round results from the Ninth annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway, the tenth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE -- J.R. Todd, 4.550, 322.34 def. Hillary Will, foul; Bob Vandergriff, 4.750, 314.90 def. Larry Dixon, 4.893, 298.93; Cory McClenathan, 4.515, 330.96 def. Rod Fuller, 4.526, 323.97; Doug Herbert, 4.553, 323.12 def. Morgan Lucas, 4.670, 284.03; Alan Bradshaw, 4.545, 325.77 def. Tony Schumacher, 4.603, 307.93; Doug Kalitta, 4.498, 332.18 def. Joe Hartley, 5.016, 215.31; David Baca, 4.543, 327.82 def. Brandon Bernstein, 4.580, 326.56; Melanie Troxel, 4.524, 327.19 def. David Grubnic, 5.541, 263.62; QUARTERFINALS -- Bradshaw, 4.620, 312.71 def. Todd, 4.770, 300.66; Troxel, 4.505, 319.98 def. Herbert, 4.529, 325.53; McClenathan, 4.552, 327.19 def. Baca, 9.322, 91.27; Kalitta, 4.507, 331.53 def. Vandergriff, 4.565, 326.71; SEMIFINALS -- Kalitta, 4.472, 330.47 def. McClenathan, 5.135, 174.14; Troxel, 4.478, 327.11 def. Bradshaw, 5.144, 195.68;

FINAL -- Kalitta, 4.503, 330.23 def. Troxel, broke.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE -- Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.935, 276.86 def. Cruz Pedregon, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.311, 213.50; Eric Medlen, Ford Mustang, 4.761, 316.38 def. Del Worsham, Monte Carlo, 4.766, 329.18; Tommy Johnson Jr., Monte Carlo, 5.500, 305.36 def. Tim Wilkerson, Monte Carlo, 9.573, 120.60; Phil Burkart, Monte Carlo, 4.811, 318.32 def. Whit Bazemore, Charger, 4.904, 241.63; Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.729, 324.75 def. Gary Densham, Monte Carlo, 4.735, 316.60; Tony Pedregon, Monte Carlo, 5.032, 271.95 def. Bob Gilbertson, Dodge Stratus, 13.877, 78.15; John Force, Mustang, 4.761, 325.53 def. Tony Bartone, Monte Carlo, 5.201, 213.64; Gary Scelzi, Charger, 4.783, 329.75 def. Mike Ashley, Monte Carlo, 7.581, 102.22; QUARTERFINALS -- Scelzi, 4.772, 303.50 def. Johnson Jr., 4.752, 324.44; Medlen, 4.800, 320.51 def. T. Pedregon, 6.585, 133.71; Hight, 4.725, 331.36 def. Capps, 4.944, 256.80; Force, 4.729, 327.03 def. Burkart, 4.829, 330.07; SEMIFINALS -- Force, 4.730, 327.82 def. Medlen, 4.973, 242.84; Hight, 4.700, 330.55 def. Scelzi, 4.720, 332.10;

FINAL -- Force, 4.930, 233.60 def. Hight, 4.890, 244.56.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE -- Jason Line, Pontiac GTO, 6.666, 206.92 def. V. Gaines, Dodge Stratus, 6.668, 206.83; Jim Yates, GTO, 6.690, 206.07 def. Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt, 6.712, 206.16; Kurt Johnson, Cobalt, 6.672, 207.11 def. Mark Pawuk, Cobalt, 7.189, 155.15; Greg Anderson, GTO, 6.658, 207.30 def. Warren Johnson, GTO, 6.713, 205.82; Allen Johnson, Stratus, 6.674, 206.26 def. Ron Krisher, Cobalt, 6.703, 205.72; Mike Edwards, GTO, 6.675, 207.11 def. Dave Northrop, Stratus, 6.722, 205.63; Richie Stevens, Stratus, 6.674, 206.95 def. Steve Schmidt, GTO, foul; Dave Connolly, Cobalt, 6.683, 206.48 def. Dave Howard, Cobalt, 14.371, 58.38; QUARTERFINALS -- Yates, 6.696, 206.04 def. Edwards, 6.918, 164.27; K. Johnson, 6.669, 207.18 def. Connolly, foul; Stevens, 6.681, 206.10 def. Line, 6.670, 206.76; Anderson, 6.669, 206.80 def. A. Johnson, 11.503, 75.29; SEMIFINALS -- Anderson, 6.644, 207.56 def. Stevens, foul; K. Johnson, 6.667, 207.27 def. Yates, 6.672, 206.29;

FINAL -- K. Johnson, 6.646, 207.46 def. Anderson, 6.641, 208.10.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

ROUND ONE -- Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.128, 184.12 def. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, foul; Ryan Schnitz, Buell, 7.091, 184.60 def. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.094, 185.61; Antron Brown, Suzuki, 12.386, 61.23 def. Tom Bradford, Buell, foul; Matt Smith, Buell, 7.088, 184.67 def. Marco Andreano, Buell, 8.606, 101.75; Matt Guidera, Buell, 7.083, 185.61 def. Chris Rivas, Buell, 7.195, 181.67; Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 7.106, 187.00 def. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, 7.199, 184.35; Chip Ellis, Buell, 7.021, 186.10 def. Geno Scali, Suzuki, 7.157, 185.33; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.125, 190.24 def. GT Tonglet, Harley-Davidson, 7.163, 185.54; QUARTERFINALS -- Hines, 7.081, 188.73 def. Brown, foul; Schnitz, 7.161, 182.65 def. Smith, 7.180, 181.59; Guidera, 10.740, 75.03 def. Sampey, foul; Ellis, 7.088, 184.50 def. Stoffer, 7.196, 182.97; SEMIFINALS -- Guidera, 7.167, 182.01 def. Ellis, 7.149, 184.62; Schnitz, 7.132, 182.90 def. Hines, foul;

FINAL -- Schnitz, 7.064, 182.03 def. Guidera, foul.

KING DEMON CROWN:

ROUND ONE -- Richie Stevens, Dodge Stratus, 6.677, 206.20 def. Kurt Johnson, Chevy Cobalt, 6.695, 206.83; Jason Line, Pontiac GTO, 6.694, 206.07 def. Allen Johnson, Stratus, foul; Erica Enders, Cobalt, 6.703, 205.88 def. Warren Johnson, GTO, 6.685, 206.23; Greg Anderson, GTO, 6.664, 206.89 def. V. Gaines, Stratus, foul; QUARTERFINALS -- Line, 6.650, 206.67 def. Enders, 6.718, 206.48; Anderson, 6.656, 206.89 def. Stevens, 6.701, 206.48; SEMIFINALS -- Anderson, 6.620, 208.20 def. Line, 6.637, 207.53.

***

Point standings (top 10) for NHRA professional categories following the Ninth annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway, the tenth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series - Top Fuel

1. Melanie Troxel, 840; 2. Doug Kalitta, 769; 3. Brandon Bernstein, 639; 4. David Grubnic, 592; 5. Larry Dixon, 541; 6. Rod Fuller, 537; 7. Morgan Lucas, 529; 8. Tony Schumacher, 504; 9. Cory McClenathan, 495; 10. Doug Herbert, 454.

Funny Car

1. Ron Capps, 833; 2. John Force, 785; 3. Robert Hight, 647; 4. Eric Medlen, 604; 5. Tony Pedregon, 562; 6. Tommy Johnson Jr. 536; 7. Whit Bazemore, 503; 8. Gary Scelzi, 473; 9. Del Worsham, 469; 10. Cruz Pedregon, 467.

Pro Stock

1. Greg Anderson, 726; 2. Jim Yates, 616; 3. Jason Line, 612; 4. Kurt Johnson, 565; 5. Dave Connolly, 564; 6. Erica Enders, 550; 7. Mike Edwards, 534; 8. Larry Morgan, 466; 9. Warren Johnson, 452; 10. V. Gaines, 449.

Pro Stock Motorcycle

1. Angelle Sampey, 432; 2. Andrew Hines, 418; 3. Antron Brown, 358; 4. Chip Ellis, 300; 5. Ryan Schnitz, 286; 6. Karen Stoffer, 267; 7. Matt Smith, 231; 8. Matt Guidera, 221; 9. (tie) Geno Scali, 218; GT Tonglet, 218.

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