NORWALK, Ohio (AP) — John Force raced to his 140th career victory Sunday, beating Ron Capps in the Funny Car final in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.
The 65-year-old Force powered his Ford Mustang to a winning pass of 4.113 seconds at 317.27 mph for his first victory in Norwalk. He also won the season-opening event in Pomona, California.
“It was special to me,” 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 race a year. They light the fire under those fans. Look at the crowd on Friday night and that whole fireworks show. I’ve been real lucky in my career and you want to win them all, but I really wanted this win.”
Second in the points standings, Force won his record 16th season title last year.
Antron Brown won in Top Fuel, Erica Enders-Stevens in Pro Stock, and Andrew Hines in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Brown raced to his fifth Top Fuel win of the season and the 46th of his career, beating Shawn Langdon with a 3.797 at 318.84. It also was Brown’s first victory in Norwalk.
“It’s been a true blessing to be out at this race track this weekend,” said Brown. “The Bader family really put on a great show. The racetrack was great all weekend long. We got some cloud cover today. When four cars can run 3.75 in the first round with other cars across the board at .76, .77, that shows you how competitive the Top Fuel class is right now. It’s crazy tough to win a round right now, let alone a race.”
Enders-Stevens won for the fourth time this season, outrunning Dave Connolly with a 6.632 at 210.14 in her Chevy Camaro. The points leader also won for the first time Norwalk.
Hines raced to his third win of the season and fourth at the track, riding his Harley-Davidson to a 6.901 at 193.96 against Hector Arana.