John Force earns career victory No. 130 with win at Bristol

Sunday, June 20, 2010

John Force earns victory

BRISTOL, Tenn. — John Force regained the points lead with his NHRA-record 130th career win at the 10th annual Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway on Sunday.

The other winners at the 12th race in the 23-race Full Throttle Series season were Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock).

After qualifying sixth, Force defeated Paul Lee, Matt Hagan and Bob Tasca to reach his 207th career final round where he easily topped Tim Wilkerson with a 4.317-second pass at 285.59 mph to Wilkerson’s 12.365 at 31.80.

“To get this win is really great. I’ll be honest, I was jacked up on so much Full Throttle I thought I was going to explode … oxygen, everything I could take just to keep up with the kids,” said the 61-year old Force, who left Bristol with a 58-point lead over teammate Robert Hight as he seeks to win his NHRA-record 15th championship.

“I’m going to stay young and thank the fans who keep screaming and giving me the energy.”

Schumacher also qualified sixth and seemed headed for a second-round matchup with rival and points leader Larry Dixon, but No. 14 qualifier Morgan Lucas put that to rest with his upset of Dixon in the first round.

So Schumacher didn’t meet a higher qualified racer until the semis when he topped No. 2 qualifier Cory McClenathan, and then he secured his fourth win of 2010 and 65th of his career with a 3.982 at 306.53 in the final-round win over No. 4 qualifier Brandon Bernstein (4.054 at 272.56).

In Pro Stock, Mike Edwards captured his NHRA-best eighth win before hitting second gear as final-round opponent Rickie Jones red-lighted.

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