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NHRA Point Standings
Through Charlotte

Pos. Driver Points

1 Tony Schumacher 2170
2 Spencer Massey 2160
3 Shawn Langdon 2151
4 Antron Brown 2142
5 Doug Kalitta 2105
6 Morgan Lucas 2099
7 Brandon Bernstein 2095
8 Steve Torrence 2093
9 Bob Vandergriff Jr. 2053
10 Dave Grubnic 2043
11 Clay Millican 718
12 Khalid Albalooshi 698
13 Terry McMillen 587
14 Hillary Will 316
15 Cory McClenathan 279
Funny Car
Pos. Driver Points

1 Ron Capps 2230
2 Mike Neff 2157
3 Jack Beckman 2152
4 Robert Hight 2113
5 Cruz Pedregon 2087
6 Johnny Gray 2081
7 Courtney Force 2074
8 John Force 2072
9 Jeff Arend 2064
9 Tim Wilkerson 2064
11 Matt Hagan 885
12 Bob Tasca III 833
13 Alexis De Joria 687
14 Tony Pedregon 524
15 Bob Bode 388
Pro Stock
Pos. Driver Points

1 Allen Johnson 2209
2 Jason Line 2206
3 Vincent Nobile 2138
4 Greg Anderson 2107
5 Mike Edwards 2094
5 Erica Enders 2094
7 Ron Krisher 2063
8 Larry Morgan 2062
9 V. Gaines 2052
10 Jeg Coughlin 2031
11 Shane Gray 684
12 Ronnie Humphrey 625
13 Rodger Brogdon 575
14 Kurt Johnson 544
15 Warren Johnson 491
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Pos. Driver Points

1 Ed Krawiec 2215
2 Andrew Hines 2205
3 Hector Arana Jr 2151
4 Hector Arana 2139
5 Scott Pollacheck 2092
6 Karen Stoffer 2083
7 Paul Ray Jr 2074
8 Shawn Gann 2062
9 Louis Tonglet 2061
10 Matt Smith 2054
Force, Massey, Anderson Top NHRA Winternationals

by Pete McCole
Monday, February 13, 2012


John Force
15-time NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series champion John Force proved that he still knows how to wheel a Funny Car to victory lane, racking up his 134th career victory on Sunday in the season-opening 52nd annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

Showing his hasn’t missed beat since undergoing knee surgery in the off-season, Force opened up his 34th year of competition by watching his daughter Courtney score her first round win and then took down his own driver in the final round, defeating Mike Neff on a holeshot for the his sixth Winternationals victory.

Spencer Massey scored the victory in the Top Fuel division, while Greg Anderson topped the Pro Stock field.

Sunday’s victory was a bit of redemption for the 62-year-old Force, ending a streak of nine races since Force had even made it out of the first round.

“It’s a great start,” Force said. “You really want to perform. I know all those other kids on our teams and others, like Cruz Pedregon, the Schumacher teams, (Tim) Wilkerson, and (Bob) Tasca, those guys are going to win races, and it was just nice to get a win under my belt. Those boys are bad out there. To make that top 10 is going to be tough. Somebody’s going to be left out, so I’m just going to keep fighting and keep my nose clean.”

John Force gets the hole shot on Neff
Force started the day beating out rookie Alexis DeJoria, Tim Wilkerson and Gary Densham to reach the finals for the 215th time in his career and his first final round meeting against Neff.

Neff, who served as Force’s crew chief during his championship-winning run 2010, bested Tony Pedregon and then teammate Courtney Force and Ron Capps to face Force, getting lane choice in the final round.

In the final, Force showed exactly the kind of skill that made him a 15-time champion, hitting a .067 light over Neff’s .175 to win on a holeshot with a 4.080 at 315.04 against Neff’s 4.036, 316.82.

“Before the final, I said, ‘What are we going to do ‘Guido?’ (crew chief Dean Antonelli),” Force said. “He said, ‘We can’t race him the way we are, running .12 or .14. We’re going to have to go after it, and if it smokes the tires, we’ll go home.’ They were all over there, looking at the numbers, and it just went. It wasn’t quick enough to beat him. He was late, so I got the win. He told me something distracted him.

“It is amazing how we all pulled together before the final. All my brain trust was working on my Mustang and helping Neff. I knew Neff was going to spank me. His Castrol hot rod has been fast all day. We have teamwork and that is what will win us championships. I have done it before and maybe we’ll do it again.”

Spencer Massey beat Antron Brown
Massey defeated his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Antron Brown to score his seventh career Top Fuel victory

Coming into Sunday’s eliminations as the second seed, Massey bested Steve Faria, Clay Millican and teammate Tony Schumacher to reach his 14th-career final round against the fourth-seeded Brown, who won out over Cory McClenathan, Brandon Bernstein and no. 1 qualifier Morgan Lucas to make it to the final round.

Facing each other for the fourth time in their careers in the final round, Brown jumped out to an early lead with a .036 light over Massey, who quickly closed the gap by the 100-foot mark and pulled ahead to reach the line by 15 feet, posting a 3.750 at 325.77 mph over Brown’s 3.794, 320.43.

“It shows that they know what it takes to get the car down the racetrack,” Massey continued. “After the second round, we didn’t have any computer data, and (crew chiefs) Phil (Shuler) and Todd (Okuhara) tuned that thing like it was a Top Fuel car from 1968. They looked at the plugs, looked at the bearings, and it went 3.74 at 328 mph. It’s awesome to start like this and have the No. 1 spot going into Phoenix. This is my life dream, and we’re living it.”

Greg Anderson topped Jeg Coughlin to pick up his 71st Pro Stock victory and his fifth in the Winternationals, posting a 6.549 at 210.87 mph over Coughlin’s 6.586, 209.62.

The fifth-seeded Anderson knocked out Larry Morgan, Allen Johnson and defending race winner and reigning Pro Stock champion Jason Line to reach his 104th final round- his 15th against Coughlin - and first final round appearance since winning at the US Nationals in Indianapolis last September.

“I wasn’t the quickest driver out here today, but I was very consistent,” Anderson said. “We managed to stop the big yellow Mopar (Coughlin). He sure came out swinging. You’re always aware of how good Jeg is driving. I’ve never been very good at tuning that kind of stuff out, but it worked today. The crew made great decisions, and here we are back in the winner’s circle again.”

FUNNY CAR – John Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Castrol GTX HIGH MILEAGE Ford Mustang, 4.080, 315.64 mph def. Mike Neff, Fishers, Ind., Castrol GTX Ford Mustang, 4.036, 316.82 mph.

TOP FUEL – Spencer Massey, Ft. Worth, Tex., Fram dragster, 3.750, 325.77 mph def. Antron Brown, Brownsburg, Ind., Matco Tools dragster, 3.794, 320.43 mph.

PRO STOCK – Greg Anderson, Mooresville, NC, Summit Pontiac GXP, 6.549, 210.87 mph def. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Delaware, Ohio, JEGS Dodge Avenger, 6.586, 209.62 mph

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