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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
Brown, Force, Enders-Stevens, Smith Win

at St.Louis
Sunday, September 29, 2013

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John Force, win No. 136
John Force raced to his 136th career victory and moved into position to earn a 16th Funny Car world championship title Sunday at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis.

Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners at the 21st race of the season and third of six playoff events in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.

Force powered to his second win of the season with a final round performance of 4.097 seconds at 310.13 mph, while defending world champ Jack Beckman trailed with a 4.127 at 309.84.

With the victory, Force, 64, now trails series leader Matt Hagan by six points.

Force defeated rookie Chad Head, longtime rival Ron Capps and teammate Robert Hight along the way to his third win at Gateway. Hagan, the event’s top qualifier who entered the day with a 63-point lead over second place Cruz Pedregon, lost to Beckman in the second round. Pedregon also went out early with a first round exit, which opened the door for Force to move to the top of the points order.

“We’ve got a [points] race now, and I’m excited,” Force said. “I had a good day. The most important thing for me was to see the crowd. They filled the bleachers. To win a championship you’ve gotta live it every day, and I’m not chasing a championship. I’ve been chasing Corporate America and taking care of our sponsors. My wife [Laurie] set me straight this morning, ‘she said, what you need to do is win. We need John Force to get back to winning races.’ Hey, I can do that. I ain’t going to say I will win another race or a championship, but I’ll be in the fight with these kids.”

The runner-up finish put the still-winless Beckman in third place in the standings, 44 back of Hagan. Robert Hight is fourth overall, 48 points back in his Auto Club Mustang. Two-time champ Pedregon dropped to fifth, 83 behind Hagan.

Antron Brown
In Top Fuel, Brown claimed his third victory of the season and 40th of his career by defeating Khalid alBalooshi in the final round. Brown covered the distance in 3.788 at 323.97 to take his second consecutive win at this track, and third overall. Runner-up alBalooshi finished in 3.833 at 319.98 mph.

“It’s no secret we’ve been struggling a lot more than what we had hoped to, and we had hoped we could have had a turnaround a little sooner, but we’re not going to go out without a fight,” Brown said. “The class is at an all-time high where everybody is running strong, but we just want to get back in the groove because it’s not going to be over until it’s over.”

Brown moved to sixth in the standings with the victory and now trails series leader Shawn Langdon by 102 points. Doug Kalitta and Spencer Massey, who both lost in the first round, are second and third, 33 and 35 points back respectively. Morgan Lucas is fourth overall, 45 points back and Schumacher is fifth.
 
Erica Enders-Stevens
In Pro Stock, Enders-Stevens raced to her second consecutive victory at this event and scored the sixth win of her career by holding off Mike Edwards in the final round. Enders-Stevens used a reaction time advantage to claim her second win of the season, powering to a run of 6.540 at 211.23 to finish in front of the quicker, but losing Edwards, who posted a 6.532 at 212.36.

“This was a great day,” said Enders-Stevens, who beat Deric Kramer, Shane Gray and Rickie Jones to advance to the final round. “We had a consistent car in qualifying and a consistent car today. My guys showed their stuff, and we were able to get down the track when some other guys didn’t. I love St. Louis.”

Enders-Stevens, who missed six of the last eight races in the regular season due to lack of sponsorship, moves into fourth place in the points order with the victory, 60 back of Edwards, who regained the series lead. Jeg Coughlin is second overall, and Jason Line is third.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Smith rode to his second victory of the season and moved into the series lead by outrunning LE Tonglet in the final round. Smith scored his 15th win of his career and second at this track with a performance of 6.887 at 194.52 on his Viper Motorcycle Company Buell, while Tonglet trailed with a 6.950 at 192.14 on his Nitro Fish Suzuki.

Smith, who finally grabbed another Wally after posting three consecutive runner-up finishes in his last three final round appearances, defeated 71-year-old Joe DeSantis, defending world champ Eddie Krawiec and Countdown rival Michael Ray on his way to the final.

“This was important because I’ve messed up so much here lately in final rounds,” Smith said.  “I’ve had the best bike and gave it up. It has been one thing after another. I could have won five or six races this year. This time, I tried not to mess up. When we got to the final, I knew we had a better bike, and I took the win and the points lead. Now we just need to see what happens the rest of the year.”

Smith now holds a 75-point lead over both Lucas Oil Buell riders Hector Arana Sr. and Hector Arana Jr., who are tied for second place.

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