Dixon, Force Win Winternationals
After failing to qualify for last year’s NHRA Winternationals, Larry Dixon stormed back this season to win the 50th annual Winternationals at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
The Toyota-sponsored Dixon had the fastest pass in each of the four elimination runs today, eventually edging out Doug Kalitta in the final for his fourth career Winternationals title.
Earlier in the event, Dixon eliminated Tony Schumacher in the most exciting run of the day in a virtual dead-heat in the semi-finals.
John Force broke the longest dry spell of his historic career opening the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing season with an emotional victory at the 50th annual Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals. Force was the model of consistency on race day defeating veteran Bob Bode, daughter Ashley Force Hood, Jack Beckman and Ron Capps with an average elapsed time of 4.123.
“I heard (Top Fuel winner Larry) Dixon say that he grew up in California and I’m from California too but I never grew up. I just love it and I have to tell you I can drink that Full Throttle. That stuff hops me up for a race like this. The 50th of this race at Auto Club Raceway is big and with Ford as official car of the NHRA, for all my sponsors Castrol, Ford, Auto Club, MacTools and BrandSource. This is twenty-five years with Castrol. It ain’t about a paycheck it is all about you (the fans). You are the blood that flows in my veins,” said Force from the winner’s circle stage.
“I know where (Ron) Capps comes from. I tried to hire him years ago before (Don) Prudhomme snatched him up. The kid is fighting for what he wants. That is that championship. He’s going to get that one of these days. A lot times it just takes a long time. He’ll get there because he has the talent. That is why I armed up for him. I gave him everything I had. I knew this guy will tree you. (Capps’ crew chief) Ed McCullough is going to throw a hardball. The weather is cooling down. We got the win.”
“I live this game. You race a kid like Capps and up against Schumacher Racing. They are tough. You have to just keep your focus. We have shuffled our team around. Austin Coil and Bernie Fedderly they have teamed up with Mike Neff. All them together with Jimmy Prock, John Medlen, Guido (Dean Antonelli) and Ron Douglas they were all in the think tank trying to figure me out. Just seeing the younger generation with the older generation it works. My change worked.”
FUNNY CAR – John Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang, 4.124, 298.61 mph, def. Ron Capps, Carlsbad, Calif., NAPA Dodge Charger, 4.123, 305.08 mph.
TOP FUEL – Larry Dixon, Brownsburg, Ind., Al_Anabi Racing, 3.808, 316.60 mph def. Doug Kalitta, Ypsilanti, Mich, Technicoat Dragster, 3.848, 310.05 mph
PRO STOCK – Mike Edwards, Coweta, Okla., Pontiac GXP, 6.577, 210.47 mph, def. Greg Anderson, Concord, N.C., Pontiac GXP, 6.618, 209.62 mph.
TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER – Chris Demke, Sunland, Calif., 5.332, 269.67 mph, def. Joey Severance, Spanaway, Wash., 5.916, 196.42 mph.
TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR – Sean O’Bannon, Ontario, Calif., 2007 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 5.541, 259.96 mph, def. Doug Gordon, Paso Robles, Calif., 2007 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 5.643, 259.16 mph.
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Series resumes next weekend in Phoenix, Ariz., for the 26th annual Arizona Nationals, Feb. 19-21.