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NHRA Wrap-Up: Jason Line and Courtney Force Make History

Image courtesy of NHRA

Image courtesy of NHRA

Jason Line scored Chevrolet’s 200th NHRA Pro Stock win at Sonoma Raceway Sunday, winning his 33rd career race, and earning his second Wally in 2014.

Line defeated V. Gaines in the finals with a 6.548-second, 211.73-mile-per-hour pass in his Summit Racing Chevy Camaro.

In Funny Car, Courtney Force beat father John Force to become the winningest female in NHRA Funny Car history.

Khalid alBalooshi in Top Fuel and Eddie Krawiec in Pro Stock Motorcycle were also winners Sunday.

“I have a really good race car right now,” Line said. “To be honest, I struggled driving this weekend and did things I’ve never done in my life. Without question, this is the luckiest I’ve ever been—but I’ll take it. There have been a lot of times where I’ve done a good job driving and haven’t been able to win. Sometimes the luck falls your way, and today it did because I had a great hot rod.”

Earning the 200th NHRA Pro Stock win for Chevrolet was an accolade that Line and the KB Racing team had long had their eye on.

“Winning the 200th was something that is really cool, and I’m proud to represent Chevrolet and be able to have my name on this record,” Line said. “It’s great to give a little something back after all that they’ve done for us and for this class. It’s just a neat, neat deal. It was a great weekend.”

Force, who won the 100th race by a female driver in the NHRA professional classes at Topeka, outran her father with a 4.253-second pass at 296.24 miles per hour in her Ford Mustang to claim her fifth career victory. With the win, Force broke a tie with sister Ashley Force Hood for the most all-time wins by a female in Funny Car.

“It’s cool to reach number five,” said Force, who now has two wins on the season. “I’m very proud of my team. Obviously I wouldn’t be here without them and the hard work that they put in. I’m only as good as my team.”

John Force, who started his record 650th national event this weekend, was seeking his 141st career win in his Ford Mustang. Force, the 16-time Funny Car world champ, defeated Paul Lee, Bristol winner Tommy Johnson Jr. and two-time winner this season Alexis DeJoria on his way to the final which clinched him a spot in the Countdown to the Championship. With the final round loss, Force fell to 5-6 against Courtney.

In Top Fuel, alBalooshi piloted his dragster to a 3.912 at 309.42, defeating teammate Shawn Langdon. It was the second win of the season for alBalooshi, who celebrated his 35th birthday during race day, and fourth of his career.

“The trophy is exactly what I wanted,” said alBalooshi, who beat Billy Torrence, Clay Millican and Englishtown winner Richie Crampton to reach the final. “This is a very special birthday for me. This trophy is the best gift of my life, and [crew chief] Jason McCulloch gave it to me with all my crew guys.”

Langdon, driver of the Al-Anabi Racing dragster, was appearing in his fifth final of the season with his lone win coming at Bristol. Langdon, the reigning Top Fuel world champ, had a solid race day, eliminating Denver winner J.R. Todd, points leader Doug Kalitta and seven-time world champ Tony Schumacher before falling to alBalooshi. With the result, Langdon became the third Top Fuel driver to clinch a spot in the Countdown to the Championship playoff.

Krawiec grabbed his second Pro Stock Motorcycle victory of 2014 with a 6.854 at 193.99 on his Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson, beating  #1 qualifier Jerry Savoie in the final. The win was the 24th career victory for Krawiec, a three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champ.

“I almost forgot how to get back here [to the winner’s circle],” said Krawiec, who got past Freddie Camarena, Epping winner Angie Smith and teammate Andrew Hines before taking out Savoie. “Going into the final I was 100-percent concerned about Jerry. We build his horsepower and he’s doing an awesome job but that’s why we drag race.”

Savoie was appearing in his first final of the season and third of his career. His Suzuki was fast all weekend beating Chaz Kennedy, Hector Arana and John Hall before red lighting against Krawiec. Savoie was seeking his first career win.

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series concludes its Western Swing with the  NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways., Aug. 1-3.

Sunday’s race was the 15th of 24 slated for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

Pro Stock Championship Point Standings

1. Erica Enders-Stevens 1,229
2. Allen Johnson        1,107
3. Jason Line           1,074
4. Jeg Coughlin         1,073
5. Dave Connolly        1,023

Funny Car Championship Point Standings

1. Robert Hight         1,216
2. John Force           1,097
3. Ron Capps              957
4. Courney Force          941
5. Tommy Johnson Jr.      938

Top Fuel Championship Point Standings

1. Doug Kalitta         1,223
2. Antron Brown         1,117
3. Shawn Langdon        1,065
4. Tony Schumacher        911
5. Steve Torrence         867

 

The NHRA and Drag Race Central contributed to this report.

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