Force Takes a Wild Ride at Wild Horse NHRA Nationals
So far this season, it has been an up and down ride for the "King of Funny Car." Sixteen-time NHRA Champion has taken two trips to the hospital in as many events. On Saturday's second round of elimination for the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, John Force eliminated Jonnie Lindberg but suffered an engine explosion at the finish line that blew the body off his Peak Chevrolet. Force bounced off the outside wall and veered across Lindberg's lane. The parachutes on both cars tangled sending them spinning together to a stop. Lindberg walked away from the incident and Force spent the night in the hospital but returned trackside Sunday afternoon.
With Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Brittany Force (Top Fuel) eliminated in Round One, the weekend for John Force Racing fell on the shoulders of Courtney Force in her Advanced Auto Parts Camaro. Courtney would line up in the finals against Tommy Johnson Jr., who had posted wins over Hight, Richard Townsend and Shawn Langdon, enroute to the final round. Force posted a run 3.834 seconds at 337.16 mph to pick up her first Wally since Houston 2016. On Saturday, Force broke both ends of the Funny Car track record at Wild Horse Pass with a qualifying run of 3.826 ET at 335.98 mph.
In Top Fuel, Tony Schumacher was the top qualifier with a 3.649 at 334.65 and set a new Top Fuel national speed record in second qualifying session at 336.57 mph. Schumacher was eliminated by Greg Carrillo in Round One. Scott Palmer eliminated Carillo in the Semifinals and Steve Torrence eliminated Billy Torrence to earn his spot in the Final. After winning eight times in 2017, Torrence powered his Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster to his first ever victory at the Wild Horse Motorsports facility. Drivers and teams now head to the east coast for the March 15-18 Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville, FL.
Photo courtesy of dreamstime.com.