Salinas Scores Second Win and Tasca III Topples John Force
Things have been looking up for John Force this season as the God Father of the NHRA Funny Car division is still looking for his 150th career win. The patriarch of John Force Racing, eliminated Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr. to reach his 252nd NHRA final round. Across the bracket, veteran Funny Car driver Bob Tasca III powered his Ford Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang to wins over James Campbell, points' leader Robert Hight, and double-defending event champion of the Thunder Valley Nationals Ron Capps.
It was the fifth career Wally and the first win in a hundred events for Tasca, who last stood on top of the podium in 2012. Tasca's 4.008-second ET at 316.23 mph to Force's 4.155 ET at 287.05 mph. The Top Ten points standing for Funny Car after the 11th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series following the 19th annual Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol are: 1) Robert Hight - 990; 2) John Force - 786; 3) Tommy Johnson Jr. - 783; 4) Ron Capps - 741; 5) Jack Beckman - 720; 6) J.R. Todd - 711; 7) Matt Hagan - 624; 8) Tim Wilkerson - 587; 9) Bob Tasca III - 574; 10) Shawn Langdon - 528.
After winning his first career Top Fuel Wally early this year at the Strip in Las Vegas, Mike Salinas snapped the five-race winning streak of points leader and defending Top Fuel world champion Steve Torrence with a final round pass of 3.836 seconds at 325.69 mph. Torrence had posted wins in 22 straight rounds before losing Salinas in Sunday's finals. Salinas picked up round wins against Scott Palmer, Antron Brown and Number One qualifier Doug Kalitta en route to his second career Wally. Torrence, who reached his 48th career final round, maintains a commanding lead in the points with Salinas moving into third overall.
The Mello Yello Drag Racing series stays on the East Coast next weekend at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, June 20-23 at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.