The GOAT Wins NGK NTK NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
If anyone was doubting the comeback efforts of John Force Racing in 2021, Saturday’s qualifying round for the 11th annual NGK NTK NHRA Four-Wide Nationals put an end to any speculation of demise. For just the second time in NHRA history, a father and daughter duo will start a NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series national event as the Number One qualifier in Nitro Funny Car and Nitro Top Fuel. Two years ago, John Force (the Greatest of All Time) and his daughter, former NHRA Top Fuel champion Brittany Force, achieved the same qualifying magic at Houston for the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Spring Nationals. After two strong runs on Saturday, the 72-year old Force, who was the first Funny Car four-wide winner at Charlotte, posted a 3.902 ET at 330.55 mph in his PEAK/Blue DEF Platinum Chevrolet Camaro SS to claim his 161st top qualifier in NHRA Funny Car.
On Friday, Brittany Force, the only female to win a four-wide event, had set a new track-record with a pass in 3.662 seconds at 333.08 mph in her Flav-R-Pac Top Fuel dragster. In Pro Stock qualifying, Greg Anderson grabbed his fourth consecutive spot as the Number One qualifier in his newly sponsored Hendricks Cars Chevrolet Camaro for his 110th top qualifying position. Rick Hendrick, who is best known for being the owner of very successful NASCAR teams, stepped up to sponsor Anderson’s Pro Stock ride for 2021. Scotty Pollacheck, winner of the last NHRA race in Pro Stock Motorcycle at Atlanta Dragway, also stepped up on this record-setting day at Charlotte. Pollacheck claimed the Number One qualifying spot for the second race in a row going 6.736 at 201.16 on his Denso/Strutmaster/Matt Smith Racing EBR.
On Sunday, sixteen time NHRA Funny Car champion (and one time AHRA Funny Car champ) John Force topped the field at the four-wide event at zMAX Raceway with a .065 reaction time for a 3.916 ET at 328.78 mph to claim his 152nd Wally. After a two-year hiatus from the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, Cruz Pedregon carded a 3.934 ET at 326.87 mph on his final pass to finish second in the four-wide Funny Car field. After Brittany Force set the bar high with a Round One top speed of 333.49 mph, Capco Contractor’s Steve Torrence claimed his second overall victory of the 2021 season to increase his points lead over Antron Brown and Force. Rookie Dallas Glenn claimed his first ever Wally in Pro Stock with a photo finish (.01 seconds) over Mason McGaha and Troy Coughlin Jr. Suzuki-pilot Steve Johnson broke a seven-year drought with a win in Pro Stock Motorcycle becoming the fourth Pro Stock Motorcycle winner in four races.
Photo of John Force courtesy of Photos by Keith
Mopar Express Lane Spring Nationals
The NHRA’s 70th Anniversary season continues next weekend with events scheduled May 21-23, near Houston, TX. This is the first of five national events in 2021 for which Mopar and Dodge//SRT will share title sponsorship.