Courtney Force makes it two in a row
Brown, Connolly and Savoie also win at Gateway.
Courtney Force raced to her second consecutive Funny Car victory in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs Sunday at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals.
Force outran championship rival Matt Hagan in the final round to move within 30 points of the series leader, who also happens to be her father, 16-time world champ John Force.
She outran her father in the semifinals and then used a performance of 4.094 seconds at 313.44 mph in her Ford Mustang to hold off 2011 champ Hagan’s Dodge Charger, which trailed with a 4.121 at 309.77. It was her fourth victory of the season and seventh win of her career.
“We are working our way back up the ladder and winning this Countdown championship is our goal,” said Force, who became the first woman to win back-to-back races in Funny Car. “I just have to thank my team for giving me a really fast race car all weekend.”
Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Dave Connolly (Pro Stock) and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners at the third of six NHRA Countdown playoff races at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis.
Brown tops Langdon
In Top Fuel, Brown put his team back in the championship conversation by racing past defending world champ Shawn Langdon in the final round. Brown pulled away in his dragster with a 3.844 at 315.42, while Langdon’s dragster slowed near mid-track and finished in 4.035 at 279.38. It was the third straight win at this event for Brown, who moved to fourth in the standings, 80 points back of series leader Tony Schumacher, who lost in the first round.
Connolly took his second consecutive Pro Stock win by winning in a photo finish over series points leader Jason Line. Connolly’s Chevy Camaro clocked a 6.562 at 211.53 to edge Line’s Camaro at the finish line, which finished in 6.565 at 211.66.
Louisiana Alligator farmer Savoie earned his first career Pro Stock Motorcycle victory by outrunning series points leader Andrew Hines in the final round. Savoie rode his Suzuki to a winning performance of 6.871 at 196.53 while Hines’ Harley-Davidson trailed with a 6.881 at 193.57.
The NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship continues Oct. 2-5 with the NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa.
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