Friday, February 23, 2018
Sports

Force earns 136th NHRA Funny Car victory

MADISON, Ill. — John Force earned his record 136th career victory and moved into position for a 16th Funny Car title Sunday in the NHRA Midwest Nationals.

Force, 64, beat defending series champion Jack Beckman with a 4.097-second run at 310.13 mph in a Ford Mustang. Beckman ran in 4.127 at 309.84 in a Dodge Charger.

Force is six points behind leader Matt Hagan with three events left.

Hagan, the top qualifier, lost in the second round.

"We've got a race now, and I'm excited," Force said. "To win a championship you've got to live it every day, and I'm not chasing a championship. I've been busy chasing corporate America and taking care of our sponsors.

"My wife (Laurie) set me straight this morning, she said, 'What you need to do is win. We need John Force to get back to winning races.' Hey, I can do that. I ain't going to say I will win another race or a championship, but I'll be in the fight with these kids."

Antron Brown won in Top Fuel, Erica Enders-Stevens topped Pro Stock, and Matt Smith won in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Enders-Stevens beat Mike Edwards in the final, but Edwards regained the points lead with three races left.

Reid out: ESPN said Marty Reid, the only TV play-by-play announcer to cover five North American series, is no longer with the network. Reid, who had been with ESPN since 1982, erred in last week's Nationwide race, calling Ryan Blaney the winner a lap early. He didn't call Saturday's race.

Trucks: Timothy Peters pulled away after a late restart to win the Smith's 350 late Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

East Bay Raceway: Thomas Pratt won the Open Wheel Modified main event late Saturday in Gibsonton.

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