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Oct 28, 2013 - 04:22 PM
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2013 NHRA: Goodyear, NHRA at Las Vegas
Posted by: newsla on Oct 28, 2013 - 04:19 PM
2013 NHRA: Goodyear, NHRA at Las Vegas

It is reasonable to expect summer to come to this desert city. Canadian citizens can depend upon winter arriving, sooner or later.
And drag racing fans can expect John Force to win NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships.


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For the 16th time since 1990, the drag racing icon locked away an NHRA Funny Car championship when he won here at the NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Goodyear-equipped cars won in five categories here, the best total in the tire industry. In the professional categories, Antron Brown won in Top Fuel and Shane Gray won Pro Stock. Jim Whiteley won in Top Alcohol Dragster and Pete Biondo took the Stock Eliminator victory in the NHRA’s Lucas Oil category.

“Our Goodyear Eagles performed very well this weekend,” said Goodyear’s Bryce Jones. “We had warm ambient temperatures all weekend and the track temperatures ranged from about 100 degrees to 114. We were especially pleased to see Jim Whiteley clinch another Top Alcohol Dragster championship with his win.”

All of Force’s championships have come on Goodyear tires. To win the race at Las Vegas, Force had to beat his daughter, Courtney, in the final round. It was the fourth time the elder Force has raced a daughter in a final round and the first time he has won.

“I felt 16 after I won,” John Force said. “But I don’t want to end my career at sweet 16 (championships). I want to end at 17, at least.”

The race win at Las Vegas was John Force’s fourth of the season and the 138th of his career. Force’s latest championship made him the oldest champ in drag racing history (he is 64) and was popular with the large crowd in attendance.

Brown beat Clay Millican in the Top Fuel final. It marked the third straight race where Brown reached the final round and the win left him with a chance to defend his 2013 world title. Brown trails standings leader Shawn Langdon 2,530 to 2,428 with only November’s race at Pomona remaining on the schedule.

“We’ve tested so much, we were the winners in the Monday Nationals a lot of times this year,” Brown joked. But he added, “The car has been running hard from St. Louis on.”

Gray’s victory was his first of the season and the third of his career.

“The team needed (the win) real bad and so did I,” Gray said.

Jeg Coughlin leads the Pro Stock standings with 2,512 points heading toward Pomona. Jason Line, who lost to Gray in the second round at Las Vegas, is next with 2,441. Mike Edwards, Shane Gray, Allen Johnson and Erica Enders-Steven all have mathematical chances to win the Pro Stock title.

Goodyear employs about 69,000 people at manufacturing plants and facilities in 22 nations. Based in Akron, Ohio, Goodyear is among the largest tiremakers in the world and is the worldwide leader in race tire innovation.

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