PEAK driver John Force to contend for second consecutive Las Vegas victory from No. 7 qualifying position
LAS VEGAS (April 1) – John Force, the most recent NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car winner at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, seeks his second consecutive victory at the track from the No. 7 qualifying position.
Force – coming off the Gatornationals victory in March at Gainesville Raceway from the No. 1 spot – saved his best for the third run, a 3.924-second pass at 329.34 mph on Saturday. Force nearly topped that run on his final pass Saturday but drifted out of the groove and nearly hit the wall, falling just three-thousandths of a second short of his top run.
That matches Force – driving the PEAK Motor Oil and Coolant Chevrolet Camaro SS – up against former teammate and No. 10 qualifier Phil Burkart, who turned in a time of 4.133 at 297.16. Force won their last meeting in the season-opening Circle K Winternationals in February at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., improving his all-time mark against Burkart to 11-9.
“Not where we want to end up for where we were at Gainesville,” said Force, who has won at The Strip on six occasions. “But I’m glad to be in the show, and all of my teammates as well. We’ll see where it goes tomorrow.”
Force won at The Strip last October, besting daughter Courtney Force in the finals. As always, he’s confident in winning, regardless of qualifying position.
“Yeah, I feel good,” Force said. “I always feel good; that’s just my attitude, even when things are down. We only got a few runs down the race track. It was going to run 3.88, 3.89 that last run, but I let it out of the groove, got me over near the wall, so I shut it off early, and only ran 290 mph. So I’m running with them.”
The fourth round of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series begins with opening-round matchups at 3 p.m. Eastern on Sunday.