Force dominates TascaParts.com NHRA New England Nationals presented by Bandero Premium Tequila
In a thrilling team-mating final, the legendary John Force defeated Robert Hight in Funny Car at New England Dragway, claiming his 153rd career victory on Sunday at the TascaParts.com NHRA New England National Championships presented by Bandero Premium Tequila.
Billy Torrence (Top Fuel) and Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock) also won in their respective categories the sixth race of the 2021 season of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series.
Force, the NHRA’s all-time winning leader, clocked 3.972 seconds at 327.51 mph in his 11,000 horsepower Chevrolet Camaro SS Platinum PEAK / BlueDEF to edge teammate Hight 3.993 at 323.35. This gives the John Force Racing team their third consecutive victory in 2021 and gives Force their second victory of the year. Force, who is now second in points, passed Cory Lee, JR Todd and Terry Haddock to reach the final round for the 259th time in his career. He never trailed off against Hight, winning for the second time at Epping and taking the win in Funny Car’s 900th career race.
“(The victory) represents a team effort. You have to look at those two cars and all the people who take care of me, that’s what it is about, ”said Force, who has won two of the last three races this year. “Robert is helping me so much trying to help me get back into the driver’s seat where I’m not that bad and right now I have a car and I won today and I have did my job. I want to thank everyone in Epping for coming back and I want to thank Daniel Hood for a great tune up, and (Tim) Fabrisi for fixing the cockpit in my car.
After a win at the most recent event, Hight qualified for his third final this year and 83rd of his career on Sunday, beating Alexis DeJoria, home favorite and points leader Bob Tasca III and Tim Wilkerson.
B. Torrence, who qualified No.1, ended his Top Fuel weekend in Epping with a win, beating Mike Salinas on a hole in his 11,000 horsepower Capco Contractors dragster. B. Torrence went from 3.827 to 324.44 to 3.816 from Salinas to 325.37, but the Texan was slightly faster at the start line to claim his first victory of 2021 and the seventh of his career. After the consecutive victories of his son, Steve, three-time reigning world champion and points leader, it was B. Torrence who impressed throughout the weekend at New England Dragway. He knocked down Joe Morrison and Antron Brown, then did his job on the starting line in the final round.
“I’m going to tell you, number one, I have to thank the good Lord for looking out for me and, number two, I have to thank those Capco boys, and the elation is that I won a trophy for my granddaughter.” Said B. Torrence, who claimed his first victory on the track. “Steve has won all the trophies for her and the old man is finally going to show up with one now. This place, I love it. The fans here are exceptional.
Salinas, who qualified second, reached their first final round this year and sixth of their career thanks to victories over Buddy Hull, Doug Kalitta and S. Torrence.
Facing a class legend in the final, Stanfield again put in a clutch performance, beating four-time world champion Greg Anderson with a run of 6.576 to 209.88 in his Janac Brothers Chevrolet Camaro. Stanfield’s first career victory came a year ago when he beat Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the final round, and his second came on Sunday against Anderson. He reached the championship round with wins over Alan Prusiensky, Richie Stevens and Mason McGaha before leading Anderson from start to finish in the final.
“It was a lot of hard work from all the guys on the team,” said Stanfield, who moved up to second in points. “They worked a lot on this hot rod and I tried to do my best to do my job behind the wheel. Everything froze today. Learning to ride someone you grew up watching doing well over the years, it’s cool to ride them and beat them, so we’re happy.
Anderson, the No.1 qualifier and class points leader, defeated John Gaydosh, Troy Coughlin Jr. and Matt Hartford to clinch his third place in the final round in 2021 and 161st of his career.
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to action June 24-27 with the 14th Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
(Courtesy NHRA Communications)