NHRA 4-Wide Nationals winners: Brittany Force, Wilkerson, Line and Hines

(Photo courtesy NHRA)
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Brittany Force won her second race in the last three NHRA national events, powering to an impressive win Sunday in the final round of the 4-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina.

Also capturing victories in their respective NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series classes were Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

In the only four-wide final in the sport, Force defeated two-time defending winner of the race, Antron Brown, as well as Doug Kalitta and Clay Millican to become the first female driver to win in the 4-Wide Nationals.

Force, who won for the first time in her Top Fuel career last month at Gainesville, Florida, ran 3.764 seconds at 319.98 mph, while Brown was runner-up (3.779 seconds at 316.75).

“It’s big enough that we won, but to do it at the Four-Wide where it wasn’t easy for me, it was a struggle,” said Force, daughter of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force and sister of Funny Car driver Courtney Force.

“I didn’t sleep last night,” Brittany Force added. “I had nightmares coming off [Saturday’s final qualifying round] and you know you have to clear your mind and come into it. So to be able to overcome that and have a decent light in the final round when we really needed it, it feels good.

“I am proud to be teamed up with [tuning consultant Alan Johnson and crew chief Brian Husen] and having a car that’s so consistent builds my confidence going into the season. The season is still getting started, but we are definitely off to a great start.”

With the win, Force remains atop the Top Fuel point standings, leading Brown by 63 points.

Wilkerson (3.967 seconds at 315.56 mph) earned his second Funny Car win of 2016 and 20th of his career, defeating Cruz Pedregon (3.995 at 313.37), as well as Ron Capps and Matt Hagan.

“We don’t come here to chase girls and drink beer, we are here to kick some butts and go home,” Wilkerson said. “Me and [assistant crew chief] Richard Hartman are of the same philosophy and that’s why we communicate so well with each other. He has been a great addition to our team and he did a great job up there [on the starting line] today.

“I got this off my bucket list. I’ve been in the finals at this one twice, so I am really happy to get it done. I am excited about it. The whole year has really been exciting, especially with the new TV package and the way everything has been going. My buddy Brittany has won twice, so that’s really cool, too. I was happy to see her win. The Four-Wide is really a neat deal, especially since I won.”

Wilkerson is now fourth in the standings, the best start to a season in his Funny Car career.

In Pro Stock, Line continues to have the fastest car, capturing his third win in the first five races of the season. Line (6.565 seconds at 211.33 mph) won Sunday’s final, with teammate Bo Butner (6.591 seconds, 210.77 mph) finishing runner-up. Drew Skillman and Chris McGaha were the other two contestants in the final round.

It was Line’s 40th career win and his first in the 4-Wide Nationals. He also opened a big lead in the Pro Stock point standings.

 

“We are taking a lot of pride in it,” Line said. “We had more engine changes than anybody else. It’s tough to win at home and I’ve never won the Four-Wide. I consider myself a middle of the road driver, so this race has always been tough for me. So to win this race is pretty gratifying.”

Lastly, in Pro Stock Motorcycle, Hines (6.844 seconds at 194.42 mph) defeated top qualifier and teammate Eddie Krawiec (6.849 at 194.44). Also in the final round were Chip Ellis and Matt Smith.

Hines has now won the 4-Wide Nationals three times and six times overall at zMAX Dragway.

“It’s great to come in here at the Four-Wide and get another win so we have our team going in the right direction,” Hines said. “I’m happy to get a win this early in the season. When you get that off your back you can sit back, relax and focus on racing the rest of the season.

“This race track just agrees with me, I feel very comfortable here. It is almost a calming effect it has on me with everything that is going on up there because it makes me focus that much more.”

With his 43rd career victory, Hines is now just one win from tying the late Dave Schultz on the all-time PSM win’s list.

“Thanks to Dave and all that he did for the sport, he was one of the pioneers of it all,” Hines said. “Thanks to him we have a great field right now and all of Pro Stock Motorcycle is very stout. We have bump spots that are setting records. It’s awesome to be involved in the class right now.”

The sixth race of the NHRA Yello Drag Racing Series race is the SpringNationals, April 29-May 1, at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston.

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FINAL FINISHING ORDER:

TOP FUEL: 1.  Brittany Force; 2.  Antron Brown; 3.  Doug Kalitta; 4.  Clay Millican; 5.  Richie Crampton; 6.  Steve Torrence; 7.  Tony Schumacher; 8.  J.R. Todd; 9.  Terry McMillen; 10.  Pat Dakin; 11.  Smax Smith; 12.  Shawn Langdon; 13.  Leah Pritchett; 14.  Chris Karamesines; 15.  Scott Palmer; 16.  Terry Haddock.

FUNNY CAR: 1.  Tim Wilkerson; 2.  Cruz Pedregon; 3.  Ron Capps; 4.  Matt Hagan; 5.  John Force; 6.  Courtney Force; 7.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 8.  Jeff Diehl; 9.  Del Worsham; 10.  Jack Beckman; 11.  Alexis DeJoria; 12.  Chad Head; 13.  John Hale; 14.  Bob Tasca III; 15.  Robert Hight; 16.  Daniel Wilkerson.

PRO STOCK: 1.  Jason Line; 2.  Bo Butner; 3.  Drew Skillman; 4.  Chris McGaha; 5.  Kenny Delco; 6.  Greg Anderson; 7.  Erica Enders; 8.  Deric Kramer; 9.  Shane Gray; 10.  Allen Johnson; 11.  Vincent Nobile; 12.  Alex Laughlin; 13.  John Gaydosh Jr; 14.  Shane Tucker; 15.  Jeg Coughlin; 16.  V. Gaines.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1.  Andrew Hines; 2.  Eddie Krawiec; 3.  Chip Ellis; 4.  Matt Smith; 5.  Angelle Sampey; 6.  Jerry Savoie; 7.  Hector Arana; 8.  Michael Ray; 9.  Scotty Pollacheck; 10.  Angelle Sampey; 11.  Brian Pretzel; 12.  Melissa Surber; 13.  LE Tonglet; 14.  Steve Johnson; 15.  Karen Stoffer; 16.  Jim Underdahl.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

SUNDAY’S FINAL RESULTS:

Top Fuel — Brittany Force, 3.764 seconds, 319.98 mph def. Antron Brown, 3.779 seconds, 316.75 mph and Doug Kalitta, 4.792 seconds, 161.34 mph and Clay Millican, 6.616 seconds, 90.24 mph;

Funny Car — Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.967, 315.56 def. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 3.995, 313.37 and Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.055, 315.42 and Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.069, 305.56;

Pro Stock — Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.565, 211.33 def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.591, 210.77 and Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.620, 209.43 and Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.646, 208.68;

Pro Stock Motorcycle — Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.844, 195.42 def. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.849, 194.44 and Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.884, 193.90 and Matt Smith, Victory, 12.878, 60.42;

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

FINAL ROUND-BY-ROUND RESULTS: 

TOP FUEL: ROUND ONE — Clay Millican, 3.756, 326.40 and Doug Kalitta, 3.755, 326.56 def. Smax Smith, 4.197, 276.07 and Scott Palmer, broke; Brittany Force, 3.734, 321.88 and Antron Brown, 3.776, 321.58 def. Pat Dakin, 3.825, 310.55 and Leah Pritchett, 3.853, 316.90; J.R. Todd, 3.736, 328.06 and Richie Crampton, 3.739, 322.50 def. Terry McMillen, 3.816, 316.52 and Chris Karamesines, 4.074, 297.02; Steve Torrence, 3.744, 326.71 and Tony Schumacher, 3.796, 310.91 def. Shawn Langdon, 5.062, 150.43 and Terry Haddock, broke;

SEMIFINALS — Kalitta, 3.777, 325.92 and Millican, 3.787, 322.04 def. Torrence, 6.964, 96.29 and Schumacher, 9.205, 76.48; Force, 3.747, 321.88 and Brown, 5.779, 210.67 def. Crampton, 6.301, 189.31 and Todd, 9.531, 81.70;

FINAL — Force, 3.764, 319.98 def. Brown, 3.779, 316.75, Kalitta, 4.792, 161.34 and Millican, 6.616, 90.24.

FUNNY CAR: ROUND ONE — Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.938, 320.13 and Ron Capps, Charger, 4.795, 202.70 def. Chad Head, Toyota Camry, 8.331, 85.68 and Daniel Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, broke; John Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.053, 316.23 and Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 5.495, 255.48 def. Jack Beckman, Charger, 5.639, 292.08 and Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 10.466, 79.19; Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.934, 322.34 and Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 5.359, 210.47 def. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 6.874, 127.86 and Robert Hight, Camaro, 10.742, 81.50; Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.979, 320.97 and Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.003, 309.91 def. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.981, 317.49 and John Hale, Charger, 4.031, 314.83;

SEMIFINALS — Hagan, 3.997, 317.64 and Capps, 4.045, 312.13 def. J. Force, 4.063, 315.05 and Johnson Jr., 8.148, 88.58; T. Wilkerson, 3.993, 319.82 and Pedregon, 4.367, 208.30 def. C. Force, 12.413, 64.50 and Diehl, broke

FINAL — T. Wilkerson, 3.967, 315.56 def. Pedregon, 3.995, 313.37, Capps, 4.055, 315.42 and Hagan, 4.069, 305.56.

PRO STOCK: ROUND ONE — Bo Butner, Chevy Camaro, 6.570, 211.33 and Deric Kramer, Dodge Dart, 6.653, 208.01 def. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.635, 210.01 and Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.873, 171.86; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.555, 211.86 and Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.609, 209.72 def. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.647, 210.05 and V. Gaines, Dart, 7.223, 205.44; Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.586, 210.57 and Erica Enders, Dart, 6.630, 209.98 def. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.666, 208.68 and John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.698, 205.88; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.562, 211.99 and Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.615, 209.36 def. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.642, 207.69 and Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.852, 199.40;

SEMIFINALS — McGaha, 6.734, 208.04 and Butner, 6.628, 210.47 def. Anderson, 7.536, 164.17 and Kramer, broke; Line, 6.568, 211.16 and Skillman, 6.617, 208.91 def. Delco, 6.663, 207.98 and Enders, 11.597, 77.55;

FINAL — Line, 6.565, 211.33 def. Butner, 6.591, 210.77, Skillman, 6.620, 209.43 and McGaha, 6.646, 208.68.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: ROUND ONE — Jerry Savoie, Suzuki TL1000, 6.855, 196.62 and Andrew Hines, Harley V-Rod, 6.817, 195.68 def. Brian Pretzel, Suzuki GSXR, 6.928, 194.58 and Jim Underdahl, GSXR, 6.967, 196.90; Hector Arana, Buell XB9R, 6.836, 196.56 and Angelle Sampey, Buell XB12R, 6.861, 193.96 def. Shawn Gann, XB9R, 6.906, 193.05 and Karen Stoffer, Suzuki TL1000R, 6.954, 194.63; Matt Smith, Victory Gunner, 6.844, 195.03 and Chip Ellis, XB9R, 6.816, 195.48 def. Scotty Pollacheck, XB12R, 6.898, 192.38 and Steve Johnson, TL1000, 6.929, 192.99; Eddie Krawiec, V-Rod, 6.825, 195.08 and Michael Ray, XB9R, 6.903, 194.77 def. Melissa Surber, 6.928, 192.06 and LE Tonglet, GSXR, 6.876, 194.07;

SEMIFINALS — Krawiec, 6.810, 197.16 and Hines, 6.846, 195.11 def. Savoie, 6.916, 192.88 and Ray, 6.921, 194.72; M. Smith, 6.850, 195.00 and Ellis, 7.134, 153.35 def. Sampey, 6.831, 196.27 and Arana, 6.857, 196.96;

FINAL — Hines, 6.844, 195.42 def. Krawiec, 6.849, 194.44, Ellis, 6.884, 193.90 and M. Smith, 12.878, 60.42.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

UPDATED POINT STANDINGS:

Top Fuel: 1.  Brittany Force, 428; 2.  Antron Brown, 365; 3.  Doug Kalitta, 344; 4.  Clay Millican, 318; 5.  Steve Torrence, 310; 6.  J.R. Todd, 289; 7.  (tie) Terry McMillen, 242; Tony Schumacher, 242; 9.  Richie Crampton, 240; 10.  Leah Pritchett, 220.

Funny Car: 1.  Robert Hight, 369; 2.  Ron Capps, 361; 3.  John Force, 352; 4.  Tim Wilkerson, 334; 5.  Courtney Force, 322; 6.  Del Worsham, 318; 7.  Jack Beckman, 307; 8.  Alexis DeJoria, 277; 9.  Chad Head, 270; 10.  Cruz Pedregon, 238.

Pro Stock: 1.  Jason Line, 583; 2.  Greg Anderson, 481; 3.  Bo Butner, 429; 4.  Drew Skillman, 343; 5.  Chris McGaha, 287; 6.  Allen Johnson, 244; 7.  (tie) Jeg Coughlin, 223; Erica Enders, 223; 9.  Vincent Nobile, 209; 10.  Alex Laughlin, 187.

Pro Stock Motorcycle: 1.  Eddie Krawiec, 232; 2.  Andrew Hines, 197; 3.  Hector Arana, 154; 4.  Chip Ellis, 135; 5.  Jerry Savoie, 108; 6.  LE Tonglet, 107; 7.  Michael Ray, 104; 8.  Matt Smith, 93; 9.  Angelle Sampey, 92; 10.  Jim Underdahl, 84.

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