POMONA, Calif. (AP) — John Force had a Funny Car-record time of 3.966 seconds at 324.12 mph to top qualifying Friday in the season-opening NHRA Winternationals.
The 64-year-old Force, the defending Funny Car season champion, opened with a 3.983-second run in his first qualifying attempt, then powered to the record 3.966 in the evening session. If the time holds through the end of the weekend, Force will earn a 20-point bonus for setting the record.
“Jimmy Prock (crew chief) has his stuff together,” said Force, the 16-time season champion who hasn’t held the national record in more than a decade. “I never thought it would run 96. That impressed me. I told ’em, check the clocks. When we saw Robert (Hight, teammate) run that 99, Jimmy knew it was there.”
Antron Brown led the Top Fuel field, and Allen Johnson topped the Pro Stock racers.
Brown had a 3.731 at 326.00. Defending series champion Shawn Langdon was second at 3.746 at 328.70.
Johnson finished in 6.517 at 212.53.