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Anderson, Franco, Johnson and Myers Win Titles

May 5, 1996

DINWIDDIE, Va. (AP) _ Shelly Anderson, John Force, Warren Johnson and John Myers won professional titles Sunday at the NHRA Pennzoil Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park.

Anderson won in Top Fuel, Force in Funny Car, Johnson in Pro Stock and Myers in Pro Stock Motorcycle at the sixth event in the 1996 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

Anderson, from Ontario, Calif., beat Scott Kalitta for her first victory since February 1994. She covered the quarter-mile in 4.779 seconds at 298.90 mph. She is one of only four women to win a professional category at an NHRA national event.

Kalitta, from Chelsea, Mich., lost traction 300 feet into the run and finished at 7.428, 101.82.

Force, from Yorba Linda, Calif., beat Cruz Pedregon for his fourth victory of the season. He finished at 5.071, 285.17 in a Pontiac Firebird. Force has appeared in all six final rounds this season.

Pedregon, from Camarillo, Calif., finished at 5.307, 218.12. The blower drive belt broke on his Firebird as he was leading about 1,000 feet into the run.

Johnson, from Duluth, Ga., earned his first victory of the season by beating Mike Edwards. Johnson overcame a slower reaction time to win at 7.018, 196.03 in a Firebird. Edwards, from Broken Arrow, Okla., finished at 7.048, 196.50 in an Oldsmobile Cutlass.

Pro Stock point leader Jim Yates lost to Troy Coughlin in the first round, his earliest exit of the season. Yates still leads second-place Edwards by 132 points.

Myers beat archrival Dave Schultz for his second victory of the season. Myers finished at 7.422, 175.98 on a Suzuki; Schultz finished at 7.449, 177.51 on a Suzuki. It was the quickest side-by-side Pro Stock Motorcycle race in NHRA history.

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