Force roars to Funny Car win at Gatornationals
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- John Force won his first NHRA Funny Car race of the season Sunday in the 48th Gatornationals, denying a first-time starter his first victory in the series.
Force broke out of a slump to win the record-extending 148th event of his career. He has now won at least one national race in 20 of his 21 seasons in Funny Car.
The victory was Force's eighth in this event and the 2,500th round win all time for John Force Racing.
Jonnie Lindberg was trying to become the first true rookie to win a nitro event since 1990. The Swede was a champion of the Alcohol Funny Car division, but the speed and competition have gone to a higher level this season.
Lindberg became the 140th driver to race against Force. Lindberg drives for former driver Jim Head, who last won a Funny Car race in 1985.
That Matt Hagan wasn't in the Funny Car final was noteworthy because he hadn't lost a round this season, rattling off 10 consecutive victories. After winning the events in Pomona, Calif., and Phoenix, Hagan lost to Lindberg in the semifinals.
Tony Schumacher won a Top Fuel race for the 83rd time in his career, beating Don Schumacher Racing teammate Antron Brown in the final. Schumacher posted his fifth Gatornationals victory.
Shane Gray won his first Pro Stock title in this event, joining his father as a Gainesville winner. Johnny Gray won the Funny Car title in 2013.
Shane won this one by holding off his off-track friend, Greg Anderson, in the final.
Eddie Krawiec won the battle of Harley Davidsons in the Pro Stock Motorcycle final, becoming the winningest rider in history at this track (five victories). Krawiec chased down Andrew Hines in the final 60 feet to win by four-thousands of a second. Krawiec now has 37 career events wins.