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John Force Racing gets double the wins in Phoenix
Force 410
Veteran driver John Force captured his 156th national event win as he took out Matt Hagan in the final of the Winternationals event on Saturday, April 6 in the Funny Car category. Photo By Jeff Burghardt

For the 39th time the NHRA Mission Foods drag racing series made its way to Phoenix, Arizona. The weekend consisted of the event itself plus the rain delayed final rounds from the Lucas Oil Winternationals from Pomona, California.

John Force Racing doubled up in Funny Car and won both the final round from Pomona and the event in Phoenix. John Force captured his 156th national event win as he took out Matt Hagan in the final of the Winternationals event on Saturday. On Sunday, Force’s teammate Austin Prock scored his first win in a Funny Car. Prock, who drove a John Force Racing Top Fuel dragster over the past few seasons, took over the driving duties for Robert Hight who stepped out of the seat for personal reasons. Prock qualified on the pole and took out another Funny Car rookie in Buddy Hull in round one. In round two Prock would march past the tire-smoking Daniel Wilkerson with a 4.053 et @ only 280 mph. In the semifinal round Prock just squeaked past the DHL Toyota of JR Todd as his 3.999 et @ 315 mph to Todd’s 4.01 @ 320 mph. In the final round he would take on the 15th qualified car of Alexis DeJoria. Prock made his best run of race day with a 3.952 @ 320 mph to DeJoria’s 4.049 @ 316 mph to capture the victory.

In Top Fuel, Justin Ashley came up just a little short of performing a double up himself. Ashley won the final round of the Pomona race on Saturday against eight-time series champion Tony Schumacher. Then on Sunday, he fell short to Shawn Langdon in the final round of the Phoenix event. Langdon is starting the season off strong as he won the season opener in Gainesville, Florida and now scored his second win of the season in Phoenix. Langdon qualified in the five spot and had a strange win in round one as Josh Hart, who got over anxious, left too early causing Langdon to react but giving both racers a red light but its first or worst. His second-round matchup would be three-time champion Antron Brown. Brown qualified fourth but lost traction and could only watch as Langdon streaked to a win, 3.823 et @ 322 mph. He would then take down four-time champion Steve Torrence on a hole shot. Langdon got off the starting line first with an .068 reaction time to Torrence’s .095. Torrence ran a 3.851 @ 324 mph but came up short to Langdon’s 3.87 @ 316 mph. Langdon saved the best for last, posting low et of race day with a 3.76 et @ 318 mph to keep Justin Ashley from doubling up.

In Pro Stock, sophomore driver Camrie Caruso suffered a broken leg during a high-speed accident during Saturday’s qualifying. Caruso made a 140 mph pass and as she attempted to slow the car down in the shutdown area, the car made a violent turn to the left going nearly head on into the wall. Then the car swung to the right and crossed over both lanes and smacked the opposing retaining wall. Despite the injury, she is in good spirits but likely will be sidelined for a minimum of six weeks.

Dallas Glenn, much like Justin Ashley in Top Fuel, came up one run short of doubling up. Glenn beat five-time champion Erica Enders in the final round of the Pomona race on Saturday.

Greg Anderson scored his 104th career victory on Sunday. Anderson qualified fourth and marched his way through the field taking out Eric Latino in the opening round, Troy Coughlin Jr in round two, Jeg Coughlin in the semifinal round to set him up with his teammate, Dallas Glenn, in the final. Anderson left the starting line first and never looked back, running a 6.582 et @ 208 mph to Glenn’s 6.618 @ 208 mph.

Next stop on the Mission Foods drag racing trail is Las Vegas for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, April 12 through 14.

Caruso 410
It was a tough weekend for Pro Stock driver Camrie Caruso, as she suffered a broken leg in a high-speed accident during Saturday’s qualifying run. Photo By Jeff Burghardt