Record-setting 10-time NHRA Winston Funny Car points champion John Force could add another 10 to his resume at the Colonel's Brainerd International Raceway Thursday through Aug. 19 during the Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals.
If Force wins the final, his sixth this season, it will be his 10th career win at one of the NHRA's premier tracks. He is the current points leader by 346 points. He has won at CBIR six of the last seven years.
Del Worsham, who has won three times this season, trails Force. He is followed by Whit Bazemore, who has collected one win this season by only three points.
Bazemore, in a NHRA teleconference call, said he loves to race Force because he considers him the "best drag racer of all time."
Bazemore added that the reason Force has such a dominant points lead is that other racers have "beaten themselves."
"We take each other out all the time and we haven't been successful in taking (Force) out," Bazemore said.
Other defending champions in the $1.9 million race, the 17th of 24 events in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series, are Tony Schumacher in Top Fuel, Kurt Johnson in Pro Stock and Antron Brown in Pro Stock Bike.
Current points leaders are Kenny Bernstein in Top Fuel; Kurt's father, Warren Johnson in his Pontiac Grand Am in Pro Stock; and last year's defending points champion, Angelle Savoie on her Suzuki in Pro Stock Bike.
The Top Fuel points chase has been a race between five-time winner Bernstein and three-time winner Larry Dixon all season. Bernstein leads Dixon by only 76 points, 1,370 to 1,294. Defending three-time points champion Gary Scelzi is third with 1,096 points.
In Pro Stock, Warren Johnson leads two-time Winston points champion Jim Yates by 73, 1,104 to 1,031. Warren also is Pro Stock's all-time winner with 86 career wins. He has collected five wins this season. Yates, also in a Pontiac Grand Am, has collected one win this season.
Savoie, the winningest female racer, Brown and three-time series points champion Matt Hines are engaged in a season-long battle in Pro Stock Bike. Savoie has 849 points, Brown 777 and Hines 705.
Savoie has four wins and Hines and Brown each have two this season. This class also is coming off a long break in action. The last national event among the 14 the racers competed was July 22 in Denver, where Savoie won.
-- Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Bike qualifying is set to begin at 2:45 and 5:45 p.m. Aug. 17 and will continue at 12:45 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. Aug. 18. The final round of eliminations for these classes begins 11 a.m. Aug. 19.
-- Tickets are available by calling (810) 249-5530. Tickets are also available at nhra.com and brainerdrace.com
-- ESPN2 will televise two hours of eliminations coverage 4 p.m. Aug. 19. ESPN2 also will televise two hours of qualifying highlights 7 p.m. Aug. 18.
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