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Still a Force to be reckoned with | Northwest Nationals

Top Alcohol Funny Car driver Clint Thompson smokes the tires of his Monte Carlo as he prepares to take on Shane Westerfield in the quarterfinals at the 27th NHRA O’Reilly Auto Parts Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways.  - Shawn Skager, Auburn Reporter
Top Alcohol Funny Car driver Clint Thompson smokes the tires of his Monte Carlo as he prepares to take on Shane Westerfield in the quarterfinals at the 27th NHRA O’Reilly Auto Parts Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways.
— image credit: Shawn Skager, Auburn Reporter

Funny Car pilot John Force roared to his third victory of the season with a win Sunday in the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Kent.

It was the 141st career win for the 65-year-old Force, coming against former teammate Gary Densham, 67.

Force wrapped up the finals with a 4.173-second elapsed time (ET) run in his Ford Mustang, topping out at 302.48 mph. Densham's Chevrolet Impala lost traction at the start and finished with a 5.808 ET at 120.44 mph.

"I want to win, that's what it is all about," said Force, a 16-time Funny Car series champion. "But we were having so much down there in the staging line. I know I'm supposed to be serious, but when you're racing a friend, it's hard. I always say if I lose to my teammates, I didn't lose. If I would have lost to Gary Densham, then I would not have lost."

In Top Fuel, Doug Kalitta beat Antron Brown with a 3.844-second pass at 318.84. The win, Kalitta's second of the season, places him fifth on the Top Fuel all-time victory list, tied with "Big Daddy" Don Garlits at 35.

Jason Line was first in the Pro Stock division, pushing his Chevrolet Camaro to a 6.611-second final at 210.67, beating teammate Greg Anderson.

Also

In the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Joey Severence took home a big win, topping Chris Demke in the Top Alcohol Dragster final with an event-low elapsed time of 5.238 at 273.11.

Jeff Gordon earned his fifth NHRA national event win over Sean Bellemeur in the Top Alcohol Funny Car final. Gordon, the No. 1 qualifier, ran down Bellemeur in the finals, posting a 5.609 finish at 256.55 mph.

In Comp Eliminator, Brandon Huhtala of Puyallup, picked up his first win over Ryan Warter with a 7.600-second finals time at 146.89.

Tim Fletcher notched his first win in Stock, with a finals victory against Mike Alley. Fletcher's run went 11.148 seconds at 110.09 mph.

Spanaway's Mark Heritage and Snohomish's Kyle Colletti also scored their first NHRA national event wins. Heritage beat Rodger Comstock in a double breakout in Super Comp and Colletti topped Renton's John Ermish in Super Street.

Heritage was out first then broke out by just .001 seconds with Comstock running 8.884, breaking out by .016. Colletti went 10.899 at 147.52 mph after Ermish fouled at the start.

Mike Shannon rounded out the list of winners as he bagged his second win in his third final at the Seattle event. Shannon drove his Chevy Corvette to a 9.920 ET at 145.66 to end Tanner Hiatt's day. Hiatt ran 9.914 at 159.51.

NHRA Northwest Division racers return to Pacific Raceways for the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series West Region event Aug. 15-17.

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