Force picks up his first No. 1 qualifier at Bandimere Speedway since 1996

By Anthony Caruso III
Posted: July 20th, 2014 at 12:00 am EST

Two weeks ago, John Force was able to get his first win at the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. This weekend, Force is looking to snap a nearly two decade drought at the Mopar NHRA Mile High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.

Force clinched his first No. 1 qualifier at this event since 1996 tonight. This was also his first No. 1 qualifier this season since Phoenix, the second race of the season.

John Force (Photo by the NHRA)

John Force (Photo by the NHRA)

Force ran a 4.049 seconds at 318.92 mph to pick up the top spot, and will face No. 16 qualifier Jeff Diehl, who went 5.279 seconds at 283.79 mph. Force is looking for his seventh win at Bandimere Speedway, and his six wins are the most by any active driver at the facility.

“I got a great race car, and I’ve got more energy and more fire,” Force said. “We came out and won the opening race after winning the championship and we thought it was going to be a cakewalk but then we got totally lost for a half of a year. Now working with Mike Neff, John Medlin, the whole brain trust, Jimmy (Prock) has found his way. He is back to where he was.”  

John Force Racing teammate Robert Hight qualified second with a 4.055 seconds at 313.15 mph run. Hight will face No. 15 qualifier Todd Simpson at 4.645 seconds at 197.25 mph.

Tim Wilkerson qualified third with a 4.071 seconds at 310.77 mph run. He’ll face No. 14 qualifier Tony Pedregon, who had a 4.537 seconds at 205.72 mph run.

Pedregon’s brother Cruz qualified fourth with a 4.078 seconds at 304.80 mph run. This Pedregon will face No. 13 qualifier Terry Haddock, who had a 4.465 seconds at 279.50 mph run.

Ron Capps, who hasn’t won since the NHRA New England Nationals a month ago, qualified fifth with a 4.087 seconds at 311.92 mph run. Capps will face No. 12 qualifier Bob Tasca III at 4.164 seconds at 304.39 mph.

Other Funny Car pairings:
No. 6 Tommy Johnson Jr. vs. No. 11 Jack Beckman
No. 7 Courtney Force vs. No. 10 Del Worsham
No. 8 Matt Hagan vs. No. 9 Alexis DeJoria

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