-July 24, 2011-Denver, Colorado
John Force won his first race of the season in his Weld Racing wheel equipped AA/FC racer and the 133rd of his career when he took an automatic win light after final-round opponent Matt Hagan fouled at the start in his Mopar/DieHard Dodge Charger. Force finished in 4.361 at 285.23 in his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang to claim his sixth win in nine finals at the scenic mile-high drag strip.
In the first three rounds, Force raced past Tony Pedregon, series leader and teammate Mike Neff, and Jeff Arend to advance to his record 214th final round.
“It’s all about teamwork, and we have great guys,” Force said. “[Crew chiefs] Dean Antonelli and Ron Douglas have been struggling, and Mike Neff and Jimmy Prock stepped in to help them. Robert Hight, the president of the company, even spoke up and told me, ‘It’s you. You have to get back in the game. Your head is hop scotching to the air show and the Indy 500 and every place you’re going. You taught me that you need to live it.’ He was right. I’m back in the game today.”
Neff, who became the first Funny Car driver to secure a Countdown playoff berth during the weekend, maintained his series lead, 192 points ahead of teammate Hight. Force climbed from eighth to seventh in the standings with his victory.