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Force wins again, pads Funny Car lead

MOHNTON, Pa. (AP) - John Force raced to his second straight Funny Car victory Sunday to open a 65-point lead with two events left in the NHRA's Countdown to the Championship.

The 64-year-old Force, a record 15-time season champion, won for the third time this year and the record 137th time in his unprecedented career. He beat rookie Chad Head in the final round with a 4.106-second run at 313.37 mph in a Ford Mustang.

``You give credit where it's due, and (crew chief) Jimmy Prock and this team is just great,'' Force said. ``What I look at as most exciting is the teamwork with this group. To get this win meant a lot to me, but they all mean a lot. I've got a good hot rod right now.''

Matt Hagan is second in the standings.

Shawn Langdon won in Top Fuel to also extend his points lead, beating defending series champion Antron Brown in the final with a 3.779 at 323.81. Langdon, 83 points ahead of Doug Kalitta, has a series-high six victories this year.

``We have a good grasp on things, but there's two races left and anything can happen,'' Langdon said. ``The competition level is so tough right now so you can't take anything for granted.''

Jeg Coughlin won in Pro Stock take the season lead, and points leader Matt Smith topped the Pro Stock Motorcycle field.

Coughlin raced to his fourth victory of the season and 56th overall, edging defending series champion Allen Johnson with a 6.616 at 208.75 in a Dodge Avenger. Smith won for the second straight week and the third time this season, beating defending series champion Eddie Krawiec with a 6.936 at 193.32 on a Buell.

The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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