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Force wins Traxxas Nitro Shootout

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (AP) - John Force took home the Traxxas Nitro Shootout victory Sunday, concluding an action packed day of racing at the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the world's most prestigious drag race.

Force, a 16-time Funny Car world champ, earned $100,000 when he beat teammate Robert Hight with a 4.061-second run at 317.19 mph in a Ford Mustang.

He defeated fan vote/lottery winner Tim Wilkerson and two-time season winner Alexis DeJoria to reach the final.

It was Force's second Traxxas Shootout win and seventh career victory in an NHRA all-star race. Force will look to conclude the weekend on Monday with his fifth U.S. Nationals victory.

''It was a win-win situation,'' Force said of running against his teammate in the final. ''We couldn't lose. All of the sponsors were on all of the cars. We just couldn't lose it.''

In other racing on Sunday, Jason Line claimed the rain-delayed Brainerd victory in Pro Stock. Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) earned No. 1 qualifying positions and will lead their categories into Monday's 11 a.m. eliminations at the final NHRA Drag Racing Series event of the regular season.

In the Brainerd final, Line raced to a 6.596 at 207.40 in a Chevy Camaro to defeat world champ Jeg Coughlin. It was his third win in a row and the first time he has achieved that feat. It was Line's 35th career victory. The win propelled him into the top spot in Pro Stock points.

Line's 6.589 at 210.01 from Saturday qualifying was good enough to also secure the No. 1 starting position for the U.S. Nationals. He will face Rodger Brogdon in the opener.

In Top Fuel, Schumacher ran a 3.748 at a track record speed of 328.54 during the Traxxas Nitro Shootout final, which was quick enough to also earn him the No. 1 qualifying position. It was the third top starting spot of the season for Schumacher and 75th of his career.

He will go for a record-breaking 10th Indianapolis victory when he meets 2012 world champ and 2011 event winner Antron Brown in the first round.

Hagan, the 2011 Funny Car world champ sped to a 3.998 at 316.01 in the fourth session to claim the No. 1 qualifying position, the first time a Funny Car has completed a run quicker than four seconds at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.

It was the first No. 1 qualifier of the season for Hagan and 16th of his career. He will face Bob Bode to open eliminations.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Krawiec ran a 6.829 at 196.56 on a Harley-Davidson to earn his sixth No. 1 qualifying position of the season and 20th of his career. He faces Shawn Gann in the first round as he seeks his first U.S. Nationals victory.

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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