Courtney Force raced to her second consecutive Funny Car victory


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MADISON, Illinois — Courtney Force raced to her second consecutive Funny Car victory in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs Sunday, winning the NHRA Midwest Nationals.

Force outran championship rival Matt Hagan in the final round at Gateway Motorsports Park to move within 30 points of series-leading John Force, her 65-year-old father.

After beating her father in the semifinals, she had a 4.094-second run at 313.44 mph in her Ford Mustang to hold off Hagan. She has four victories this season and seven overall, both records for female Funny Car drivers.

"We are working our way back up the ladder and winning this Countdown championship is our goal," said Courtney Force, the first female Funny Car driver to win consecutive events. "I just have to thank my team for giving me a really fast race car all weekend."

Antron Brown won in Top Fuel, Dave Connolly in Pro Stock, and Jerry Savoie in Pro Stock Motorcycle in the third of six NHRA Countdown playoff events.

Brown raced to his third straight victory at Gateway, beating defending series champion Shawn Langdon in the final round with a 3.844 at 315.42.

Connolly beat points leader Jason Line with a 6.562 at 211.53. Savoie earned his first career Pro Stock Motorcycle victory, topping points leader Andrew Hines with a 6.871 at 196.53.

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