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Courtney Force bests her father at NHRA Sonoma Nationals

  • Top fuel funny car champion Courtney Force raises her trophy in celebration as she walks to the winner's circle at NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California, on July 27, 2014. (Alvin Jornada / For The Press Democrat)

SONOMA — In a battle of Forces, daughter Courtney Force finally got the upper hand on father John.

In the battle of teammates, the birthday boy edged the so-called No. 1 team in the stable.

Courtney won her fifth NHRA Funny Car title, defeating her dad and drag racing legend John Force by .152 seconds.

NHRA Sonoma Nationals

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Khalid alBalooshi, on his 35th birthday, won the Top Fuel title on Sunday at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway.

Al-Anabi Racing, the team owned by Qatari prince His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani, stole the show in the Top Fuel finals, with drivers alBalooshi and defending Sonoma champion Shawn Langdon battling for the Sonoma crown. Langdon owned a 6-2 record against alBalooshi overall, with one victory in a final, but alBalooshi finally edged his teammate when it mattered, beating Langdon by .96 seconds.

In the two other NHRA pro divisions, Jason Line edged V Gaines by .016 seconds to win the Pro Stock title and Eddie Kraweic stole the Pro Stock motorcycle title by a margin of .007 seconds over Jerry Savoie. Kraweic’s victory was the 200th for Chevrolet in the Pro Stock motorcycle class.

The Force father-daughter duo faced off in the Top Fuel final Sunday, exactly nine months after John defeated Courtney in the final at the Las Vegas Nationals last October, a victory that won John his 16th NHRA championship.

Courtney hadn’t forgotten about last year’s defeat.

“That was a tough loss against my dad when he won the championship in Vegas,” she said. “It’s one of those times you want it so bad, it was kind of a bummer.

“I didn’t get to really celebrate the championship with him until a day later when I was kind of over losing it, which is a bummer.”


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