July 24, 2016

MORRISON, Colo. (AP) John Force and Tony Schumacher raced to their first victories of the season Sunday in the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.

The 67-year-old Force beat daughter Courtney in the Funny Car final between Chevy Camaros. He finished in 3.965 seconds at 319.45 mph to her performance of 3.963 at 314.75. It was his seventh victory at the track and the record-extending 144th of his career. He hadn't won since June 2015 in New Hampshire.

''I didn't have a monkey on my back, it was a gorilla,'' said Force, the 16-time season champion who became the oldest driver in NHRA history to win a Funny Car race.

''Let's face it, the competition is the best I've ever seen. It's tough to race my little girl there and it was a close one. I can do this game. I love it. I don't have anywhere to go. I am going to keep doing this. I want to keep building this sport.''

Schumacher, an eight-time Top Fuel season champion, also busted a lengthy winless streak with his third victory at the track and 82nd of his career. He outran defending season champion Antron Brown in the final with a run of 3.802 at 324.28. Schumacher hadn't won since July 2015 in Chicago.

''To win one of these trophies you have to beat some bad dudes, and we beat a bunch of them today from Doug Kalitta to Antron Brown,'' Schumacher said. ''I've enjoyed great moments in racing during my career, but coming back from a huge deficit when people have counted you out like we have done this weekend is the most satisfying to me.''

Allen Johnson won in Pro Stock, and Andrew Hines in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Johnson won the event for a record seventh time in his 10th consecutive final round appearance at the track, also a record in his category. He powered his Dodge Dart to a 6.982 at 197.34 against Vincent Nobile.

Hines became the winningest Pro Stock Motorcycle rider in history, capturing his 45th career win by outrunning teammate Eddie Krawiec. Hines took his third win of the season and fourth at the event with a track-record time of 7.134 at 188.33 on a Harley-Davidson.

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