Johnn Force wins Countdown opener in North Carolina

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) Johnn Force won the Countdown-opening NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway for his 146th career victory and third of the season.

The 67-year-old Force, a 16-time season champion, powered his Chevy Camaro Funny Car to a 3.946-second run at 324.05 mph to beat No. 1 qualifier Tommy Johnson Jr. in the final.

Force also beat Dave Richards, Tim Wilkerson and Ron Capps.

Antron Brown won the Top Fuel final for his 59th career victory and fifth of the season. He had a 3.763 at 319.29 to beat Doug Kalitta. Brown also won last year in Concord en route to the season title.

Jason Line won in Pro Stock, and Chip Ellis in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Line raced to his eighth victory of the season, topping teammate Greg Anderson with a 6.621 at 209.39 in a Camaro. Ellis had a 6.879 at 194.88 on a Buell to beat Andrew Hines.

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