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Nick Bromberg

John Force wins 15th NHRA Funny Car crown

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After qualifying for the NHRA's final event of 2010 at Pomona on Sunday, John Force trailed Matt Hagan by 39 points in the Funny Car standings. Hagan had qualified fourth for the weekend while Force had qualified second.

On Sunday, Hagan was beaten in the first round by Bob Tasca III, meaning that Force just had to win the first two rounds to be guaranteed the championship.

Force, 61, did more than that. He won the event, defeating Jeff Arend in the finals.

It was Force's 15th Funny Car championship and his first since 2006. In 2007, Force was badly hurt in a crash at Texas.

Plus, Force also provides an interesting contrast to Jimmie Johnson. (Seriously) Because of his dominance -- and his ability to talk for hours upon hours -- Force is by far the NHRA's most popular driver. Sure, there's a segment of race fans that dislike him, but it's nowhere near the percentage of race fans who are fed up with Jimmie Johnson's success over the last four years. If Johnson had a mouth like Force, would fans react differently?

While Force's reign continued (began again?) in Funny Car, Tony Schumacher's came to an end in Top Fuel. Larry Dixon clinched the Top Fuel title when he won in the first round. It was Dixon's first title since 2003, the last year someone who isn't Schumacher won the title.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, points leader Andrew Hines red-lighted in the first round and LE Tonglet -- a 23 year-old rookie -- took advantage to win the division title while Greg Anderson clinched the Pro Stock championship during qualifying on Saturday.

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