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Stories written by Susan_Wade

Pregnancy Sends Force Hood To Sidelines

Ashley Force Hood will miss the 2011 NHRA season because she is expecting her first child. Mike Neff will replace her. (Rhonda McCole photo).

Two-time reigning Mac Tools U.S. Nationals Champion Ashley Force Hood will be stepping out of her John Force Racing Funny Car — at least for this season.

Hight Seeking Return To Glory

Robert Hight is hoping that he can return to his 2009 form in 2011 and win his second NHRA Funny Car championships. (NHRA Photo)

All the king’s horsepower and all the king’s men put John Force back together again from the destruction of his Dallas accident and a winless, ninth-place 2009 season. Physical therapists whipped him into his best physical shape, his crew chiefs gave him a Ford Mustang worthy of its 25th Castrol-sponsorship anniversary livery and he hit the gym faithfully every day.

Season Rewind: 2010 U.S. Nationals

Ashley Force Hood bagged her second-straight Mac Tools U.S. Nationals triumph in the NHRA Funny Car division at O'Reilly Raceway Park. (Frank Smith Photo)

Ashley Force Hood scored back-to-back Indianapolis triumphs in the Funny Car class at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, taking the victory at the expense of father John Force in an all-Castol Ford Mustang final at O’Reilly Raceway Park.

Rivalries Still Common Throughout NHRA

Tony Schumacher battles Larry Dixon during a qualifying pass at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in New Jersey earlier this year. (Harry Cella Photo)

Some media members and fans have tried desperately to instigate a rivalry between reigning champion Tony Schumacher and two-time predecessor Larry Dixon. The Top Fuel headliners, though, genuinely have no cross words to say about each other.

Ganassi Using ‘Hendrick Model’

Chip Ganassi (center) is flanked by his new drivers Graham Rahal (left) and Charlie Kimball during a press conference Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Ron McQueeney/IndyCar Photo)

Team owner Chip Ganassi topped his epic 2010 season that earned him NSSN’s Economaki Champion of Champions award with Thursday’s blockbuster announcement at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimball will headline his expanded IZOD IndyCar Series operation.

WADE: Hagan Impressive In Challenge For Funny Car Title

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Whether Funny Car champion John Force admired him for his strong character and professional behavior or Force simply became obsessed with him for being a new challenger in a career full of them, Matt Hagan made an excellent impression this season.

Dixon, Anderson, Tonglet Anointed

Greg Anderson (NHRA Photo)

Larry Dixon (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and L.E. Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) weren’t quite as boisterous as 15-time Funny Car champion John Force when they claimed their National Hot Rod Ass’n crowns this past weekend at the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals.

NHRA Notes: Tasca Upsets FC Title Fight

GAME CHANGER: Bob Tasca III (near lane) ended Matt Hagan’s championship hopes by defeating the second-year driver in the first round of Funny Car eliminations Sunday. (Angela Barazza Photo)

Ford stalwart Bob Tasca III shocked the Auto Club Raceway crowd in Sunday’s first round of the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, eliminating Funny Car leader Matt Hagan and paving the way for John Force’s popular 15th NHRA championship.

Force Bags Title With Pomona Thriller

John Force celebrates his 15th NHRA Funny Car championship after winning Sunday at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in California. (NHRA Photo)

John Force’s Automobile Club of Southern California Finals victory over Jeff Arend and his National Hot Rod Ass’n record 15th Funny Car championship at Matt Hagan’s expense Sunday served the same purpose.

Gray Nets First Pro Stock Wally

Shane Gray recorded his first NHRA Pro Stock win at the season ending Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Sunday. (Angela Barraza Photo)

Pro Stock rookie Shane Gray said he remembers staging his Big O/Tire Kingdom Pontiac GXP against Jeg Coughlin and his signature yellow-and-black Chevy Cobalt in Sunday’s final round of the Automobile Club of Southern California Finals.

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