- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 29, 2009

BAYTOWN, TEXAS (AP) - Ashley Force Hood raced to her second career victory on a record-setting day at the O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals, beating her former drag racing instructor in the finals Sunday at Houston Raceway Park.

The 26-year-old Force Hood, the daughter of 14-time NHRA champion John Force, beat Jack Beckman in the finals to vault from 10th to third in the Funny Car standings.

“Our first win was against my dad (in 2008 at Atlanta), so to be able to race against another team’s driver in the final and win it, we’re maybe a bit more cheerful than after that first win,” she said.

Force Hood, who improved to 3-3 against her dad on the way to the finals, ran a 4.122 at 306.19 mph to beat Beckman’s 4.227 at 303.43.

Tony Schumacher won his first race Top Fuel race of the season, while Ron Krisher won the Pro Stock final and Craig Treble won in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Fans who arrived early saw two national records.

Matt Smith broke Angelle Sampey’s nearly two-year-old record for elapsed time in Pro Stock Motorcycle when he ran 6.865 in a second-round win over defending series champion Eddie Krawiec.

Then, Mike Edwards set a new Pro Stock record for speed when he ran 212.03 mph in his semifinal loss to Krisher.

Schumacher’s win _ a holeshot 3.881 at 314.75 to Cory McClenathan’s 3.880 at 313.66 _ was the U.S. Army team’s first since parting ways with longtime crew chief Alan Johnson, who tuned the Army dragster to five straight NHRA titles before leaving to form his own team this season.

In Pro Stock, Krisher defeated Jeg Coughlin (6.587 to 7.051), and Treble defeated first-year rider Douglas Horne (6.915 to 7.260) in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Series heads next to the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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