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Del Worsham and John Force Face Off at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California
Del Worsham was prepared for a big NHRA weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. Despite a great history of strong runs, he was denied the giant payoff as the sun set on Sunday.
Del Worsham and blue CSK Team
He defeated Ron Capps in round one, defeated Jeff Arend in round two, defeated Robert Hight in the semi-final and lost to John Force in the final round. Worsham paced the sport’s greatest icon for the length of the 1,320 foot Sonoma track, only to come up inches short of this first win since late in the 2005 season.
Jeff Arend in blue CSK Funny Car
Del Worsham and Jeff Arend use K&N Products
Worsham went into the race 11th in points and wasted no time qualifying. On Friday, the Checker, Schuck’s, Kragen driver scored his fastest qualifying time of the year, a 4.774 at 322.04 mph.
The Funny Car driver paced the class in his blue CSK car with K&N Engineering products. Worsham finished fifth on the ladder Saturday and equaled his best qualifying effort of the season. He was matched with points leader Ron Capps for a first round date.
“We haven’t had many easy rounds all year,” said Worsham. “But to finally come out here and really get a great handle on it, and qualify as well as we did, and still get the points leader in round one, it seemed to me that we could have a great day in front of us if we could get out of round one. Ron and I are great friends, but he usually wears me out when we race each other.”
Capps got off the line with a microscopic edge, but Worsham won the round. He powered to a clean 4.889 to take the big win with room to spare over Capps’ 4.986. “It was a huge win, no matter how you cut it,” said Worsham. “It was nothing but huge.”
Teammates Jeff Arend and Del Worsham ran against each other in round two. Light prize fighters, both teams plotted their strategy independently in their respective corners and both teams came out firing. Worsham managed a sizable jump at the tree, grabbing a 22-thousandths edge as the two cars left the line. Worsham took a hole-shot victory, taking the round with a solid 4.929 to win by technically 5-thousandths of a second.
Arend defeated Tony Pedregon in round one but lost to his teammate in round two. “Jeff is one of the best at the line,” said Worsham. “Our blue team is running well. They put a great lap on the board and it was pretty major for all of us to be headed to the semi-final.”
In the semi, Robert Hight came into the race in the No. 2 spot on the points list. But Worsham once again, got off the line first at the flash of amber and rocketed to a clean 4.898. Worsham moved up to his second final round of the season and he would be up against legend John Force.
“It felt like our day,” said Worsham. “We went up there to beat John.” It didn’t work out that way. Force managed to pull away in the last 300 feet, after Worsham led for most of the lap. A dropped cylinder was the problem.
“We did just about everything right, but we came up a few inches short at the end,” he said. “Our day will come.”
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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world's leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.knfilters.com.
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