Canfield’s Smida wins Super Gas title

Staff/wire reports


Canfield’s Philip Smida II won a pair of races Sunday to capture the Super Gas title at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.

Smida edged Iggie Boicesco in the sixth round race, then defeated Lauren Freer in the final to earn his fourth national event win and second in Super Gas.

Lisbon’s Edward Toolis Jr. lost in the fourth (and second-to-last) round of the Top Dragster event. Tom and Ryan Martino of Youngstown received a “Wally” trophy for best-appearing car.

John Force raced to his 140th career victory, beating Ron Capps in the Funny Car final.

The 65-year-old Force powered his Ford Mustang to a winning pass of 4.113 seconds at 317.27 mph for his first victory in Norwalk. He also won the season-opening event in Pomona, California.

“It was special to me,” Force said. “I’ve come to this track for decades. I’ve won here at the Night of Fire races. Robert [Hight] and my daughter Ashley [Force Hood] have won here. I keep coming back here.

“The Bader family is P.T. Barnum doing this year-round, 90-some race a year. They light the fire under those fans. Look at the crowd on Friday night and that whole fireworks show. I’ve been real lucky in my career and you want to win them all, but I really wanted this win.”

Second in the points standings, Force won his record 16th season title last year.

Antron Brown won in Top Fuel, Erica Enders-Stevens in Pro Stock, and Andrew Hines in Pro Stock.

Brown raced to his fifth Top Fuel win of the season and the 46th of his career, beating Shawn Langdon with a 3.797 at 318.84. It also was Brown’s first victory in Norwalk.

“It’s been a true blessing to be out at this race track this weekend,” said Brown. “The Bader family really put on a great show. The racetrack was great all weekend long. We got some cloud cover today. When four cars can run 3.75 in the first round with other cars across the board at .76, .77, that shows you how competitive the Top Fuel class is right now.”

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