It was a victory for the ages.
John Force, the most successful NHRA Funny Car drag racer of all time, won the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Colorado’s Bandimere Speedway on Sunday at age 69 to notch his 149th career win and reset his record as the oldest winner of a top flight event in the history of the series.
It was his first win in over a year and the brightest spot in a rough season for Force, who has had several blown engines and was hospitalized after a crash in Arizona in February.
Force defeated his daughter, series point leader Courtney, in the semifinals before beating Ron Capps in the final with a 4.075-second run at 315.42 mph. Capps is a distant second on the all-time list with 54 wins.
"All great racers. I love them all," Force said after the race. "The fire was in me. I'm fighting. I got tired of hearing me snivel to myself. My wife didn't even want to talk to me. She said, 'I know you more than that. I know what you're going through.' I don't know why I won this race. Maybe God is just showing me."
With the win in his stars and stripes-painted Chevrolet Camaro SS, 16-time champion Force now sits in eight place in the 2018 standings after 14 events in the 24-race season.
Daughter Ashley Force Hood, a former NHRA racer and current vice president at John Force Racing, tweeted congratulations to her dad:
The Associated Press contributed to this report