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NHRA's John Force fined $10,000 for shoving incident

The NHRA today levied a $10,000 fine on John Force, the 14-time funny car drag racing champion, stemming from Force's heated argument with rival Tony Pedregon at last weekend's Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.

Fabforum Pedregon and his drag-racing brother, Cruz Pedregon, accused Force of purposefully losing a semifinal round against Robert Hight -- who drives for Force and is Force's son-in-law -- so that Hight would qualify for the playoffs in the National Hot Rod Assn.'s Full Throttle Series and Cruz Pedregon would get knocked out of the playoffs.

An irate Force, 60, confronted Tony Pedregon at the track as television cameras rolled and the two had to be restrained. In doing so, Force "made physical contact with an NHRA official" in violation of the rules, prompting the fine, the NHRA said.

A spokesman for Force's Yorba Linda-based race team said via e-mail that Force had no comment on the fine. Force, along with his daughter Ashley Force Hood and Tony Pedregon, are among the 10 drivers competing in this year's funny car title chase that concludes Nov. 12-15 at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona.

-- Jim Peltz

Photo: John Force. Credit: Associated Press

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