Mullins Edges Out Minor in Final; Blown Valve Stem KOs Muldowney

From Times Wire Services

Bill Mullins beat Larry Minor by 7/10ths of a second in the final race to win the Top Fuel division in the Super Bowl of Drag Racing Sunday at Firebird International Raceway.

Mullins, of Pelham, Ala., had an elapsed time of 5.70 seconds at 257.14 m.p.h. to top Minor, of Los Angeles, who was at 243.24 m.p.h.

Shirley Muldowney beat Minor in the quarterfinals but had to drop out of competition after blowing a valve stem in the engine of her dragster.

The 45-year-old Muldowney, a former three-time world champion from Northridge, was making her comeback to drag racing after recovering from a near-fatal crash in June 1984.

Minor beat Earl Whiting of Los Angeles to reach the final, while Mullins beat Connie Kalitta of Detroit.

In the Funny Car division, John Force of Fort Worth, Tex., beat Tom Hoover of Los Angeles for the title. Force had an elapsed time of 5.80 seconds and 245.23 m.p.h. while Hoover was at 5.91 seconds and 240 m.p.h.

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