Countdown to Four in full swing, but four big names whiffed

The NHRA's new playoff format got off to a rousing start at Indianapolis, but four of the biggest names in the NHRA started the Countdown to Four in a hole, writes Bill Stephens.

Updated: September 5, 2007, 8:05 PM ET
By Bill Stephens | ESPN.com

Four is the loneliest number. At least to J.R. Todd, Whit Bazemore, Warren Johnson and John Force.

When the 53rd Mac Tools U.S. Nationals got under way at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis last Thursday, the most celebrated drag race on the planet had taken on an even greater octane rating for sheer drama as it served as the opening step in the NHRA's newly implemented playoff system.

In proceedings dubbed the Countdown to Four, the top eight points earners in ...

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