Force To Join Shelby, Roush, Tasca as Mustang Hall of Fame Inductee
Funny Car Champ Honored in Ceremonies at New Shop Facility
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Aug. 31) -- In Tuesday ceremonies held in conjunction with the grand opening of his new 40,000 square foot midwest shop facility, John Force became the 21st inductee into the Mustang Hall of Fame joining such luminaries as Carroll Shelby, Jack Roush, Bob Tasca Sr., Lee Iaccoca and William Clay Ford II.
Force, who operates a three-car team of Ford Mustang Funny Cars driven by himself, Gary Densham and Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Eric Medlen, was inducted by Chuck Micele, vice-president of the Mustang Club of America.
The Mustang Hall of Fame was created to preserve the heritage and spirit of the Ford Mustang, to honor those who by achievement have made lasting contributions to the Ford Mustang and its culture and to inspire all involved with the Ford Mustang to strive to reach their highest potential, Micele said.
Eligibility is extended to any person who has driven, owned, designed, built, supported, maintained, prepared or promoted Ford Mustangs.
Force, whose first personal car was a Ford Fairlane and who in the 1970s briefly drove a Mach 1 Mustang Funny Car, has driven Mustangs exclusively since 1997. He and his teammates have won seven consecutive NHRA POWERade Funny Car Championships in Mustangs and have earned 84 tour victories, an average of 11 per season.
An 11-time Auto Racing All-America selection and the 1996 Driver of the Year for all of American motor racing, Force earned his 50th NHRA tour victory for Mustang when he put the Castrol GTX Start Up entry in the winners' circle at the Aug. 22nd O'Reilly Auto Parts Mid-South Nationals at Memphis, Tenn.
With four victories this season, Force is on pace to earn his 13th series championship. He has a 220-point cushion entering this week's 50th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park, a race in which he will drive a specialy painted Ford commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Mustang.
Many of those already in the Hall of Fame got their start in drag racing including Shelby, Roush (who once drove a Mustang in the Pro Stock class), John Coletti, Larry Shinoda, Jim Osborn and Tasca Sr., who sold thousands of Mustangs and sponsored several Mustang-based teams in the 1960s and 1970s and who was instrumental in bringing Force into the Ford fold.
"It's a great honor," Force said. "The day Bob Tasca introduced me to the Ford people was a turning point in my career. There's no better sponsor in racing and to be included in the Mustang Hall of Fame with people like Grandpa (Tasca Sr.), Carroll Shelby and Jack Roush is something I never imagined."