Gainesville: Gatornationals prime settng for John Force record

One Of NHRA'S Premier Events Prime Setting For Force'S 100TH Gainesville, Fla. - Over The Past 20-Plus Years, The Name John Force And Record Shattering Achievements Have Been Synonymous. That Is The Situation Once Again As The Southern ...

One Of NHRA'S Premier Events Prime Setting For Force'S 100TH

Gainesville, Fla. - Over The Past 20-Plus Years, The Name John Force And Record Shattering Achievements Have Been Synonymous.

That Is The Situation Once Again As The Southern California Native Begins His Inevitable Quest Towards 100 Career Funny Car Victories, And His Journey Now Takes Him To The Famed Quarter-Mile In Florida.

Although The Nhra Powerade Drag Racing Series Consists Of 23 National Events That Span The Country, Certain Events On The Schedule Tend To Garner More Attention Due To Their Rich History. That Is The Case With The Renowned Mac Tools Gatornationals. Combine The Celebrated Status Of The Event With The Fact That The Legendary Don Garlits And Shirley Muldowney Will Return To Competition, And That Force Will Be Aiming For His Epic 100th Career Win, The Event Has The Potential For High Drama.

With 99 Trophies Crowding His Showplace Mantle At Home, The 52-Year-Old Force Will Attempt To Hit The Century Mark When He Travels To The Sunshine State For The 33rd Annual Mac Tools Gatornationals, March 14-17, At The Always-Quick Quarter-Mile Located At Gainesville Raceway. The $1.9 Million Race Is The Third Of 23 Events In The $50 Million Nhra Powerade Drag Racing Series.

After Winning The 2002 Season-Opener In Pomona, Calif., Force Had A Shot At 100 In Phoenix, Driving Past Whit Bazemore, Ron Capps, And Tommy Johnson Jr., Before Coming Up Short Against Del Worsham In The Final.

Given His Impressive Career Record At Gainesville, His Pursuit Could End There.

"I'Ve Had Plenty Of Wins And I'Ll Get More, But (It) Just Wasn'T My Day," Said Force After His Loss In The Desert. "It'S Kinda Like It Was Destiny. (Worsham) Was On His Game And He Was Due. His Wife Is Due With Their Twins And He Said He'D Be A Father By The Time We Reached Gainesville. I Told Him He Better Call His Wife And Make Sure That She Didn'T Just Have Them. When We Got Out Of The Cars At The End Of The Track, It Was Fun Watching Him Jump Up-And-Down, All Excited, Talking About Having New Babies, That'S Important To Me."

Force Is Used To Snagging The Attention For His Animated Traits And Individuality And Has Been In The Drag Racing Spotlight For Many Years. Given His Other Accomplishments On The Race Track, Including 11 Championships With The Last Nine In A Row, Scoring That 100th Win Is Only A Matter Of Time.

"We'Ll Go To Gainesville And Get After It Again," Force Said. "I Just Hope It Doesn'T Take As Long To Win My 100th As It Did To Get My First (Nine Years). Some People Want Me To Get It At Indy, Or Some People Want Me To Get It At Vegas, But I Would Just Like To Get It."

Reviewing Force'S 99 Career Wins, Gainesville Raceway Is A Drag Strip Where The Yorba Linda, Calif., Driver Has Experienced Great Success And Will Be A Favorite To Win The Race Behind The Wheel Of His Castrol Gtx Ford Mustang. He Has Won Seven Times At The Famed-Quarter-Mile, Including Five In A Row (1992-96), And Has Established A National Record For Time And/Or Speed On Three Different Occasions And Currently Holds The Track Record For Speed (324.05 Mph).

Gainesville Raceway Also Was The Location Of Force'S 50th Career Win Back In March 1996, His 221st Career Start.

"The Media'S Been On Me About Not Being Real Excited About Winning 100 Races," Force Added. "I Am Excited, I Mean That'S Really Special For The Record Books And All That. But What Really Gets Me Excited Is When That Car Turns Sideways At Half-Track. I Just Love Driving These Things. It'S Not About The Trophies As Much As It'S About The People Around Me."

-Nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Don Garlits