HIGHT BEST OF JFR ON SATURDAY AT COOL US NATS INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- At the 56th running of the NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals cool temperatures on Saturday tempered the hot Friday start of John Force Racing. In the final qualifying session of the...
HIGHT BEST OF JFR ON SATURDAY AT COOL US NATS
INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- At the 56th running of the NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals cool temperatures on Saturday tempered the hot Friday start of John Force Racing. In the final qualifying session of the day the three John Force Racing Mustangs overpowered the O'Reilly Raceway Park track and opened the door for two Don Schumacher owned Funny Cars (Matt Hagan and Ron Capps) to move around them in the provisional standings.
Robert Hight held onto the No. 3 provisional position and teammates John Force and Ashley Force Hood were shuffled back to provisional positions No. 5 and No. 6, respectively. Hight made the strongest run for John Force Racing and the second quickest for the Ford Mustangs on the day with a 4.093 second run on the first session.
In the last session track temperatures were in a freefall after the sun went down. The cooler temps made it hard for the 8,000 horsepower Ford Mustangs to transfer their power to the race track. The team was trying to build on their Friday night dominance by stepping up the performance numbers.
"We ran the big numbers last night. We were 1-2-3 and you know we all ran 4.05s. We had nothing to lose tonight trying to push it and run 4.02 or 4.03. That is what all three of us did and we smoked the tires. I don't know what they did over at Schumacher Racing but let's give them some compliments on what they put together and it worked tonight. We are starting to move back into the heat and those numbers won't matter tomorrow. Race day will be warmer too," said team owner John Force.
"I don't have any complaints. It's called drag racing. Our race cars are on their game. We were pushing them hard because in testing we ran our Mustangs hard too. Robert ran strong in the first session so we knew there was the chance to step up we just didn't get it."
For Ashley Force Hood the setbacks today were minimized by the fact that her Castrol GTX Ford Mustang made the most of the first night-time session.
"It was nice to have two night sessions. Obviously we did not get down on one but we got down on the one on Friday. Usually you only get one shot and it is either good or disaster. It was a good way for us to start our weekend. We ran so strong in the first session. It is a long weekend but this weekend feels like it is going by fast. I think it is because we have so many appearances and other things we are doing," said the defending Mac Tools U.S. Nationals champion.
Robert Hight and the Auto Club Ford Mustang team picked up three additional bonus points in qualifying by making the quickest run of the first session on Saturday. The team has the most bonus points in the category with six so far.
In addition to the busy racing schedule the entire John Force Racing contingent has been traversing the sprawling O'Reilly Raceway Park complex fulfilling sponsor appearances for Castrol, DeWalt, Mac Tools, and Ford Racing.
"This week I got to Indy on Tuesday. I never travel to a race that early. Usually I get in on Thursday and on a few occasions I get in on Wednesday. By the time we got to Friday and started racing it felt like I had been here for a whole race already. That was kind of weird but it is also a good thing since I was able to get ready for the race without feeling rushed. We had a bog car show on Thursday and I kind of got into race mode more easily as opposed to rushing into town the day before we start racing," said Force Hood.
The biggest sponsor event of the day occurred when Force parted with this trusty scooter as part of the Castrol 25th anniversary celebration. Force handed the keys to his scooter over to Susan Porter of Cumberland, Tennessee during a early afternoon media event. Porter signed up at www.castrolforce.com to win the scooter and attended her first NHRA national event today as a guest of Force's primary sponsor Castrol.
At the end of the day Porter was still beaming about being the new owner of Force's infamous scooter.
"Today has been awesome. There were people stopping me and pointing me out as the lady that won John Force's scooter. I can't thank Castrol and John Force Racing enough. Everyone has been so helpful and nice. This has been a dream," said Porter.