John Force - Ford interview 2008-09-25

This Week in Ford Racing John Force, driver of the Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang, will lead his team into the third round of the 2008 NHRA Countdown to 1. Force, who reached the semi-finals last week at Dallas, has the distinction of ...

This Week in Ford Racing

John Force, driver of the Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang, will lead his team into the third round of the 2008 NHRA Countdown to 1. Force, who reached the semi-finals last week at Dallas, has the distinction of his team having qualified all four of its cars for the 2008 NHRA postseason. After two Countdown races JFR entries are fourth (Robert Hight), sixth (Ashley Force), eighth (John Force) and 10th (Mike Neff) in the standings. With just four races left in the 2008 Countdown to 1, points are at a premium as the NHRA heads to Memphis, Tenn., for this weekend's O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals.

ASSESS THE NHRA COUNTDOWN TO 1 UP TO THIS POINT FOR JOHN FORCE RACING AND FOR YOURSELF. "After failing to qualify at Charlotte, I had to make a move, personally, at Dallas, which I did when I took out the points leader, Cruz [Pedregon]. Even though somebody filled his spot, it tightened the field and brought us back into contention. At this point of the season it isn't just about winning rounds, it's about not losing. There are only so many races left, but I have four Mustangs left in this thing and that gives us a lot of technology that we can change and traits of the day that we can share and tune-ups. Honestly I think we have a real good shot at this title and I feel very positive heading to Memphis. Robert [Hight] is my lead car. He is on his game and his Auto Club of Southern California Mustang is running great. Ashley follows him so they are both ahead of me, but I have a shot myself after last weekend. It is very critical that I make a move at Memphis this weekend. There are so many drivers jammed in the point's lead that I need to win some races. I think it looks strong."

IT IS ALWAYS GREAT TO BE LEADING THE POINTS, BUT REALISTICALLY WHERE DO YOU HAVE TO BE IN THE POINTS AFTER THIS WEEKEND? "It is really a matter of how you want to play the game. If we don't do well at this race and don't move into the top-five, the problem is you really have to win the next three and the leaders would have to all fall. They are not all going to fall because there is just too many of them. I have got four good cars if you add in Mike Neff, all of them Mustangs, and I need to take out these leaders. If the leaders all fall in the first or second round and one of us goes on to win the race, then we will be right back in the ballpark.

"I feel very good because my car had been struggling, but Robert took my car up and tested it at Rockingham and what Jimmy [Prock - Robert Hight crew chief] and all the guys assessed was we had too much power, and the fact that we got the clutch can and got some help from John Medlen [Mike Neff crew chief] and that is the whole concept of teamwork. I think we have a real good shot now because we have a car that can win races. I really felt like we should have been able to get past the third round at Dallas, but we just pushed it too much and it got loose and the day was over. I feel comfortable. I feel like our car is back on track. I think Ashley's car has a shot at the title, as does Robert's. Neff has got to turn this thing around because he has been struggling all year, but lets see what happens.

"Bottom line is we all need a stellar week. Robert Hight has been our most consistent car all year long winning races and he is our lead car. Again a big key for John Force Racing is having four cars in the Countdown and the advantages that come with teamwork.

"Another thing to consider is you know there is another Ford out there in Bob Tasca, in the Motorcraft Mustang, that has been giving us some help by beating the competition. He really helped us at Dallas by taking some players out. There are still four races to go so we will see what happens."

-credit: ford racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Ashley Force , Robert Hight , John Medlen , Mike Neff