HOMESTEAD, FL (November 21, 2010) ---- Newly crowned NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car champion John Force enjoyed two days of NASCAR racing and great hospitality from Ford Motor Company during the Ford 400 weekend in Homestead, Florida. Force spent time with NASCAR fans, talked with motorsport media members from all over North America and also was presented with one of Ford Motor Company's highest honors.

On Saturday Force was presented with the Spirit of Ford Award by Edsel Ford II in a surprise announcement. The loquacious Force was rendered speechless and he took a few minutes to compose himself before he thanked Ford and all its engineers and motorsports representatives for the honor.

"To be presented with this honor by Edsel Ford and to see the list of previous winners; this is a tremendous honor. Ford Motor Company has been a great partner and I will cherish this award. I want to thank Ford for giving me this honor and I am not going to say much more because I am getting emotional. Thank you very much," said an obviously overwhelmed Force.

Force had just wrapped up a media session along with fellow Ford champions from a variety of racing disciplines. He was joined on stage by X Games champion Tanner Foust; Rally champion Ken Block and drifting champion Vaughn Gitten Jr. All four drivers talked about the support of Ford Racing in their respective racing series and how being part of the Ford Racing family was a special feeling.

"When I am up here with these young guns it makes me feel pretty good. We have a lot in common and there is a lot of variety up here. You have guys racing everything from a Fiesta to a Mustang. I am proud to be associated with Ford Racing and with these other champions. That is what Ford Championship Weekend is all about. I'm going to try and get some tips from these young guys and see if I can help them too," said Force.

Force spent time at the Ford Racing display answering questions from fans and signing autographs on Saturday and Sunday. Before Sunday's Ford 400 Force received the loudest round of applause during the NASCAR drivers meeting. Afterwards he walked the starting grid and chatted up drivers including eventual race winner Carl Edwards and soon to be crowned five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson. When he asked what he said to Johnson as the driver was strapping into his Lowe's sponsored race car Force replied, "I just told him he has been here before. He knows the game and to just relax and go after it."

Force was thrilled to see Carl Edwards collect the win on Sunday ending the season on a high note for Ford Racing

"At the end of the day seeing Carl dominate that race, that gets you excited to go into the off season. I won the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Pomona and last year Mike Neff won the last race. You get that good feeling all off season. That really motivates you and I know it will motivate all of Ford Racing. We won the last two big races of the season this year one in NHRA and one in NASCAR. That is pretty good," said Force.

-source: jfr