John Force Racing news 2009-08-03

FORCE PLEASED WITH FORD'S NEW STATUS AS OFFICIAL CAR OF THE NHRA' BROWNSBURG, Ind. Drag racing icon John Force, whose Funny Car team has won 116 NHRA tour events and nine world championships in a 13-year association with Ford Motor ...

FORCE PLEASED WITH FORD'S NEW STATUS AS OFFICIAL CAR OF THE NHRA'

BROWNSBURG, Ind. Drag racing icon John Force, whose Funny Car team has won 116 NHRA tour events and nine world championships in a 13-year association with Ford Motor Company, was understandably pleased Monday with the NHRA announcement that Ford has signed a multi-year agreement to become the "Official Car and Truck of the NHRA."

"That's great news for the sport," Force said. "At the end of the day, it shows that even in tough economic times, Ford sees growth in drag racing. I just want to congratulate Brian Wolfe, my boss at Ford Racing, and Tom Compton, the president of the NHRA, for making it happen. I know they spent a lot of hours putting it together.

"From my first meeting with Brian, I knew that this was one of his dreams. Jim Farley (Group Vice-President of Marketing and Communications) and Mark Fields (Executive Vice-President) both had to sign off on it, but it was Brian's baby all the way.

"It's a great fit because Ford has been such a big part of drag racing history from back when Connie Kalitta drove a Ford-powered Top Fuel dragster through Bob Glidden's dominance in Pro Stock up through all of our Funny Car championships.

     "I'm most happy about it because I'm a Ford guy," Force said.  "I don't think a lot
of people know that my very first Funny Car, the  Nightstalker,' a car I ran with my
brother Louis, was a Ford Mustang.  I only mention that because we won a race last
weekend at Norwalk (Ohio) in an updated version of the  Nightstalker.'"

In addition to Ford's competitive pedigree, the company took a leadership role in the safety initiative that originated at John Force Racing following accidents that claimed the life of team driver Eric Medlen and left Force hospitalized for almost a month with broken bones in his arms, legs, hands and feet.

In response, Ford provided every team in the Funny Car and Top Fuel classes with "blue box" crash sensors similar to the black boxes used in the airline industry. Furthermore, Ford engineers worked with JFR crew chiefs to analyze data from the two crashes as well as information from multiple subsequent tests to develop a new three- bar chassis that has proven to be seven times stronger than the one it replaced.

"A progressive company like Ford that has its roots in racing is going to help take us to the next level and I'm excited to be a part of that," Force said.

In difficult times, Ford this year has increased market share globally while reaching new heights in customer satisfaction. In fact, Ford vehicles lead the U.S. auto industry in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety "Top Safety Pick" awards.

In keeping with the "back to our roots" theme Force instituted this year for his four Funny Car teams, JFR has been working this year with individual Ford dealerships to drive foot traffic from the race track to the showroom floor through marketing partnerships with Baytown Ford (Houston metro area), Allan Vigil Ford (Atlanta, Ga.), Metro Ford (Topeka, Kan.), Friendly Ford (mid-New Jersey), Don Tester Ford (Norwalk, Ohio) and Bowen Scarf Ford Lincon-Mercury (Seattle metro).

"I started my career in a Ford," Force said, "and I plan to finish it in one, too."

-credit: jfr

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Eric Medlen , Connie Kalitta