FORCE HOOD, HIGHT ON ALL-AMERICA TEAM
First Appearance for John Force Racing's Next Generation Drivers
YORBA LINDA, Calif. -- After a two-year absence, John Force Racing is well represented on the 2009 Auto Racing All-America Team selected by the membership of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA).
Ashley Force Hood, the first woman to win an NHRA Funny Car race and the 2009 winner of drag racing's most prestigious single event, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, and her brother-in-law, newly-crowned NHRA Funny Car Champion Robert "Top Gun" Hight, were among six NHRA drivers recognized by the AARWBA.
In a new format that cut the team membership in half with just eight drivers on the first team, Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher was the only drag racing representative on a first team that also included IndyCar champ Dario Franchitti, but not NASCAR champion Jimmy Johnson.
Mark Martin was the NASCAR rep on the first team while Johnson was a second team honoree along with Force Hood and Top Alcohol Funny Car veteran Frank Manzo. Hight, NHRA Pro Stock Champion Mike Edwards and Top Fuel runner-up Larry Dixon were among the honorable mention selections who received a minimum of five per cent of the total vote.
"This is a great honor," Hight said, "and one that I am excited to share with my teammate, Ashley Force Hood. We battled all season for the NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car Championship and both of our teams had great success.
"John Force has been a member of the AARWBA All-America Team 15 times, so making my first All-America Team is a very big deal," Hight added. "I have to thank Jimmy Prock, my crew guys, as well as the Automobile Club of Southern California, for putting me in this position."
Force Hood, who finished second to Hight in points and raced in eight final rounds during the season, also deferred to her team and her crew chiefs.
"We had a wonderful season and were really able to step up to the plate and be competitive against some very talented and experienced Funny Car teams," she said. "I'm very excited to be on the All-America team my dad has been on so many times, especially seeing all the talented people alongside me.
"But for me and my sponsor, Castrol GTX, it's really a team honor. We've won together and lost together and overcome many challenges together. So, I will be honored to accept on behalf of my crew, my crew chiefs, Dean Antonelli and Ron Douglas, and, of course, my dad, John Force."