John Force Racing Phoenix test notes 2008-01-31

FORCE CLOSES FIREBIRD RACEWAY TEST SESSION AT 4.76, 327 MPH CHANDLER, Ariz. -- John Force wrapped up a sensational pre-season test by pushing his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang through the quarter mile timers in 4.76 seconds at 327.66...

FORCE CLOSES FIREBIRD RACEWAY TEST SESSION AT 4.76, 327 MPH

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- John Force wrapped up a sensational pre-season test by pushing his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang through the quarter mile timers in 4.76 seconds at 327.66 miles per hour Thursday at Firebird Raceway.

It was the quickest Funny Car run of the entire pre-season and it sent the 58-year-old icon back to his Southern California base with considerably more confidence than he had when he showed up at Firebird last Friday with a new, unproven chassis and a body rebuilt in a four-month convalescence following a crash last September 23rd in Texas.

After a 100-foot checkout run on Monday, Force was clocked in 4.782 seconds on just his second attempt. He matched that performance on Wednesday before dipping to 4.76 on his final run on Thursday.

"I said to (crew chief Austin) Coil, 'will it run a '60?' and he said, 'without a doubt.' But I wanna be honest. I'm a little rusty (as a driver) because I've never been out of the seat this long. But this (getting back in the race car) is the best therapy I've had."

Force's other Fords, those driven by his daughter Ashley, son-in-law Robert Hight and rookie Mike Neff, put up more modest numbers but, overall, Force was ecstatic with the results.

"I've been sick for months thinking that this (new car) wasn't going to work. Now we've shown it'll run '70s, even with the extra weight. It's a credit to Coil and Bernie (Fedderly), John Medlen, Ford, the NHRA and Murf McKinney. It was a joint effort. It's a John Medlen design, built by Murf McKinney with a lot of help from Ford -- a team effort."

Neither of the other three JFR drivers made a full-power run during testing. Ashley Force, whose car wasn't delivered until last Saturday, recorded a best Thursday of 5.34 shutting off at half track. Neff's best was 5.02. Hight never drove the Auto Club Ford beyond half track but had the best 60-foot launch of the weekend.

-credit: jfr

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