John Force has directed most of the attention for breaking Bob Glidden's longstanding win record to his noted crew chief, Austin Coil. Coil, who has acquired 93 wins and 11 championships during his distinguished career, meanwhile, is quick to send the accolades right back to the Yorba Linda, Calif. racer.
He says he couldn't have done it without having a driver with the desire that Force has demonstrated over the years.
"It's his ability to call up a little more whenever it's really needed," said Coil, who tuned his famous Chi-Town Hustler to back-to-back NHRA Winston championships in the early 1980s before joining Force's racing operation in 1984. "Whenever the chips are down and we really need to get down the racetrack, he'll save it. If it spins the tires or shakes, he'll correct it. In a round that we might not have the performance to win, he'll manage to have his best reaction time of the weekend when we need it the most. We couldn't have won races like we have without John Force behind the wheel."
What's next? Coil says the team will focus its efforts on breaking the century mark.
"I'd like to get 100 victories, that sounds like a nice number," Coil said. "I think we've got time to rack up 100. We plan to race for at least five more years with John as the driver, maybe 10. I certainly don't have any other plans, because this is fun."
So much fun, in fact, that the often stone-faced Coil even cracked a rare smile following the victory in the record-breaking final, when Force's Castrol GTX Ford Mustang outran Jerry Toliver's WWF Racing Camaro.
"I don't think I've ever wanted to win a round of racing more than that one against Toliver and (Dale) Armstrong (Toliver crew chief)," Coil said. "It was like all of our work over the years had come down to one run and we had to prove ourselves. I loved the challenge."