If you had told anyone at the mid-year point of the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series campaign that John Force would win his 16th Funny Car championship, no doubt they would have been rolling on the floor. Force was mired in a so-what season, getting round wins but certainly not setting the world on fire, as he’s done since the 1990s.
A conversation with wife Laurie, a swap of teams with son-in-law Robert Hight, a huge learning curve with a new car, and Force secured four wins in nine final rounds over the 24-race battle and came away with his latest title, and first with Jimmy Prock tuning the Castrol Ford Mustang. This title followed Force’s 15th in 2010, just three years after he nearly died in a racing accident. He secured this championship with one race to go by beating daughter Courtney in the Las Vegas finals.
It’s hard to believe that Force is now 64 years old; his actions belie his age and his ability to race on the 1000-foot dragstrip defies comprehension. It seems like the guy’s got more energy than the balance of the Funny Car paddock and with his will to succeed, John Force pretty much propels himself and his car to the win lights.
And now he wants more. He’s coming back for another record, a 17th title in 2014. Don’t bet against John Force!