ASHLEY FORCE LEADS FRIDAY FIELD AT BRAINERD -JFR Fords Dominate Friday Night Session- (BRAINERD, MN) --- The cool air and cloud cover at the 28th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals combined to give John Force Racing the one-two punch it needed to...
ASHLEY FORCE LEADS FRIDAY FIELD AT BRAINERD
-JFR Fords Dominate Friday Night Session-
(BRAINERD, MN) --- The cool air and cloud cover at the 28th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals combined to give John Force Racing the one-two punch it needed to propel four drivers to the top five qualifying spots. 2007 Rookie of the Year and Sonoma No. 1 qualifier Ashley Force flew down the Brainerd International Raceway in 4.110 seconds just barely besting her 14-time champion father John's 4.112 second run for the provisional number one position on Friday night.
"We were real happy with that run. You never know what the conditions will be like tomorrow. At least we don't need to be standing back tomorrow. We can really push it. We know that we are pretty well in the field. We probably won't get bumped from No. 1," said Force. "We are just hoping to take the next step. We don't just want to get the No. 1. We want to go rounds on race day. No. 1 is a great feeling but it means nothing if on race day you can't get past the first round. We are going to hope to change that this weekend in Brainerd."
The run was so smooth Force was surprised when her crew told her the times her Castrol GTX Ford Mustang had just posted.
"It really didn't feel like it was going that fast. The runs that are nice and smooth don't seem as fast. That run was the clearest run I think I have ever made in that Funny Car in any pass. That is the kind of run we like," said the provisional number one driver.
Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang driver Robert Hight clinched a spot in the Countdown to One by making his first qualifying run and he improved drastically with a 4.119 second run to land in the No. 3 spot. That run was solid enough to stand at the top of the field until teammates Ashley and John Force drove around him.
Rookie of the Year favorite Mike Neff was edged by Del Worsham from making it a 1-2-3-4 John Force Racing qualifying order. The Old Spice driver sits in the No. 5 qualifying position with a solid 4.176 second run.
All four JFR drivers improved dramatically over their first session passes and expectations are high for the entire Ford Mustang contingent. With Hight locked into the Countdown to One Ashley Force can clinch a position in the race for the championship with a strong showing this weekend. Team leader John Force and rookie Mike Neff are both looking to hold off the drivers behind them in the points standings with only three races left until the all important cut-off.