JOHN FORCE TOP FORD FRIDAY AT ZMAX DRAGWAY CONCORD, NC -- 14-time Funny Car champion and Funny Car points leader John Force made the most of his Friday night qualifying effort at the 3rd annual O'Reilly NHRA Nationals at zMax Dragway. Force ...
JOHN FORCE TOP FORD FRIDAY AT ZMAX DRAGWAY
CONCORD, NC -- 14-time Funny Car champion and Funny Car points leader John Force made the most of his Friday night qualifying effort at the 3rd annual O'Reilly NHRA Nationals at zMax Dragway. Force made the second quickest run of the evening session, a blistering 4.081 second pass at 305.15 mph. He was only outdistanced by 2-time Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon.
"The calls were being made by the way out guys were reading the track. If nothing else we wanted to show them what couldn't happen. (Crew chiefs) Mike Neff and (Austin) Coil and Bernie (Fedderly) tuned that Mustang up. To run a 4.07 like that I have to tip my hat to Cruz Pedregon. That was unbelievable. I am excited my guys prepared my Mustang right. That is most important or you are dead. It ran down there and right at one spot it almost didn't go and I looked at Robert's run and at the same spot his didn't go. Robert will be there tomorrow," said Force, a 130 time tour winner.
As the first competitor to take to the track during the second qualifying session Force powered his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang across the finish line quicker than he expected. Force was first out after his first run, 4.222 seconds, was DQed after the NHRA tech department ruled that his Ford Mustang body was too low.
"I hated that in the first session when my run was thrown out. I was only fifth so I didn't get a point then. I ended up second and got some bonus points. I thought Ashley's car was going to go and she is really working that tree like she did at Indy. She just double stepped no big deal. I couldn't be more proud of her. I'm proud of Jimmy Prock and Robert and we have three good Mustangs. We'll be ready for the fight," said Force.
"At the end of the day (crew chiefs Mike) Neff, (Austin) Coil and (Bernie) Fedderly were trying to be safe and just get me in the show. It hopped itself up and the air cooled off. She really came on strong on that run for the 4.08. Jimmy Prock was trying to run a 4.0. My run might not stand and you got some hitters coming up."
Ashley Force Hood was the strongest Funny Car of the first session and her time held up as 10th quickest of the day. She opened qualifying with a 4.151 second run in her Castrol GTX Ford Mustang and collected three bonus points for having the quickest run of the session. In the second session she appeared to double step her Mustang on the launch and clicked the lights a 1,000 feet later with a 6.081 second pass.
2009 Funny Car champion Robert Hight struggled in both sessions with back to back tire smoking passes. It was a surprising turn of events for the Auto Club Ford Mustang team as that dominated qualifying at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. His quickest pass of the day was a pedestrian 4.724 seconds on a tire smoking run during the night session.