Columbus: John Force - "Forcing" the record

John Force established himself as the NHRA's all-time win leader, surpassing Bob Glidden's storied mark of 85 wins with a final round triumph over Jerry Toliver at the recent Prestone Route 66 Nationals in Joliet, Ill. Force, 51, will go for his...

John Force established himself as the NHRA's all-time win leader, surpassing Bob Glidden's storied mark of 85 wins with a final round triumph over Jerry Toliver at the recent Prestone Route 66 Nationals in Joliet, Ill. Force, 51, will go for his 87th career victory at National Trail Raceway, a track that he's mastered only two times (1988 and 1990). While Force is looking for No. 87, his talented crew chief, Austin Coil, will be trying for his 94th career win. Force says his success could not have been attained without the wizardry of Coil, who joined Force in 1984 after tuning Frank Hawley to back-to-back championships in 1982-83 on a limited budget. "Coil is the best," said Force, who raced for nine years before earning his first win. "Heck, he won two championships without any money. The guy is the real deal. And I mean that, because I don't have to say nice things about him just to keep him around - I pay him enough already."

After winning No. 86, Force presented the trophy to Coil for his years of dedicated service. "(Getting the record) was great," said the nine-time NHRA Winston champion and driver of the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang. "I totally tripped out. I felt like a kid again. I haven't felt that good since we beat the dragsters in the Winston Showdown. It was a team deal, not just me. Austin and Bernie (Fedderly, co-crew chief) make this hot rod go, I just try to drive it. Winning (No. 86) at Austin's hometown was great." Force put together an impressive run to overtake Glidden, logging victories at four consecutive events. "Now, maybe I can relax a little," Force added.

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Bob Glidden , Jerry Toliver , Austin Coil , Frank Hawley