JOHN FORCE, 51, of Yorba Linda, Calif., driver of the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang, is the nine-time and reigning Winston Funny Car Champion. This is the 21st time in his career that John has qualified No. 6. He's won twice from that starting spot...
JOHN FORCE, 51, of Yorba Linda, Calif., driver of the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang, is the nine-time and reigning Winston Funny Car Champion. This is the 21st time in his career that John has qualified No. 6. He's won twice from that starting spot - at the Northwest Nationals at Seattle, Wash., in 1993 and 1996.
SEASON-TO-DATE: John is bidding for his sixth victory of the current season. He won earlier at Phoenix, Richmond, Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago to become the most prolific winner in NHRA drag racing history with 86 tour victories. John has won at least one NHRA national event for 14 straight seasons and has one at least three times in each of the last 11 years.
RECORDS: John is the official NHRA national record holder for both quarter mile time (4.788 seconds) and speed (324.05 miles per hour last year at Gainesville, Fla,).
PREVIOUSLY AT DENVER: John is seeking his fourth career victory at Bandimere Speedway Park where he won the Mopar Mile-High Nationals three straight times, 1994-96.
VERSUS SCOTTY CANNON: John is 6-1 against Scotty Cannon, the only loss coming in the second round of this year's MAC Tools Gatornationals at Gainesville, Fla. Force won the most recent meeting â€“ in the semifinals of the Moto1.net Nationals at Richmond, Va. CASTROL GTX VERSUS CASTROL SYNTEC: As the No. 6 and No. 4 qualifiers, John Force and Tony Pedregon could face off in the final round for the 13th time. In 12 previous finals, John was the winner on nine occasions. John has won the last four meetings and the only one this year â€“ at Dallas.
FIRST ROUND RECORD: John hasn't lost in the first round at the Mile-High Nationals since Rob Williams beat him in 1980.
DID YOU KNOW: John now has qualified for 242 consecutive races, the longest streak in Funny Car drag racing history......John is the only drag racer to have won the Driver of the Year Award for all of American motor racing (1996) .....John has won only one race when he has qualified worse than eighth. He won the 1995 Checker/Schuck's/Kragen Nationals after qualifying 12th. He most often has won from the No. 1 spot â€“ 43 times....although he's won almost half the races this year (five of 11), John came into the Mopar Mile-High Nationals trailing Jerry Toliver by 54 points....one of John's first Crew Chiefs was Denver native Larry Frazier, now making the tuning decisions for Top Fuel driver Doug Herbert....If both advance as expected, John would face Toliver and the WWF Pontiac in the semifinal round. He is 5-3 against Toliver, most recently losing to him in the semifinals at St. Louis.
TONY PEDREGON, 35, Chino Hills, Calif., driver of the Castrol SYNTECâ„¢ Ford Mustang, is seeking his third straight victory at Bandimere Speedway Park. He will start the 22nd annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals from the No. 4 qualifying position after winning the last two years from the No. 10 and No. 11 positions, respectively.
Tony has won only one time previously from the No. 4 spot â€“ at the 1998 O'Reilly Nationals at Houston, Texas. One or the other of the Team Castrol Funny Car drivers â€“ Tony or John Force â€“ has won the Mile-High Nationals five of the last six years.
PREVIOUSLY AT DENVER: The Mopar Mile-High Nationals is the first and only race in which Tony has won back-to-back races. In four starts at Bandimere Speedway Park, he has posted a 10-2 record. Last year, he qualified only 11th but posted the quickest race day time (5.041 seconds) in beating teammate John Force in the semifinals.
QUICKEST MAN ON THE PLANET: Tony owns the quickest quarter mile ever recorded by a fuel Funny Car: 4.779 seconds on March 21, 1999 at Gainesville, Fla.
VERSUS DEL WORSHAM: Tony is 13-2 against Del Worsham; 5-2 in first round meetings; 2-0 this season.
SEASON TO DATE: Tony earned his first win of the new millennium last month when he upset Jerry Toliver in the final round of the Pontiac Excitement Nationals at Kirkersville, Ohio. He also has three runner-up finishes to his credit - at Pomona, Calif., Las Vegas, Nevada and Dallas.
CAREER RECORD: Although this is only his fifth full season on the NHRA tour, Tony already has nine victories in 25 career final round appearances in the Funny Car division. That's 25 final rounds in his first 96 starts for Team Castrol and John Force Racing.
DID YOU KNOW? Tony is one of only two drivers to have won the Mopar Mile-High Nationals from a double digit starting spot. He won from the No. 10 spot in 1998 and the No. 11 position last year. Larry Minor won Top Fuel from No. 12 in 1993....Tony was the initial winner (1996) of the Automobile Club of Southern California's Road to the Future Award (and the $10,000 cash bonus that accompanies it)....Tony has won at least one national event in each of his five years with Team Castrol....although their cars are both Fords and are sponsored by Castrol, Tony's and John's hybrids are far from identical. John uses the SSI supercharger; Tony the Gibson-Miller supercharger; John uses the 4-disc clutch; Tony uses the 5-disc.