FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 CONSECUTIVE LOSSES SHOULD MAKE FORCE TOUGH TO STOP IN FUNNY CAR ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- Sure, John Force has a healthy lead in the NHRA Winston Funny Car point...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761
CONSECUTIVE LOSSES SHOULD MAKE FORCE TOUGH TO STOP IN FUNNY CAR
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- Sure, John Force has a healthy lead in the NHRA Winston Funny Car point standings. Sure, he has appeared all but unstoppable while winning six of the last seven NHRA Winston championships. But every once in a while a young driver comes along to remind everyone that Force is human. In 1992, rookie Cruz Pedregon won five consecutive races to pass Force for the NHRA Winston championship. This year, rookie Randy Anderson beat Force in consecutive final rounds at the Fram Nationals in mid-April and the Lone Star Nationals in early May. "(Crew chief Austin) Coil always tells me to watch for sleeping giants," Force said. "We know everyone is after us, and we know someone is going to get us. It's only a matter of time. "I just can't help but pull for a young kid like that who is still dreaming the dream the way I dreamed it 20 years ago. But I promise you that Randy Anderson isn't going to surprise us again. We're going to keep our eyes on that team." That spells trouble for the rest of the competition entering the 28th annual, $1,695,050 Mopar Parts Nationals, May 15-18 at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. This is the eighth of 22 events in the $30-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series in 1997. Very few drivers recover from stinging losses better than Force. He still tortures the Funny Car field because of his loss to Pedregon in 1992, winning 42 of 80 NHRA national events since February 1993. Force won two of the first six races this year in the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang and held a 156-point lead -- more than one race -- over his teammate, 32-year-old Tony Pedregon. "Youth is what it's all about," said Force, from Yorba Linda, Calif. "I'm just an old man of 48 trying to hang on for a couple more rounds."
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