Force Hood - Ford interview 2009-07-15

This Week in Ford Racing Ashley Force Hood, driver of the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang Funny Car, has reached the finals six times this season, and reached the semi-finals in each of the last seven events. Force Hood heads into Pacific Raceways ...

This Week in Ford Racing

Ashley Force Hood, driver of the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang Funny Car, has reached the finals six times this season, and reached the semi-finals in each of the last seven events. Force Hood heads into Pacific Raceways in Seattle, Washington, this weekend tied for the points lead in the NHRA Funny Car Series standings.

DEFINE YOUR SEASON SO FAR. "As a driver and as a team we've been able to get a better handle on the car. There's lot of little things that we've been able to get better at handling, lots of little things that can knock you around and cost you a race. We mesh really well and we have been working very hard for every race. The big difference between this year and last year is that we've been able to go more rounds, I have come close to winner a few times this season, which really is an achievement from last year."

DURING QUALIFYING IN DENVER YOUR CAR WENT SIDEWAYS. HOW DID IT FEEL FROM YOUR POINT OF VIEW? "Yeah, the car went really sideways. For people watching the run down the track, I don't know if you could really tell in the instant that it happened, but in the replay that I saw it looked exactly how it felt. It happened real quick and fortunately I was able to get it under control. As a driver when that happens you have to know how to get it under control, but it can be pretty scary."

FOR THE RACE IN SEATTLE YOU'RE UNVEILING A SPECIAL PAINT SCHEME FOR THE RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES. "The paint scheme is for the Ronald McDonald House Charities that we got involved with through our Brand Source sponsor. I'm actually going to be driving the car in Sonoma, too. I'm really excited about it. It always makes it a special weekend when you get to drive a theme car and also when you're doing it for a charity that helps children. It makes you want to win more."

YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND ARE DRIVING TO EACH RACE IN AN RV FOR THE WEST COAST SWING. HOW IS THAT GOING? "Well, we've only been in it for one week now. We were in Colorado a few days early so we were able to sightsee, which we normally don't get to do before a race. It's been nice. We've been able to make some stops and check out the different things along the way. It's more relaxing than going from the race track to the hotel every day, and it's a nice change of pace for us. It really is comfortable and easy to drive. We were also able to bring Simba along with us, which is nice since we usually aren't able to bring him with us on road trips. One of our crew guys has come along for the ride with us too, so we have some company. It's funny being able to see the trailers with my Mustang on the side of it behind us, and passing them along the way. We have it until Sonoma, but it's been really neat. We're definitely enjoying it."

HOW DO YOU FEEL THE WEST COAST SWING WILL AFFECT YOUR PLACE GOING INTO THE COUNTDOWN? "Well, the Countdown really changes things. The higher you are in the point standings before it starts, the better off you are, obviously, once the Countdown begins. They kind of clear the slate for the Countdown, but I think you get to start out with 10 or 20 extra points, and that could be all it takes at the end of the year to win a championship. There are races when you feel really great about your qualifying and then there are others when you really struggle. We really struggled in Denver. We went sideways that one run and we qualified in the middle of the pack at number seven. We've been going into race days and going into other events and have been qualifying really high and we've made really good runs down the track, but Denver was kind of a challenge for everyone. We didn't think we were going to make it to the finals, so when we did we were very pleased with that, considering we weren't quite so confident earlier in the weekend. We went a lot of rounds and didn't let it get us down. We made it to the final round and now we're tied for points leader. If we keep doing that all year I think we'll be in good shape."

-credit: ford racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ashley Force