TEAM CASTROL DRIVERS OFF TO SLOW START IN 2005 SEASON On a day on which neither of the three reigning NHRA POWERade Champions reached the semifinals and on which all three of the John Force Racing Ford Mustangs were upset in round one, Ashley ...
TEAM CASTROL DRIVERS OFF TO SLOW START IN 2005 SEASON
On a day on which neither of the three reigning NHRA POWERade Champions reached the semifinals and on which all three of the John Force Racing Ford Mustangs were upset in round one, Ashley Force drove the all-new Castrol/Hot Wheels dragster into the semifinals of the season-opening 45th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals at Pomona Raceway. JMs. Force, 22-year-old daughter of 13-time NHRA Funny Car Champion John Force, qualified No. 2 for car owners Jerry Darien and Ken Meadows before running afoul of veteran Steve Federlin who took her out in the semifinals.
Nevertheless, Ashley had a better day than her dad who, after qualifying second, suffered traction problems that ultimately resulted in a supercharger explosion that allowed veteran Jim Head to sneak by for a first round victory.
Force, a 114-time tour winner, was quickly joined on the sidelines by Eric Medlen and the Castrol SYNTEC Ford and by rookie Robert Hight and the Team Castrol/Auto Club Mustang.
"It wasn't what we wanted and wasn't what we expected," Force said. "It's just one of the things you have to learn to deal with. We'll just regroup and do better next time. We know we've got good race cars. We just didn't have things go our way today. Ashley's the only thing that kept us in the game."
TEAM CASTROL Details:
JOHN FORCE, 55, Castrol GTX Start Up Ford Mustang
Qualifying position and performance: 2nd at 4.697 seconds, 329.26 mph.
Race results: Lost to Jim Head.
Notable: Only the second time in history that all three Force Racing Fords were eliminated in the first round.
Quotable: "It wasn't what we expected, but it's just racing. We know we have three good hot rods. We just had a bad day and all we can do is look at what went wrong and fix it for Phoenix." -- JOHN FORCE.
ERIC MEDLEN, 31, Castrol SYNTEC Ford Mustang
Qualifying position and performance: 3rd at 4.722 seconds, 328.24 mph.
Race results: Lost to Del Worsham.
Notable: Medlen remains winless in the Winternationals, losing in the first round for the second straight year.
Quotable: "I just feel really bad for my guys. My dad gave me a good race car and just messed up." -- ERIC MEDLEN.
ROBERT HIGHT, 35, Automobile Club of Southern California Ford Mustang
Qualifying position and performance: 4th at 4.754, 327.19 mph.
Race results: Lost to Bob Gilbertson.
Notable: Inauspicious debut for the rookie driver.
Quotable: "We're all right. A lot of good teams went home early and we just happened to be one of them. The good thing is we get another chance in two weeks." -- ROBERT HIGHT.
ASHLEY FORCE, 22, Castrol/Hot Wheels A/Fuel dragster (Top Alcohol
Qualifying position and performance: 2nd at 5.371 seconds, 260.97 mph.
Race results: Beat Larry Miersch, Robert Perkins; lost to Steve Federlin.
Notable: Lost to Federlin for the second straight year at the Winternationals.