Las Vegas II: Force Hood - Ford interview 2010-10-27

This Week in Ford Racing October 27, 2010 Ashley Force Hood heads to Las Vegas this weekend sitting fourth in the NHRA Countdown to One point standings. Force Hood talks about keeping her championship hopes alive and a special paint scheme that...

This Week in Ford Racing
October 27, 2010

Ashley Force Hood heads to Las Vegas this weekend sitting fourth in the NHRA Countdown to One point standings. Force Hood talks about keeping her championship hopes alive and a special paint scheme that she will be debuting on The Strip.

ASHLEY FORCE HOOD - Castrol GTX Ford Mustang Funny Car -HOW DO YOU FEEL HEADING INTO VEGAS THIS WEEKEND? "I'm really excited for Vegas. We've always done really well there and the conditions have always been really good for our cars. I think it's going to be a good weekend. We definitely had a tough weekend in Reading. You immediately think of that when we think back on the Countdown, but we've had a lot of good times in the Countdown as well. My team won the first race out at Indy and we just need to get back in that mind frame and not focus at all on Reading. It was just one of those weekends that happen and if anything, I think it's brought us together more. It's been a bad weekend but there's two more to go and we know Robert [Hight] how he did last year, going from tenth to first, is definitely on all of our minds that anybody is capable of winning this as long as they don't give up on themselves and give the other teams that kind of mental advantage. I don't think you've got to worry about it with this team because we are mental, in a good way though. We've been through the highs and the lows and I don't think there's any type of pressure you could put on our team this year that we can't get through together. I'm excited for Vegas. It will be a really good weekend. It will be exciting, that's for sure."

YOUR CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES ARE STILL ALIVE GOING INTO VEGAS. WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO THIS WEEKEND IN ORDER TO GET TO POMONA AND WIN THAT CHAMPIONSHIP? "It's what it's always been. We just need our consistent car back. We've just kind of struggled at some of the races with just some fluke things that have happened and we've gone back to running some things that we've run earlier in the year that we know work, we know how to tune with and that. That's really the crew chiefs' decision, but they keep me in all of that. There comes that time when you just have to go back to what you know if something isn't working, even if it should work. We're going back to a few things that we haven't used in some races. I don't know the details in all that, but what I do know is that my crew chiefs seem pretty confident this weekend. They think that we can get the car back to how it was running before. Our car now runs good, but it will have these random things happen to it and you can't have that in the Countdown. You need consistency. Reading was a perfect example. We went in to Reading running great. We were doing well. Dad was leading the points and we happen to stumble and the other teams took that stumble and they ran with it. The same thing can happen with the teams we're running against. They could stumble in Vegas and Pomona and we could be right back where we want to be. You can't depend on that and you don't think about that. You can't control what other teams do. You can only worry about your own team. We're just going to do every little thing we can and pay attention to every little detail from my reaction times to the car being put together perfect, and we always do that. I have a really good team. Maybe it was just a little bit of luck that we needed because the things that happened weren't anybody's fault. They were just things that happen in racing. When you're working with these 800 horsepower cars, they're not always going to be easy to deal with and sometimes you're just going to have things that go wrong. Unfortunately, things went wrong the third race before the end of the championship, so the timing wasn't that good.

"We're running a special body in Vegas. It's the Queen of Hearts, tribute to D Team, car so my whole team is actually on the car. It's their picture. All of us are, including my cats, the mascots. I think maybe we need a little bit of luck and mojo. We're excited about that. It's kind of taken our minds off the rough outing in Reading. We think we just need a little magic and maybe our special car is what's going to give it to us. The fans are going to love it and the support we'll get will keep our minds off the rough weekend we had and keep us focused where it needs to be which will be this weekend."

THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT RECORD SETTING CONDITIONS AGAIN IN LAS VEGAS THIS WEEKEND. DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT AS A DRIVER OR ARE YOU MORE FOCUSED ON MAKING THE QUALIFYING RUNS AND MAKING SURE YOU GET DOWN THE TRACK? "As a driver, I don't make those kinds of decisions tuning-wise. I love when there is great conditions because I know that the cars are happier with those types of temperatures and that type of air. For me, I don't drive it any different if it is a record run or not. I just do my same thing and leave it up to the tuners because they are the ones that know what they're doing and make the right decisions. I really trust my crew chiefs Dean [Antonelli] and Ron [Douglas]. They really know this car. They don't just make random decisions and they don't get ahead of themselves. It's hard not too, I'm sure, when you have great conditions you just want to set the world on fire, but if you don't get down the track you lose those points. It's that fine line you dance around because you want to push the car as much as you can but you definitely don't want it to not get down the track. You could lose out on those points since we're able to get points every round of qualifying now. That's the balance that we work towards. Some will do it a little differently. Some will always push it every time and others will gain the points the other way of consistently being two or three, but knowing that their car is going to go down the track. We'll get there and we'll make our first run, hopefully we can make a great first round out and that will set us up good for the night session because we'll get to run further back in the pack and it will be a little cooler when we run. Hopefully we can take advantage of that night session and that good weather."

RACE DAY IS ON HALLOWEEN. ARE YOU DOING ANYTHING FUN IN HONOR OF THE HOLIDAY THIS WEEKEND? "I actually got a Queen of Hearts costume. I haven't decided if I'm going to wear it or not to go with my car. I might wear it up to driver intros. The fans will love it. A lot of them dress up but sometimes you feel a little self-conscious in a costume around your competitors, so I will decide that once I get there. I bought candy and will have a big cauldron that I will put out at the back of our pits for the fans when they're waiting they can get candy. Usually the Halloween stuff is later after the race. The kids, other racer's kids, will come around and trick-or-treat. I don't think it will be on our minds during the race, but definitely however the race ends up we can pass out candy and be a part of the holiday."

-source: ford racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ashley Force