John Force can set a record for consecutive starts in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series if he qualifies his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang for this weekend's fourth annual SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor ...
John Force can set a record for consecutive starts in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series if he qualifies his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang for this weekend's fourth annual SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The last time Force failed to make the starting lineup was Oct. 31, 1987 at the World Finals at Pomona, Calif. He presently shares the record of 303 consecutive starts with Pro Stock driver Warren Johnson.
The second longest active streak is 98 straight by Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher.
Castrol SYNTEC driver Tony Pedregon has the second longest active streak in the Funny Car class at 44. Below are some facts on "the streak."
THE STREAK: 303 CONSECUTIVE QUALIFYING SUCCESSES
One-in-a-Row: Feb. 6, 1988.....No. 4 qualifier at NHRA Winternationals, Pomona, Calif., (5.443 seconds, 274.13 mph). Beat Johnny West and Bruce Larson; lost to Dale Pulde in the semifinals.
The Streak, By the Numbers:
14 - Times qualified outside the Top 8 during the streak
32 - Appearances at his home track (the LA County Fairplex in Pomona, Calif.) during the streak
44 - Times beaten in first round races during the streak
109 - Number one qualifying performances during the streak
219 - Times advanced to the semifinals or beyond during the streak
5,630 - Days since ast failed to make a starting lineup (as of the start of Friday qualifying at Las Vegas) <pre>
Qualifying by position during The Streak:
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 Other -------------------------------------------------------------- 109 59 36 25 15 16 23 6 14
John Force's Career DNQs: 1. 1979 Gainesville DNQ (March 11, 2979) Made the field as an alternate for Larry Fullerton but lost in the first round to Tom McEwen. 2. 1979 Seattle DNQ (Sept. 22, 1979) 3. 1980 Pomona, Calif. DNQ (Feb. 2, 1980) 4. 1981 Denver DNQ (July 3, 1981) 5. 1981 Fremont, Calif. DNQ (Oct. 3, 1981) 6. 1982 Pomona, Calif. DNQ (Feb. 6, 1982) 7. 1983 Baton Rouge DNQ (May 28, 1983) 8. 1984 Atlanta DNQ (April 14, 1984) 9. 1984 Indianapolis DNQ (Sept. 2, 1984) 10. 1987 Pomona, Calif. DNQ (Oct. 31, 1987)
Close calls during The Streak:
Site Year Position Detail Columbus 2000 15th After earning a milestone 87th career win a race earlierat Joliet, Ill., the team opted to debut a new Mustang body at National Trail Raceway with near disastrous effect. The body change impacted Force's steering control and he just barely managed to beat the 5.104 bump with a "hang on for dear life" 5.096.
Pomona1 1994 15th Cruz Pedregon led the way at 5.010 with Force and Tom Hoover bringing up the rear at 5.339 and 5.387, respectively.
Englishtown 2002 15th Teammate Tony Pedregon set the pace at 4.777 seconds but Force struggled mightily for his 5.045 to earn the 15th spot just ahead of Dale Creasy Jr. (5.075).
Dallas 1998 1st Although he qualified No. 1 by becoming the first Funny Car driver to break the 4.80 second barrier, Force was just 10th going into the final qualifyng session and had been bumped out of the show by the time he rolled to the line for his last attempt.
Chicago 2002 13th Bruce Sarver's 4.768 pacesetter was a long way away from Force's off-pace 4.941 at 309.81 mph.
Phoenix 1988 12th Mark Oswald set the pace at 5.419. Force's 5.549 was 12th, but just .132 better than No. 16 qualifier R.C. Sherman.
Phoenix 1995 12th After stumbling in qualifying, Force came back to win the race and, when Al Hofmann suggested that he had a hidden traction control device in his driving uniform, Force responded by stripping to his skivvies at the end of the track for the TV cameras.
</pre> Did You Know?
Before his qualifying failure at the 1987 World Finals at Pomona, Calif., John Force was second in Funny Car points behind only Kenny Bernstein. When he failed to make the field, he fell to fourth in the final standings for the 1987 season....when John Force missed the field at the World Finals, it wasn't by just a little bit. He actually was only the 24th quickest Funny Car on the grounds (of 31 who made qualifying attempts). His 5.834 second, 240.77 mph effort was far off the 5.670 needed to make the field. No.16 qualifier, by the way, was Eric Reed.