JOHN FORCE, 50, of Yorba Linda, Calif., driver of the Castrol GTXÂ® Ford Mustang, reached the final round for eighth time in 16 appearances at Firebird International Raceway before winning for the sixth time in seven years in the ...
JOHN FORCE, 50, of Yorba Linda, Calif., driver of the Castrol GTX® Ford Mustang, reached the final round for eighth time in 16 appearances at Firebird International Raceway before winning for the sixth time in seven years in the Checker/Schuck's/Kragen Nationals. In his last seven starts at Firebird, Force is 24-1. The win was the 82nd of John's career and it came in his 128th trip to the finals.
John now is 14-4 against final round foe Ron Capps, having won the last seven meetings. The two now are all even at 2-2 in final round matches. Capps won at Dallas and Seattle in 1998; Force at Brainerd in 1997.
John now is within three career wins of tying Bob Glidden's career record of 85 victories. Moreover, he now is three victories ahead of third place Warren Johnson.
An oil leak in the semifinals prevented Castrol SYNTEC™ Ford driver Tony Pedregon from joining his boss in the final round. The leak first was detected during the warmup preceding the semifinals. Crew members addressed the problem as best they could within the time restraints but couldn't stem the flow of oil which prompted NHRA officials to disqualify Pedregon. More important, the situation cost the Mission Hills, Calif., resident a $1,000 fine and a 10 point penalty.
John is the official NHRA national record holder for both quarter mile time (4.788 seconds) and speed (324.05 miles per hour). He is the track and event record holder as well, having negotiated the Firebird quarter mile in 4.843 seconds at 317.87 mph in 1999.
John dedicated his victory to the late Tripp Shumake, a Phoenix resident and former Funny Car driver who was killed in a hit-and-run accident while riding his motorcycle last November. Force presented the trophy to Shumake's children: Heather, 22, and Travis, 15.
John has qualified for 231 consecutive races. The last NHRA national event for which he failed to qualify was the 1987 World Finals .....John is the only drag racer to have won the Driver of the Year Award for all of American motor racing (1996) ....in addition to his 11 Winston Series victories this year, John won $200,000 as the Champion of the inaugural Winston Showdown at Bristol, Tenn., which paired Funny Cars with Top Fuel dragsters....John is one of only two Funny Car drivers to have broken 4.80 seconds; one of only three to have reached 320 mph....John was a finalist this year for Espy Awards as Driver of the Year and Driver of the Decade....John posted top speed of the meet in the final: 313.88 mph.