JOHN FORCE BLASTS TO PROVISIONAL NO. 1 AT POMONA POMONA, CA --- John Force claimed a little bit of Robert Hight's magic on Friday night at the 45th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway. In the only qualifying session on Friday Force...
JOHN FORCE BLASTS TO PROVISIONAL NO. 1 AT POMONA
POMONA, CA --- John Force claimed a little bit of Robert Hight's magic on Friday night at the 45th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway. In the only qualifying session on Friday Force blasted to the top of the Funny Car pack with an outstanding 4.06 second run at nearly 308 mph. The entire John Force Racing crew chief brain trust has been working furiously to get the 14-time champion's Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang back to its championship ways.
"The credit goes to the brain-trust Austin Coil and Bernie Fedderly. John Medlen came over to work on our car. We had Dean Antonelli and Ron Douglas help Jimmy Prock and then Jimmy came over and helped us. What we created was a group that worked together. They got me out of my embarrassing situation. I'll take it but it will be gone tomorrow without a doubt. Robert (Hight) almost got it. A low qualifier would mean a lot I used to take them for granted," said the winningest driver in NHRA history.
If Force holds onto the No. 1 position it would be the 132nd No. 1 for Force and it has been seventy-three races since Force has gone into race day in the top spot. The last time that happened was the 2006 Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.
While Force was pleased with his performance her was not confident it would hold up through Saturday's two remaining qualifying sessions.
"Tomorrow is a new day. Today is great. I am always excited but there is a lot going on in our camps. I have a good race car and I'll be in the show. I am happy to be here and make the show. Conditions will be good. They will run quicker out there. I know Jimmy Prock will. Right now there is a lot of focus just trying to get me back in the game. Castrol pays good money. This is the second worst season I have had since I started," said Force.
While Force made the biggest jump in performance his daughter and championship contender Ashley Force Hood also stepped up today. Force Hood's Castrol GTX Ford Mustang also reclaimed some of its mo jo racing to the provisional No. 4 spot with a solid 4.098 second run at 307.58 mph. The run was an emotional experience for the third year driver.
"That was the kind of run I am used to. It was pulling me all the way down the track. That was definitely like, my good old Mustang. I am really pumped and actually had a tear going down my face. I don't know if it was from my allergies or just the force of the run or being happy that my car was back. I think it was a little of all three. I was actually crying on that run. It was funny that I had tears going down my face," said Force Hood.
Points leader Robert Hight and the Auto Club Mustang added two more qualifying bonus points after making the second quickest run of the session. His team is now 110 points ahead of Force Hood and they continue to control their own destiny headed into the final day of qualifying for the 2009 Full Throttle season. Hight's Friday lap was an impressive 4.069 seconds at a category fastest, 310.55 mph.
Mike Neff and the Ford Drive One team will head into Saturday with the 6th quickest time after two days of qualifying. His time of 4.137 seconds from Thursday will hold up after he lost power on his Friday run and slowed to a pedestrian 9.039 seconds in the last pair with Hight.
John Force Racing's next generation of drivers Brittany and Courtney Force had two shots at the track today and they made the most of them. Courtney Force and the Sanyo Supercharged HD A Fuel Dragster will start tomorrow elimination round from the No. 6 position. Brittany will begin her day piloting the BrandSource A Fuel Dragster from the No. 7 position after the laid down passes of 5.306 and 5.311 respectively. They could potentially meet in the semi-final round.