MADISON, Ill. -- One week after his daughter made Funny Car history with a breakthrough victory in Atlanta, Ga., John Force celebrated his 59th birthday Sunday by becoming the first driver to win 1,000 competitive rounds in the NHRA POWERade Drag...
MADISON, Ill. -- One week after his daughter made Funny Car history with a breakthrough victory in Atlanta, Ga., John Force celebrated his 59th birthday Sunday by becoming the first driver to win 1,000 competitive rounds in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
When Force drove his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang to a quarter mile time of 4.862 seconds, 320.20 miles per hour to beat defending event champion Ron Capps in the first round of Sunday's 12th annual O'Reilly Midwest Nationals, it propelled him to what may be his ultimate accomplishment in the sport.
NHRA officials suspended first round competition to bring Force back to the starting line area where he was congratulated by NHRA president Tom Compton and presented a crystal trophy commemorating his accomplishment.
"You can't win without a good crew, sponsors like Castrol, Ford, the Auto Club and Old Spice and crew chiefs like Austin Coil and Bernie Fedderly," Force said. "Five hundred races (a milestone he achieved at Atlanta) just means you showed up a lot. But winning a thousand rounds, that means that at a point in time, we were pretty good."
John Force's historically significant round wins:
First win beat Tom McEwen, first round, Cajun Nationals, Baton Rouge, La., June 1, 1979
100th win beat Brad Tuttle, first round, NorthStar Nationals, Brainerd, Minn., Aug. 21, 1988, race winner, Oldsmobile Firenza
200th win beat Mike Dunn, semifinals, Summernationals, Englishtown, N.J., July 7, 1991, semifinalist, Oldsmobile Cutlass
250th win beat Del Worsham, semifinals, 1992 Mopar Mile-High Nationals, Denver, Colo. (Runner-up) July 26, 1992, Oldsmobile Cutlass
300th win beat Gordie Bonin, semifinals, Mid-South Nationals, Memphis, Tenn., May 16, 1993, race winner, Oldsmobile Cutlass
400th win beat Dale Pulde, second round, Northwest Nationals, Seattle, Wash., August 6, 1995, race winner, Pontiac Formula Firebird
500th win beat Ray Higley, second round, Castrol Nationals, Dallas, Texas, May 4, 1997, runner-up, Ford Mustang
600th win beat Whit Bazemore, second round, Virginia is for Lovers Nationals, Richmond, Va., May 2, 1999, race winner, Ford Mustang
700th win beat Tim Wilkerson, first round, 1999 Auto Club Finals, Pomona, Calif., Nov. 14, 1999, runner-up, Ford Mustang
750th win beat Bob Gilbertson, first round, 2001 Toyo Tires Nationals, Reading, Pa., Oct. 7, 2001, race winner, Ford Mustang
800th win beat Tim Wilkerson, semifinals, ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals, Las Vegas, Nev., Oct. 27, 2002, race winner, Ford Mustang.
900th win beat Whit Bazemore, first round, Summit Southern Nationals, Atlanta, Ga., May 15, 2005,race winner, Ford Mustang.
1000th win beat Ron Capps, first round, O'Reilly Midwest Nationals, May 4, 2008, Ford Mustang.