FORCE GRABS PROVISIONAL NO. 1 AT AAA MIDWEST NATS -Rain cancels second qualifying session at GIR- MADISON, IL --- 14-time Funny Car champion John Force continued to show that his off-season crew chief realignment may have been the move that jump...
FORCE GRABS PROVISIONAL NO. 1 AT AAA MIDWEST NATS
-Rain cancels second qualifying session at GIR-
MADISON, IL --- 14-time Funny Car champion John Force continued to show that his off-season crew chief realignment may have been the move that jump started the winningest driver in NHRA's history into a career renaissance. Force grabbed the provisional No. 1 qualifier position today at Gateway International Raceway with a monster run of 4.103 seconds at 307.23 mph. Force's Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang was over a tenth of a second quicker than the No. 2 qualifier Rob Capps (4.26 seconds). If this position holds up through the weekend it would be the third No. 1 (Phoenix and Houston) of the season for Force.
"We have learned how to run on good tracks with the cool air and we have learned how to run in the hot air. We are also able to learn from the other two Mustangs. I watched Robert go out and spin his tires and then see Ashley do almost the same thing. Mike Neff, Bernie Fedderly and Austin Coil got together and made some adjustments on my Castrol hot rod. I have been pretty good at picking people but putting those three guys together I have been real fortunate," said Force. "At the end of the day I want to thank Lanny Miglizzi our track specialist. He is a big part of this. He gets out here early in the week and reads the race track. He is really key in helping the crew chiefs make the calls. When I spoke to Coil and Neff they said I should thank Lanny."
All three John Force Racing Mustangs are in the top half of the qualified field. Robert Hight was the first JFR car to hit the track and he unceremoniously smoked the tires in his Auto Club Ford Mustang. A few pairs later Ashley Force Hood made a nearly identical run in her Castrol GTX Ford Mustang. Using that info Force's crew chiefs got together and dialed his Mustang back.
"Getting everyone in the top half of the ladder when you have weather coming in is important. When you are racing for 25 years with Castrol and there are a lot of people invested in me and my teams. We want to perform for them. They gave me a second chance. I really appreciate all my sponsors Ford, Auto Club, BrandSource, and Mac Tools. AAA Missouri bought the sponsorship of this race and I know Robert will be flying tomorrow. Jimmy has his Mustang right on the edge. That car is ready to run. I just got through there in that first session. We have worked with AAA Missouri for a few years but to see them buy a race is cool and we want to do well for them and all our sponsors," added Force.
If Force's qualifying position holds up it will be the 134th of his career and will leave him just four back from NHRA career leader Pro Stock's Warren Johnson.
The second qualifying session was cut short today when severe storms moved into the area. There are two qualifying sessions on tap for tomorrow weather permitting.