FOCUS ON CONSISTENCY FOR HIGHT HEADING INTO NEW ENGLAND NATIONALS
EPPING, NH (June 17, 2014) — On the heels of a tough outing last weekend at the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals Mello Yello Funny Car points leader Robert Hight and the Auto Club team are looking to get back to early season form at the 2nd annual New England Nationals. With four wins to his credit already in 2014 Hight wants to add a fifth win and extend his points lead.
“Last year we lost in the first round in Epping. I don’t want a repeat of that this season. We went to six straight finals earlier this season and I know we can get back to that kind of consistency with one good weekend,” said Hight.
Last year Hight and the Auto Club team qualified No. 5 before being upset in the first round by veteran Del Worsham and the DHL Funny Car from Kalitta Racing. His JFR teammates went on to battle it out in the final round with sister-in-law Courtney Force earning the win over 16-time Funny Car champion John Force. Hight would like to make this year’s final an all JFR affair again.
“it is always fun when you can race your teammate in the final round of a race. It takes all the pressure off and you can just go up there and let it all hang out. We had a pretty good streak of final round appearances for the team snapped a few races ago so I would like to get that streak going again. It is tough to win in this category so we know our work will be cut out for us,” said Hight, the 2009 Funny Car champion.
John Force Racing had a streak of fifteen races with at least one JFR Funny Car in the final broken in Englishtown. For Hight his road to a second Funny Car championship will be an uphill battle. He has had a string of six consecutive final round appearances so far this season and only two first round losses. Over that stretch of six races he picked up four wins including three in a row. The Auto Club team has a commanding lead in the Mello Yello point standings but Hight and the rest of the team are not looking at the scoreboard they are focused on the finish line.
“We have gotten off to fast starts before but we didn’t finish. This season is all about focus and finishing strong. I have a great crew chief in Mike Neff along with the other JFR crew chiefs and we are racing smart. I have a lot of confidence and we are just racing as hard as the track allows us,” said Hight, a 33-time national event winner.
The John Force Racing Funny Car trio led by Hight at the top of the points followed by 16-time Funny Car champion John Force in second place and a surging Courtney Force are all solidly in the Top Ten as well as locked into the prestigious Traxxas Nitro Shootout. Every year of Hight’s career he has won multiple national events and he has only not led the points at least one week of the season only one time in the past decade.
“I have had great equipment and great teams behind me since I started racing in 2005. You don’t win 33 times without a great team and I don’t take mine for granted. I know how hard they all work and as a former crew man I know how hard these cars are to work with. We all work together on this Auto Club team to do everything right so there are no fire drills and no panic. The focus we have as a team comes from being confident in the teammate beside you and that is one of the things that is great about JFR we are all one team working together,” said Hight.
For Immediate Release
JOHN FORCE IS READY FOR AN EPPING FINAL ROUND REDO
John Force and his Castrol GTX High Mileage Mustang are locked, loaded and ready for Epping. The 16-time NHRA Mello Yello World Champion has been anticipating heading back to New England Dragway for the second annual Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals. He has also been looking forward to having an opportunity to go to the final round, this time for a win. The 16-time NHRA Mello Yello World Champ would like to get his 140th career victory while adding the NHRA New England Nationals to the impressive list of events he has won in his fabled career.
“The New England Nationals is a great new market for NHRA and Mello Yello. The event also brings in many fans from Canada, which is also very cool. Auto Club is also up there, so I’m excited to be coming back to Epping,” said John Force.
During the inaugural Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals, and for the fourth time in John’s illustrious career, he squared off with one his daughters in the final round. This time, it was Courtney Force, and neither driver showed the other any mercy as their 8,000 horsepower Team Castrol Mustang Funny Cars flew down New England Dragway side-by-side. When the clutch dust and nitro fumes cleared, it was the 2012 NHRA Rookie of the Year who crossed the finish line first just ahead of her dad.
“Last year, we came off a win at Bristol on Father’s Day weekend and went into Epping thinking I could get another win but Courtney beat me in the final. I had beat her earlier at Bristol, so I guess it was revenge for my little girl,” said John Force
As the 2014 season reaches the halfway mark, the reigning NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car champ knows he needs to start going rounds and winning races if he’s going to a 17th Mello Yello World Championship. They also know they can’t continue going down the path of first round defeats if they are going to stay in the hunt for the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.
Legendary racer John Force is on the case, and hopefully this weekend’s second annual NHRA New England Nationals will be race where he turns it around.
“We have all the horsepower in the world, and I have a great team. We’ve put aside our first round defeat at Bristol last week and have moved on and addressed the problems, so we’ll turn it around at Epping,” said John Force.
The 16-time NHRA Funny Car Champ is working even harder in chasing another world title, and shows no signs of slowing down. However, the competition has been tough and when you combine this with the mechanical gremlins the Castrol GTX High Mileage team has been chasing for part of this season, it’s easy to see that it has been a challenging first half of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello season for John Force.
“We’ve been struggling with our hot rod, but I’ve got Jimmy Prock (crew chief), Danny DeGennaro (assistant crew chief) and the rest of the guys sorting it out. We need to keep our sponsors like Castrol, Auto Club, Traxxas, Ford, Mac Tools, Peak and BrandSource happy, and that’s what we’ll do,” said John Force.
John Force is still in second place with 640 Mello Yello Championship points. He trails his teammate, son-in-law and current leader, Robert Hight, by 265 points. More important, John Force knows the gap between him and the rest of field behind is tightening up, so he knows it’s imperative that he goes rounds at this weekend’s NHRA New England Nationals.
With his win at this year’s NHRA Winternationals, and final-round appearances at the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida and the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, we’re confident we’ll be rooting Mr. Force on to victory this weekend.
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