FORCE READY TO RACE FOR FIFTH NHRA U.S. NATIONALS VICTORY
Ask John Force which drag race he holds near and dear to his heart and he’ll quickly reply “Indy”. The 16-time NHRA Mello Yello Champion has visited the winner’s circle at Indianapolis Raceway Park four times in his illustrious career in 1993, 1996, 1998 and 2002 and is ready to drive his 8,000 horsepower Castrol GTX High Mileage Mustang to another victory at this year’s Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.
“Certain things motivate me, like the history here and all my heroes that raced at the U.S. Nationals, like the Snake (Don Prudhomme) and the Mongoose (Tom McEwen). My sponsors like Castrol, Ford, Mac Tools, Traxxas, Auto Club and Peak also motivate me. Everyone wants to win Indy and it will be an exciting race, as we have the Traxxas Shootout going on,” said John Force.
Over the last 20 seasons, the 65-year-old icon has won 12 specialty races, six of them at Indianapolis, where he won five times in the Big Bud Shootout and once in the U.S. Smokeless Showdown. He won the inaugural Traxxas Nitro Shootout at Dallas, Texas after it was postponed by rain at Indy back in 2012. This year, John Force is ready to mix things up with his Castrol GTX High Mileage Mustang at this year’s event.
“I’m excited about the Traxxas Shootout. I think we can play, as we got a fast hot rod. Jimmy Prock (crew chief) will be swinging for the fences. Anyone we face will be tough, so we’ll just go out and do what we do,” said John Force.
With the Funny Car final from Brainerd being postponed due to rain delay two weeks ago, fans at this year’s Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals will get an added bonus. The final will be held at Indianapolis during the second qualifying session on Saturday. John Force will be racing in his fifth consecutive final-round appearance of the season and will once again be trying to defeat longtime rival Ron Capps.
“Me and Ron Capps have some unfinished business from Brainerd, so the fans will have some fun watching us race each in the finals on Saturday. I’m really looking forward to it as he’s a tough racer,” said John Force.
Although unofficial until completion of the Brainerd event, John Force also took over the Funny Car points lead from teammate and son-in-law Robert Hight. With Force’s semifinal win over Tommy Johnson Jr., he leads Robert Hight by 18 points.
After securing his spot in the ever critical Countdown to the Championship during last month’s NHRA Sonoma Nationals, John Force was able to breathe a little easier heading into the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. However, as team owner, Force never slows down for one moment. With three other drivers rounding out his camp, the patriarch of this racing dynasty makes sure they all make the playoffs, as he knows how important it is to their sponsors.
During last year’s Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, John Force lost in the quarter-finals to Del Worsham, and it was teammate Robert Hight that drove his Castrol Auto Club Mustang to a final round victory. A jubilant Force was proud of his team and what they accomplished that day.
“Winning Indy six years in a row was great. Robert has three Indy wins, I have four and this is three wins in a row for Mike Neff. These guys are the future of this team, along with Courtney and Brittany and Ashley who has won this race twice in a row. You really have to just love Indy and how special it is,” said John Force.
BP Lubricants USA Inc. markets premium lubricants and business–building programs directly to independent lube operators, service providers, new car dealers and leading retailers. Our leadership brands include Castrol® GTX® – a premium conventional motor oil; Castrol® GTX® High–Mileage™ – a premium synthetic blend designed for vehicles with over 75,000 miles; the Castrol® EDGE ® line of advanced full-synthetic super premium motor oils that offer unsurpassed strength and performance; as well as our range of commercial transport lubricants. To find out more about Castrol products and programs, please call 1–888–CASTROL or log on to www.castrol.com/us.
INDY HYPE DOESN’T BOTHER HIGHT
INDIANAPOLIS (August 26, 2014) — The days leading up to the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance US Nationals are filled with press conferences, sponsor events and anticipation. As the reigning US Nationals champion and three-time winner of the most prestigious NHRA national event Robert Hight is not fazed by the attention or distractions but rather enjoying the feeling of racing at the highest level with the toughest competition this weekend.
“The Funny car category has never been stronger top to bottom. Every race any one of the sixteen Funny Cars that qualify has a decent shot at winning. I don’t know if that has ever been the case. I am very fortunate to be able to go out every race with one of the best teams and best crews to take on these guys and gals,” said Hight.
For thirteen consecutive races this season Hight and the Auto Club Ford Mustang team were the top team in the Funny Car class, a personal record for Hight and it made his team the target of the rest of the class. Since the second race of the season Hight has never been lower than the No. 2 spot in the Mello Yello point standings. It has taken a furious charge by teammate and boss 16-time Funny Car champion John Force to unseat Hight at the top of the point standings.
“John has been to the last five finals in a row and could win two races this weekend plus the Traxxas Shootout. He is on a roll like the roll we were on earlier in the season. We are not too far off and the performance of this Auto Club Mustang is right there. My crew chief Mike Neff has been in the winner’s circle the last three years in a row, two as a driver and last year as my crew chief. He has a great handle on this track and we will be ready to roll for that first qualifying session on Friday night,” said Hight.
John Force Racing has won the last six US Nationals Funny Car titles and nine of the last twelve. In the current streak Hight has a win in 2008, Ashley Force Hood picked up wins in 2009 and 2010 followed by Mike Neff winning as a driver in 2011 and 2012 before Hight jumped back into the winner’s circle last season defeating jack Beckman in the final. The pressure of continuing to perform at the highest level at the most prestigious race does not faze Hight.
“I don’t know that we prepare any differently for Indy other than you know you are getting an extra qualifying session and you have the Traxxas Shootout during the race. You have to focus a lot more during Indy and that might help I guess. You are going all day as soon as you get to the track because there are lots of press conferences and more meet and greets. The fans are great too so you want to make sure they have a special experience.”
Hight will go into the 3rd annual Traxxas Shootout as the No. 2 qualified driver and will face veteran driver Cruz Pedregon the No. 7 qualified driver in the opening round on Sunday. While Hight has never won the Traxxas Shootout he has confidence going into the $100,000 to win race within a race.
“It is great that Traxxas brought the Shootout back. It makes Indy extra special when you know you could win an extra $100,000 on top of the payout for winning the race on Monday. I think it helps keep all the drivers focused and is really cool for the fans. John Force Racing has three shots to win in the Funny Car Shootout so hopefully I will be holding that big check and trophy or one of my teammates either John or Courtney will come up big,” concluded Hight.
COURTNEY FORCE COURTING HISTORY AT US NATIONALS
INDIANAPOLIS, (August 26, 2104) — The Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Indy is the event where Courtney Force picked up her first ever No. 1 qualifying spot and that gives the Traxxas team a little bit of confidence going into the big weekend. She is the only woman to have qualified No. 1 in one of the fuel classes in the 59 year history of the event and one of only three to have qualified No. 1 in any pro class along with Erica Enders-Steven, 2012 in Pro Stock and Angelle Sampey, 2000-2003 in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
For the third time in her career, Force will get the chance to compete at one of the biggest, most prestigious races of the year. The 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals is a monumental race for all of NHRA Drag Racing, celebrating 60 years of memories. Force will be trying to become just the the fourth woman to win a pro title at the U.S. Nationals after Shirley Muldowney (1982 in Top Fuel), Angelle Sampey (2001-2002 in Pro Stock Motorcycle) and older sister Ashley Force Hood (2009-2010 in Funny Car).
“I’m so excited and can’t believe it’s already time for the Big Go! I’ve watched my dad race here since I was a kid and make history here, as well as my sister Ashley and their teammates. This is the biggest race of our season and the one that every driver wants to win. We’ve been able to run well here in the past. Knowing that we have been #1 qualifier before gives me that boost of confidence that maybe we can do it again this year,” said Force.
Force, like her teammates John Force, Robert Hight and sister Brittany Force (Top Fuel), is already locked into the Countdown to the Championship going into the last race event in the regular season. Force clinched a spot in the Countdown to the Championship two weeks ago in Brainerd, MN.
“It definitely takes a load of pressure off going into this race knowing that I’ve already locked into the Countdown to the Championship and allows me to stay focused on winning the race and the Traxxas Nitro Shootout. Our team can place our focus in the right place to work hard to have a consistent and fast car this weekend,” added Force, a two-time winner in 2014
Not only is there a title up for grabs this weekend, but the chance to win $100,000 in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout, a bonus race during Indy put on by Force’s sponsor Traxxas, The Fastest Name in Radio Control. The Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Funny Car will be held on Sunday over Labor Day weekend. Force will race veteran Ron Capps in the opening round of the Traxxas Shootout.
“I’m thrilled that our team had made it into the Traxxas Nitro Shootout again this year and would love to get the win, especially since it’s my sponsor’s race. My dad has done it in the past and I think if we can learn a lot from the first qualifying pass then hopefully we can push forward throughout the Shootout eliminations. I have confidence in my team this weekend and hope that we can use what we have learned throughout this season this weekend during the biggest race of the year! I’m hoping we can come out on top so we have a good start in the points when the countdown to the championship begins, and a win is definitely what we need,” said Force.
For Immediate Release
BRITTANY FORCE READY FOR ANOTHER SHOT AT INDY
For sophomore Top Fuel driver Brittany Force, the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello season has been a complete metamorphosis for the 28 year-old driver. While her rookie season was filled with the usual teething pains a newly formed Top Fuel team would experience, the 2013 NHRA Auto Club Rookie of the Year never lost focus of what she needed to get her 10,000 horsepower Castrol EDGE Dragster down the track, despite constant crew changes and a new dragster chassis that required a different driving style.
Now, the always optimistic Brittany Force is ready for her second trip to the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals appearance in Top Fuel. The fact she’s secured a spot in the Countdown to the Championship going into this iconic race is also a sign that the Castrol EDGE team has turned things around since being shut out from last year’s playoffs. Like her father, legendary driver John Force, Brittany knows how big winning Indy can be for a driver and is ready give her rivals a run for the money.
“I’m so excited about Indy, there’s so much history and I remember watching my dad race there and him telling me and my sisters what a big deal it was. Now, to be going back for the second time with my Castrol EDGE team is pretty awesome. The car’s running great and my guys are pumped,” said Brittany Force.
At last year’s Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Brittany had one of the best qualifying performances of her rookie season. In her first appearance at the “Big Go”, she entered Monday’s elimination rounds in the fourth position. Her first round opponent was veteran racer Terry McMillen and despite having a better reaction, Brittany’s engine had mechanical failure right before she crossed the finish line and fell short of the win.
That was twelve months ago, and lot has changed within the Castrol EDGE team, but before Monday’s final round eliminations, Brittany Force has a shot to compete in her second Traxxas Nitro Shootout at the Chevrolet Performance Nationals. With seven of the eight spots for the Traxxas Nitro Shootout in Top Fuel already determined, Brittany Force and her Castrol EDGE team are eligible for the fan vote to fill the last spot. With Brittany receiving 65% of the fan vote for Traxxas Nitro Shootout, she has a good chance of mixing it up with the other competitors once again.
“I’m definitely excited just to be a part of the fan vote for the Traxxas Shootout. One of my goals was to get in the Traxxas Shootout before the fan vote by winning our first race. My guys have been doing an awesome job by getting us to three finals. That was a tough goal and we didn’t make it, but we still have a shot to get in with our fan vote, and I’m really hoping to get that fan vote and be able to race in the Traxxas Shootout for Top Fuel. I remember watching my dad race in all the Shootouts growing up and to follow in his footsteps and get a chance to once again compete in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout is awesome,” said Brittany Force.