John Force Racing Looks to Texas

DALLAS (September 16, 2014) — Robert Hight is a self-professed lover of baseball and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 2009 Funny Car champion has raced with a Dodgers themed Funny Car and thrown out the first pitch at ballparks across the country. This weekend at the 29th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals the 34-time Funny Car national event winner will get the chance to race in his own doubleheader of sorts.

Due to rain and deteriorating track conditions as a result of the precipitation the NHRA moved the completion of the Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals to the Texas Motorplex. The remaining three rounds of that race will be contested on Saturday as part of the qualifying program at the famed all-concrete quarter-mile facility. Fans will be treated to an extra run by the Top Fuel and Funny Car finalist at approximately 4:45 p.m. on Saturday after official qualifying is completed. Hight and teammate John Force are on opposite sides of the elimination ladder and could meet in the final round.

“This is going to be a busy weekend. We will finish the Charlotte race on Saturday and then the AAA Texas FallNationals on Sunday. This is also my sponsor, AAA Texas’ race so we will have a lot of those folks watching. I love it. There is nothing better than a baseball double header in the play-off and now we get an NHRA double header to start the Countdown. We are going to make the best of this tough situation,” said Hight, a two time winner at the Texas Motorplex FallNationals.

Hight raced to his first FallNational victory in 2006 from the No. 1 qualifying position. He took the title again in 2009, also from the No. 1 qualifier spot, on the way to his first Mello Yello Funny Car championship. Hight and the Auto Club Mustang have been the No. 1 qualifier four times (2006, 2008, 2009 and 2013). Last year Hight raced from the top spot and was looking for his third win in a row but was stopped by John Force in the semi-finals.

“We have done pretty well in qualifying here. This all-concrete track is pretty awesome. Billy Meyer built the first super track and we love coming to the Dallas area and racing. I am not too concerned with the heat because we have a pretty solid hot weather tune up. In Charlotte on Saturday we were the second quickest Funny Car in both sessions and Mike Neff has a lot of confidence. I feed off that confidence,” said HIght.

The driver crew chief relationship racing is similar to the pitcher catcher relationship in baseball. The pitcher is taking some direction from the catcher and many times it is the catcher job to help keep the pitcher calm or focused. Hight and Neff have a similar relationship and so far this season they have five wins and a streak of six final rounds in a row. Hight has leaned on Neff’s crew chief confidence and Neff has enjoyed having a driver who treats every round like an elimination round and gives him consistent runs to build a tune-up around.

“There are so many things that go into running a Funny Car at the championship level. You need a good driver, a good crew chief, a good crew and then most importantly you need consistency and confidence. We have all those elements over here with the AAA Texas team,” said Hight.

For Immediate Release


DALLAS (September 16, 2014) —- The 16-time NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car champion has the opportunity to not just win one race this weekend, but two – all at the same drag strip. With the postponement of final eliminations from last weekend’s Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals due to persistent rain showers, they will conclude this Saturday during qualifying at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex.

However, if John Force plays his cards right, and if his Castrol GTX High Mileage Mustang is tuned-up and ready to gallop out of the starting gate, the winningest driver in NHRA history has the potential to double up during this weekend’s NHRA double header.

The Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals kicked off the to the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship and with one round of Top Fuel and Funny Car eliminations completed before the skies opened up, John Force had advanced to the quarterfinal. Unfortunately, it came at the expense of taking out daughter Courtney in the opening round due to the qualifying order and both drivers ending up on the same side of the elimination ladder.

“That was a tough way to start the Countdown racing Courtney last weekend. We all want to win but it all comes down to luck and timing when it comes to qualifying. Luckily for us, Robert and I are on opposite sides of the ladder so we could meet in the final when NHRA runs the Carolina Nationals eliminations this weekend,” said John Force.

With the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals being the second stop, John Force will once again make sure not only he, but his team drivers that include daughters Brittany and Courtney Force along with son-in-law Robert Hight, all do well getting their nitro Funny Cars and Dragster qualified in the top-half of the field and ready to go rounds. John knows how important doing well in the Countdown is, especially to his many sponsors.

“It’s all about the Countdown and I need a championship as much as the other competitors out there. All my driver’s sponsors, like Castrol, Auto Club, Traxxas, Peak, all of them, they pay us to win. My focus is going to be dead on. But always remember this – I won from the cellar going into the Countdown and so has Robert. Having a few points lead, nothing makes you feel good,” said John Force

With Force’s a runner-up finish two weeks ago at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, his 9th final round appearance this season that includes three wins (NHRA Winternationals, Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, NHRA Northwest Nationals), John Force regained the lead with 2110 points over teammate Robert Hight. He’s also focused on winning his 17th NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car championship and with his drive and attitude he could ultimately rewrite the NHRA history books.

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DALLAS (September 16, 2014) — Third-year Traxxas Funny Car driver Courtney Force is making her way back this week to one of her most memorable tracks from her rookie season. The Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas is the site of Force’s second career No. 1 qualifying effort. In 2012, Force posted a 4.073 in the second qualifying session to go to the top of the pack, which held through the completion of qualifying. This was her second No. 1 in just three races, after taking the top spot at Indy that year.

“We were No. 1 qualifier in Dallas here my rookie season and stumbled in the second round. I think we have worked better as a team since then and have a fast race car this season, so I’m motivated with my team to turn things around early in the Countdown,” said Force.

The now 26-year-old driver qualified No. 5 at the Motorplex last year, but was beaten by her dad in the first round, his 4.069 to her 4.085 ET. Ironically, this year’s 2014 Countdown to the Championship began the same way, with a Force vs. Force first round match-up in Charlotte last week.

“Unfortunately we didn’t have the best start to the Countdown having to race my dad in the first round at Charlotte last week. He edged me for the win. We both had great cars and ran a great side by side race, but the positive thing leaving Charlotte is the fact that our car seems to be more consistent at each race. We had a great run and it gets me excited for this weekend in Texas. I’m staying confident and motivated because I think we’ve got a great car going into this Countdown. We’ll just have to turn things around fast and stay positive going into Dallas.

“I’m looking forward to this race even after a first round loss at Charlotte, I feel like we’ve made some huge strides and have really stepped it up with our consistency in this Traxxas Ford Mustang Funny Car. We’ve made some good runs at this track in the past, so I’m excited to turn our luck around at the second race of the countdown. We have been No. 1 qualifier here in the past so it shows we know we are capable of laying down great ET’s,” said Force.

Force won the 100th NHRA pro race by a woman this past spring at Topeka. She has a total of five career wins, the most by a woman in Funny Car history. The young driver also has posted top speed in eight of 17 races this year and has the fastest speed in Funny Car history at 1,000 feet of 325.37 mph (Las Vegas).

“I’m so excited to be going into my third Countdown to the Championship now. I’m very proud of my Traxxas Ford Mustang team. My guys have worked really hard all season long and I definitely think that we hit a turning point starting at Indy. We have picked up two wins so far this year and I’m very honored to say that this will be our third attempt going after that Championship. I think we have a strong team and a competitive race car to go after it,” said Force. “I think we have a great shot at the championship this year. We brought out a new car at the start of Indy and I think it’s given us a boost of excitement and motivation going into this Championship hunt.”

For Immediate Release


DALLAS (September 16, 2014) —- After suffering a close first round loss at last weekend’s Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals, Brittany Force is still optimistic that her Castrol EDGE Dragster can go rounds this Sunday and make a move up in the points for the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship. The sophomore Top Fuel driver is a contender in her first Countdown and with this weekend’s AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals being the second race in the NHRA “playoffs”, she’s still excited and focused on the job her and the crew need to do when they roll into the Texas Motorplex.

“It was a tough first round loss for us last weekend. It was so close, I thought I won. We’ve put it behind us and we’re ready for Dallas this weekend. We know what we have to do and my crew and I will get it done. I have a great group of guys and an awesome race car,” said Brittany Force.

The 2013 NHRA Auto Club Rookie of the Year secured a spot in this year’s Countdown to the Championship and it was a career milestone for her. Brittany also knows there’ll be pressure upon her as she fires up her 10,000 horsepower Castrol EDGE dragster and pulls into the water box at the Texas Motorplex this weekend. One could argue the added pressure would affect most drivers’ ability to stay focused but luckily for Brittany, she has her legendary father, John Force, who also happens to be the 16-time NHRA Mello Yello champion, to provide valuable advice, guidance and wisdom.

“I’m still pumped and excited to be racing in the Countdown for the first time. Last year we missed it but we’re a different team now. My guys have been working hard and we’re ready to go rounds and be in the hunt,” said Brittany Force.

There’s also that confidence booster that Brittany earned her way into this year’s Countdown contention and being shut out from last year’s NHRA “playoffs”, is just a distance memory. Now, she is more focused than ever in being the best driver she can be and is more determined than ever in winning.

The 2014 NHRA Mello Yello season has seen a metamorphous for the Castrol EDGE team. With crew and personnel changes, Brittany’s Castrol EDGE Dragster has been in the finals three times and has raced from the top half field on Sunday twelve times, three of those from the No.1 spot. Led by seasoned tuners Todd Smith and Dean “Guido” Antonelli, Brittany knows she has the best crew in the pits. She also knows she’s a capable driver and can give her opponents this weekend a run for the money.