John Force Racing Looks to Pomona


POMONA, CA (November 8, 2016) — As the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello season winds down the Top Fuel championship has been decided but there is still a fierce battle for the No. 2 spot and Brittany Force is right in the middle of the battle. The fourth year pro is looking for her fourth win of the season and first Countdown victory heading into the Auto Club Finals this weekend. The three-time winner sits in the No. 4 position in the point standings just 58 points out of the second position.

“We have had a great season and we want to finish on a high note at the Auto Club Finals. This is my home track so I’ll have a lot of family and friends at the race. I am so proud of this Monster Energy Top Fuel team and all my crew guys. We achieved a lot of my goals this season and we have one more race to try and win,” said Force.

Not since 1982 when Shirley Muldowney won her final Top Fuel world championship has a female Top Fuel racer been in the position Brittany Force currently sits. With one race left Force and the Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster are sitting in the No. 4 spot in the Mello Yello point standings. Since Muldowney’s championship season over 30 years ago no female Top Fuel driver has finished the season higher than fourth in the points.

Two weeks ago it was a quarterfinal finish in Las Vegas holding Force in the middle of the top tier of racers. At the AAA Texas Fallnationals in the Dallas Force picked up another quarterfinal finish on the heels of a final round appearance at the Dodge Nationals in Reading. The success in Pennsylvania continues to motivate the Monster Energy team to finish the season with strong results. The team has raced to at least the quarter-finals every race of the Countdown.

This will be Force’s fourth appearance at the historic Auto Club finals and the teacher turned Top Fuel driver will be looking for her first final round appearance this weekend. In her rookie season Force raced to the semifinals before being defeated by Doug Kalitta. Last season it was the veteran race from Michigan once again ending Force’s racing day with a second round victory.

This season biggest change for Force in addition to collecting three wins, a season high for a female Top Fuel Top Ten finisher in over three decades, has been the collection of talent on her team. The preseason addition of Top Fuel consultant Alan Johnson and crew chief Brian Husen have given the fourth year driver much needed confidence behind the wheel.

“I am confident in this Monster Energy team looking at the end of the season. This is a new experience for me but I am surrounded by teammates and crew chiefs that have won championships and that gives me a lot of confidence. We have had a great season so far and I have reached a lot of my goals but I still have goals I want to achieve this season,” summed up Force.

The dogfight for the No. 2 spot will pit Force against some of the biggest names and toughest competitors in the sport. Just in front of Force sits Doug Kalitta and Steve Torrence with Shawn Langdon just one point behind her. Right behind him are 8-time Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher, JR Todd and Leah Pritchett.

“I just try and not think about the pressure. My job is to just do what my crew chiefs tell me to do and not try and do anything different. This whole season has been a new experience for me and I am still learning. I still get butterflies but I think everyone does when you get into situations like this,” explained Force. “This season I have learned to just relax and focus on doing the little things. My Monster Energy teammates have been very supportive all season and we are really working well together down this last home stretch.”


POMONA, CA (November 8, 2016) — So far this season Courtney Force has experienced a number of career highs and with the 52nd annual Auto Club Finals right around the corner she can continue to rewrite the record books for female Funny Car racers. This season she set the mark for most career final round appearances by a female in Funny Car and will just miss the season high for round wins by a female. While the historical figures make nice statistical summaries the fifth year pro just wants to finish the season with another win and move up in the Mello Yello point standings.

“A lot of people talk about being a female Funny Car racer but I really don’t think about it. My sister Ashley (Force Hood) was the first female to win in Funny Car and since then we have won a lot of races and Alexis (Dejoria) has had success. We are all just out here racing and trying to win for our teams and our sponsors,” summed up Force.

This season Force has done here fair share of winning picking up a victory in Houston at the O’Reilly Spring Nationals that locked her into the Traxxas Nitro Shootout. At the start of the Western Swing Force was edged out in the final round by her legendary father John Force in the final round. The Traxxas-backed driver took her Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car all the way to the $100,000 winner’s circle in Indianapolis winning the Traxxas Shootout over teammate Robert Hight to set the stage for another run for the Funny Car championship.

Two weeks ago the youngest Force was once again facing her father in the final round. Courtney had the car to beat posting winning times in the first three rounds of race day in the 3.8 range but in the final it was the 16-time champ who stepped up and picked up his 147th career win and relegated his daughter to the runner-up position. The four-time finalist in 2016 took the loss in stride.

“I am really proud of my Traxxas team. My crew chiefs gave me a great race car for race day. That is when it matters. They are really proving we have a great race car to run in the 3.80s twice like that. To take out Beckman is huge. We are trying to move up in the points too. I am really proud of this Traxxas team,” said Force on Sunday.

In Force’s first appearance at the Auto Club Finals during her rookie campaign of 2012 she raced to the final round before losing to two-time world champion Cruz Pedregon. Since that race Force hasn’t been able to get out of the first round. She has suffered early round loses to Bob Tasca III, Robert Hight and Alexis DeJoria but those races are in the past as far as Force is concerned.

“I am focusing on finishing the season with a win and then starting to get ready for 2017. This has been a good season but not a great season. We led the points and I want to race for the championship. My team has given me a championship caliber Funny Car and I think we will continue to get better. I have to thank my crew chiefs Dan Hood and Ronnie Thompson for all their efforts as well as the rest of this Traxxas team,” said Force.


POMONA, CA (November 8, 2016) – The Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car and driver Robert Hight are rolling into Auto Club Raceway at Pomona looking to pick up another win in 2016 and carry a positive memory into the off-season. The 52nd annual Auto Club Finals will be the perfect opportunity for the crewman turned world champion to pick up a win at his home track and finish the season on a high note. The two-time Auto Club Finals finalist knows that finishing the season with one more win goes a long way heading into the holiday months of November and December.

“Getting a win in Pomona would be huge because that is the one you remember all off-season,” Hight said. “If you can win the last race, you end the season on a high note. The key is just consistency. We made every qualifying run in Dallas in the 3.80-second range and then ran in the 3.80s the first two rounds of eliminations. These Funny Cars are a handful now and you have to be on top of them all the time. I am steering a lot on every run. They create a lot of power and are a lot of fun to drive.”

This season has seen Hight show flashes of excellence winning the historic Gatornationals for a third time and also racing to the final round of the Traxxas Nitro Shootout for the third consecutive year. In the Countdown Hight’s Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car has been the class of the field of a number of times in qualifying but race day has been a different story for Hight.

“When you start the season I think you want to get some wins early and get locked in to the Traxxas Shootout which we did,” Hight said. “Then you want to be consistent throughout the season and get a spot in the Countdown. We did that and we got to the final round of the Traxxas Shootout for the third year in a row.”

The progress Hight has seen his team make this season has the 2005 Rookie of the Year and 2009 Funny Car champion focusing on the positives.

“The Gatornationals win and Traxxas Shootout runner-up were positive steps. We came into the Countdown with a lot of confidence and just didn’t capitalize. We have done some things well in the Countdown with our qualifying but we need to get wins. We will focus on Pomona and then as soon as that race is over we’ll take some time off and then start getting ready for 2017,” added Hight.

During the 2016 Countdown race day has been a struggle for Hight and the Auto Club team and the 2009 Funny Car champion is keeping a positive attitude heading into the final race of the season. The 37-time Funny car winner has picked up two No. 1 qualifiers in the Countdown and will be looking for his first pole position at the historic Auto Club Finals this weekend.

“I think we have made a lot of progress on the performance side of things,” Hight said. “I think we have a race car that can win races. This Auto Club Camaro team really worked well together this season and I am looking for a strong finish. This is a home track race for me so I’ll sleep in my own bed and have lots of friends and family at the race.”


POMONA, CA (November 8, 2016) — John Force is the only multiple-time Funny Car winner in the Countdown this season and while the 17th Mello Yello NHRA championship is out of reach a historic 148th Funny Car title is well within his grasp. Force, driving the PEAK Antifreeze Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car this weekend, could finish as high as No. 2 in the point standings and finish an impressive 2016 campaign at the Auto Club Finals with a fifth win this season.

“We have been running well since the Western Swing but we have also had some tough first round losses. (Crew chiefs) Jon Schaffer, Jason McCulloch and Nick Casertano have given me a great race car and the young guys on this PEAK Chevy team have kept me motivated. Two weeks ago that was a big win in Las Vegas. We started the Countdown with a win in Charlotte and I would like to end the season with a win in Pomona,” said Force.

Over Force’s career at the Auto Club Finals he has raced to fourteen final rounds and picked up eight wins. His last win to wrap up the season at the historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona came in 2010 when he made a historic run for this 15th Funny Car championship erasing a 38 point deficit on the last day of the season. It was a moment that still resonates with the fans and Force when you consider he didn’t compete in the 2007 race because he was recovering from what many people thought were career ending injuries from a crash in Dallas that season.

“I came in to that race knowing I had to get two more rounds than (Matt) Hagan. When he went out in the first round I knew I had a chance. We got to round wins we needed for the championship and we went on to win the race. Big Daddy (Don Garlits) sent me a letter after that race and I have it framed on the wall in my shop. Doctors told me I might not walk again but I knew I could get back into the race car and we have won a couple more championships since then and I want to keep winning championships,” said Force.

After a two year turnaround for John Force Racing the winningest driver in NHRA history is more comfortable with his new sponsors and has continued to expand programs with his long standing sponsors. Between races in the Countdown Force attended the nostalgia race in Bakersfield for Auto Club, played poker and raced off-road trucks in the desert for PEAK Antifreeze and also attended sales events for PPG in Pittsburgh.

“You have to take care of the fans, the media and the sponsors all the time. This year we have been as busy as ever in the Countdown and it has not been just me. All my drivers have been attending events between races and spending time with the sponsors. I love it and we work seven days a week. My office is that race car and when I get inside that PEAK Camaro I know what I need to do,” summed up Force.

If Force can win the Auto Club Finals for a record ninth time he will also pick up his 70th round win at the fall classic outside Los Angeles. Since 2010 Force has raced to three final rounds at the Auto Club Finals and since 1990 Force has only qualified from the bottom half of the field three times. There are eleven final round appearances for Force over that span and has the Funny Car legend ready to continue his strong history at Pomona.