PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil driver John Force excited about quick start to 2017 season

PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil driver John Force excited
about quick start to 2017 season

CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 21) – John Force Racing is already seeing dividends from its offseason changes, and PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil/Republic Services Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car driver John Force hopes the moves continue to pay off in the NHRA Arizona Nationals this weekend at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.

Force installed crew chief Jimmy Prock and co-crew chief Chris Cunningham to his team, with Jon Schaffer and Jason McCullough moving to Robert Hight’s team as co-crew chiefs with Mike Neff. Courtney Force’s leadership remained intact with Daniel Hood and Ronnie Thompson.

At the 2017 season-opener in Pomona, John and Courtney each raced to the semifinals, with Courtney beating her dad and moving to the final round.

“These ol’ race cars are starting to come together,” John Force said. “I’m excited. I couldn’t get past Courtney and the Advance car (in Pomona), and she almost got by (Matt) Hagan (in the final). We’ll go into Phoenix positive. Mike Neff had really been on top of Robert Hight’s car, and Jimmy Prock and Daniel Hood seem to have a handle on my car and Courtney’s car. Brian Husen and Alan Johnson know what to do, too, on the Monster Energy (Top Fuel dragster for Brittany Force).”

John Force has a stellar history at Phoenix, leading the professional classes with eight career wins. The 16-time Funny Car champion has been to 13 final rounds in Phoenix, including last year, when he lost to Tim Wilkerson.

“We’ll see where it goes,” Force said. “I love Phoenix and have won a lot of races there. Brittany was runner-up there last year with Monster Energy. We’ve got to focus on that Auto Club car and get them up in the points, but it’s early in the season. We’re all a little nervous and we want to be our best.”

Chemistry on Force’s team has come together quickly, mainly because he has a strong history with Prock and other crew members.

“Jimmy Prock brought a lot of his guys with him, and I’ve worked with them before,” Force said. “We won a championship together. A couple of the guys on the team came from my team with Jon Schaffer and Jason McCullough, so I know them all. We’ve really strengthened our teams with crew chiefs. Schaffer can run a Funny Car, McCullough can run a Funny Car, Neff, Prock, Daniel Hood, Ronnie Thompson. We’re really strong, and we’ll see where it takes us.”

The Arizona Nationals begins Friday, with the first two rounds of qualifications (televised tape delay on Fox Sports 1 – midnight Eastern). Qualifying continues Saturday (tape delay on FS1 – midnight Eastern). FS1 will televise elimination rounds Sunday beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern.

4-Second Reads:

John Force has competed in the NHRA Arizona Nationals 32 times, all in succession since 1985.
Force has advanced to the final round of the Winternationals 13 times, winning seven times (1994-1997 and 1999-2001). His most recent final round matchup came last year, when he finished second to Tim Wilkerson.
Force’s record in elimination round races for the NHRA Arizona Nationals is 59-24.
Force has been the No. 1 qualifier for the NHRA Arizona Nationals eight times, most recently in 2014.
Force has won the NHRA Arizona Nationals twice from the No. 1 qualifying spot (1996, 1999).
Force has only qualified outside the top eight five times in 32 NHRA Arizona Nationals. His worst qualifying spot was No. 13 (2007).
Force has won his first-round NHRA Arizona Nationals matchup 20 times.
If Force wins his first round matchup, chances are he’ll make it to the finals. Only twice since 1994 has Force won the first-round matchup (13 times) but not made it to the finals (2013, 2014 – made it to semifinals twice). And his last second-round loss came in 1993.
Force has won his last three first-round matchups, dating back to last season.
In his career, Force has 147 victories and 1,265 round wins.