Chevy Racing–NHRA–Maple Grove Post Race

SUNDAY, SEPT. 24, 2017

An interview with Top Fuel winner BRITTANY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, MONSTER ENERGY CHEVROLET TOP FUEL DRAGSTER (No. 4 qualifier; second victory of season and fifth in 116-race career; moves to third in the Countdown):

BRITTANY FORCE: Absolutely. This is a huge win for us. This team had to fight all day long and I’m so proud of them. They are the best team to work with, and I’m so pumped going into the Countdown to work with them. Monster, we’re going after the championship.

BRITTANY FORCE: Looking at it, we did not have an easy ladder. It was tough all day long and the Monster team killed it all day long. We turned a corner at the right time and we’re right in the Countdown picture.

An interview with Pro Stock winner BO BUTNER, JIM BUTNER AUTO, BUTNER AUTO SALES CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 1 qualifier; fourth win of season and career in 61st race; takes over points lead):

BO BUTNER: We had a good car from Q1 on. I let the car win for me today. I didn’t do my best job driving, but we made good runs.

BO BUTNER: It’s been a long, hot day but every bit of sweat. It was a great day. I have to give shout outs to the best crew. Chevrolet is on our side. The pressure I had today is not just championship points. I had 21 fallen heroes on my car today, and I kind of made a promise that I would get that car in the winner’s circle today to the mom’s who stuck them on there. So that’s the most relieving part. Points come and they go. That will be forever. It’s a neat and special honor for me.
(Sunday was National Gold Star Mother’s Day. Created to recognize and honor those who have lost their son or daughter while serving in the United States Armed Forces, Butner welcomed Gold Star Mothers to his pit this weekend and ran 21 commemorative stickers on the hood of his car).
COURTNEY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, ADVANCE AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 8 qualifier; fell in final): “It was an awesome weekend of my Advance Auto Parts team. I am so proud of my guys, so proud of my crew chiefs Dan Hood and Ronnie Thompson. We struggled a little bit in qualifying but we turned it around when we needed to make it count, and we went into race day running consistently in the 90s (3.90s) all day long. Going to our second final round in the second race of the Countdown to the Championship is huge. Unfortunately, in the final round I think we could have had a shot at winning it, but our chute shook out down track and slowed us right before the finish line. It was a little bit of bad luck, but all in all a great weekend. Being able to pick up those points, we’re staying in the No. 3 spot but at least we’re creating a little bit of a gap for the people behind us and getting closer to getting around the guys in front of us. I’m excited to see what we can do next weekend. I think it’s important that or Advance Auto Parts team has found the consistency when it matters most.”

JOHN FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, PEAK COOLANT & MOTOR OIL CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 13 qualifier; fell in first round): “It’s not just about me; it’s about teamwork. We may have lost the lead in Funny Car, but we’re second and third (Robert Hight and Courtney Force), and Brittany (Force) moved up to third in the (Top Fuel) Countdown. You don’t know if you’re going to win a championship, but it gives you the dream. I’m trying to find that dream, and I will.”

ROBERT HIGHT, JOHN FORCE RACING, AUTO CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 1 qualifier; fell in quarterfinals): “We missed it by a mile (in quarterfinals). That 87 (3.87) in the first round was pretty impressive. When you put it in perspective, No. 2 and No. 3 qualifier ran 87 in the night sessions. We go out and run 87 when it’s almost 100 degrees track temp first round. That was impressive. We just didn’t back it off enough. We had a great light but just smoked the tires. We made it a little interesting with everyone bunching up in the points. We had a really good opportunity to pull ahead, but no one said this was going to be easy. The way I look at it is when our car goes down the track there isn’t anybody in our league. We just have to do our job, get some more bonus points in St. Louis, try to get a win and we’ll be right back on top.”

GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 6 qualifier; fell in final): “We had a lot of adversity this weekend with my car, and I probably got way farther today than I should have. I felt confident that I could get the job done and win first-round, but I knew that in the second round, coming up against Tanner (Gray), I was going to have my hands full. I had no idea just how full they would be; it was a mess. I shook the tires, got back in it, and then all hell broke loose. I thought I blew the motor up, but it broke the rear end in half, and the motor went right to the moon. Everything that could possibly go wrong, did, except that the win light came on. Had some carnage there, but it was a great stroke of luck. Then I had to match up against my teammate, Jason (Line), who has – arguably – had the best car on the grounds here this weekend. I felt like an underdog there, but he had some tire shake, and I was able to squeak by that round. I just kept asking myself, how am I getting these win lights? I was winning ugly, but I was winning. That’s what the playoffs are all about – finding a way to win when you probably shouldn’t. I almost stole the win in the final, but he got me right at the end. It was a tough day; it was very, very hot out there, and the starting line was tricky. We scraped and clawed, and we got win lights all the way into the final. With our KB Racing teammate Bo Butner winning, we kept it in the family. I feel great for Bo. He had a great car, he drove well, and he’s a deserving winner. It was still a great day, and I’m still alive in this deal.”

JASON LINE, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 2 qualifier; fell in semifinals): “It shook the tires (in the semis), like it has been trying to every run. We’ve struggled with that, and we did good in qualifying, but we haven’t made it better yet. It’ll only go so many runs in a row, and then it bites us. If you’re off at all, as soon as the track changes just a little bit, then you’re in a trouble again. It’s frustrating, but we’re working on it. Come St. Louis, we’ll hopefully have it under control.”

TANNER GRAY, GRAY MOTORSPORTS, VALVOLINE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 3 qualifier; fell in quarterfinals): “I am so thankful for my guys. They work hard to continue to provide me with the best possible car on race day. Even though today wasn’t our day, we still have a lot of racing left in the Countdown. It’s now the second week of the Countdown and this is the type of pressure I thrive on. The competition is heating up and I’m thankful to get to compete with the equipment and the team I have.”

DREW SKILLMAN, RAY SKILLMAN MOTORSPORTS, RAY SKILLMAN AUTO GROUP CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 5 qualifier; fell in quarterfinals): “Before this (qualifying), I had made four laps at this racetrack total. First year I was here, I made one qualifying session. I was No. 1 qualifier and shook first round. Next year I came here and was No. 16 qualifier and shook first round, so we had horrible luck at this place, but I think we’re turning it around now.”

ALEX LAUGHLIN, GAS MONKEY RACING, GAS MONKEY GARAGE/360 WRAPS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 7 qualifier; fell in first round): “It’s really awesome to be able to come out and be in a part-time car, unload the car, and it’s just laying down some awesome passes. I’m just really thrilled with that car. I love being here, but I don’t like running bad, so to show up with all these other guys that have been running the whole season and start qualifying in front of them and running in front of them, I’m just thrilled. It’s awesome.”

ERICA ENDERS, MELLING PERFORMANCE/ ELITE MOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 9 qualifier; fell in quarterfinals): “There’s definitely some good news coming out of the day. After not going down the track during either run yesterday, we made two respectable passes today, runs that can absolutely be worked on and made better, so we have a hotrod capable of winning rounds. We made more than a few steps in the right direction here so we will take what we learned and try to get better for the next weekend’s race in St. Louis. Gateway International Raceway is a track where we’ve had a lot of luck and success in the past so it’s a place we enjoy visiting.”

MATTHEW HARTFORD, HARTFORD RACING, NITRO FISH CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 10 qualifier; fell in quarterfinals): “We’re working through a lot of this stuff, trying to run Gray (Motorsports) stuff. They’ve given us an excellent opportunity to go forward, and we’re glad to get a win here for Kenny Koretsky, Rob’s Towing, and everybody else who supports us.”

JEG COUGHLIN JR., ELITE MOTORSPORTS, JEGS.COM ELITE PERFORMANCE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 12 qualifier; fell in first round): “That’s kind of been our trend this year. We seem to be a day late and a dollar short more often than we have in past campaigns. We came into this race weekend with a little bit of an enhanced set-up from the Charlotte race last weekend. On Friday, we definitely lost some ground on what we were trying to do, but the guys worked hard that night and we got back on track yesterday. Today, we continued in a positive direction but obviously got into a tough pairing there in Round 1 and just couldn’t quite find a way to advance.”

JOHN GAYDOSH JR., GAYDOSH RACING, PYPES PERFORMANCE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (DNQ; scheduled final race of season): “It’s been a long weekend. It started on Tuesday. We put in a lot of hours to get to this race. We got here and the motor was OK; we just have to figure out a tune-up. We missed all of Friday sessions because we had a starter issue. One of those things that shouldn’t have happened, but it did. We had a great season. Won the most rounds I ever have in one season, so we had really good time. The season is over now, so we’re going to regroup and see what we can do for next year. See if we can come up with some more sponsorship and we can keep on rolling. Until then, we’ll just keep moving on and see what happens. I want to thank all of our fans and all of our sponsors for everything and all of their support over the year. Pypes Performance, Competition Products & RJS; we couldn’t be here without them.”