CHEVROLET RACING IN NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION
AAA TEXAS NHRA FALLNATIONALS
TEXAS MOTORPLEX IN ENNIS, TEXAS
POST-RACE DRIVER QUOTES
SUNDAY, OCT. 15, 2017
An interview with top Fuel winner BRITTANY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, MONSTER ENERGY CHEVROLET TOP FUEL DRAGSTER (No. 5 qualifier; second career victory from No. 5 spot; third win of season and sixth in 118-race career; second in points):
Q: YOU LOOK GOOD IN A COWBOY HAT.
BRITTANY FORCE: Thank you. It’s my first one. To be honest, I didn’t know which way was front and which way was back.
Q: YOU DID NOT HAVE AN EASY ROUND ALL DAY.
BRITTANY FORCE: This far along in the game, it’s going to be tough. Two people that are ahead of us, (Doug) Kalitta and (Steve) Torrence, and we took them out. It felt good.
Q: YOU’RE IN THE THICK OF THIS CHAMPIONSHIP RACE WITH TWO RACES TO GO.
BRITTANY FORCE: We’re exactly where we needed to be – standing here in the winner’s circle. We have two more and we’re going after it.
An interview with Funny Car winner ROBERT HIGHT, JOHN FORCE RACING, AAA OF TEXAS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 1 qualifier for third race in a row and 57th in career; 41st career victory; reset both ends of track record in first round of eliminations):
Q: UNTIL THE FINAL ROUND OF QUALIFYING, YOU DIDN’T HAVE A HANDLE ON THE CAR.
ROBERT HIGHT: I figured we would go out in Q4 and make a nice, safe run and get in the top half and be ready to race. When I went down there and lifted and hit the chutes and saw the scoreboard 3.871, I was blown away. It’s the guys on the AAA of Texas Chevy team. This is three races in a row we’ve been No. 1 qualifier.
Q: FIRST ROUND TODAY, YOU SET THE TRACK RECORDS.
ROBERT HIGHT: In the track walk, I’m running my mouth saying there’s going to be track records and maybe national records because of the conditions we had today. Then you see the first three pairs of Funny Cars go up in smoke. You have Jimmy Prock, Chris Cunningham and these guys in your corner, and it gives you a lot of confidence. So we go out there and run 3.82 at 338.6.
Q: FINAL ROUND, RON CAPPS.
ROBERT HIGHT: That was a 40-point swing. Basically, we were 44 points behind going into the final. Had I lost, we would have been 64 but we turned it into 24. With two races to go, I’ll definitely take that.
An interview with Pro Stock winner JASON LINE, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 2 qualifier; second victory of season and 47th of career; reigning Pro Stock champion):
Q: YOU CAME OUT OF THE BOX HOT, BUT THEN YOU COULDN’T SEEM TO GET THE BREAK YOU NEEDED.
JASON LINE: I’d rather talk about today because my season really isn’t worth talking about. My season has been mediocre at best. We finally get the car running fast in the Countdown and we have a shot at this thing.
Q: DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE IN THE POINTS?
JASON LINE: No, but I know I’m not leading (30 points out of first). That’s not bad, so I can give my two teammates (front-runner Greg Anderson and Bo Butner) something to worry about. It’s been a great weekend overall.
COURTNEY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, ADVANCE AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 6 qualifier; fell in first round): “Our Advance Auto Parts team had a rough race day. We went out there and lost traction. Obviously, the conditions were a lot different from what we were used to in qualifying, and everybody knew going in that it was going to be a drastic change today. We set the car up like we had in St. Louis to run in the 80s. It should have gone through and been a good run. We’re not sure why it didn’t make a clean pass. We lost traction and unfortunate to give that round away. We’re going to have to turn things around when we get to Vegas. We have a good race car. Hopefully, we can continue to go rounds because this championship isn’t over yet and we know that there’s points and a half when we get to Pomona.”
JOHN FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, PEAK COOLANT & MOTOR OIL CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 10 qualifier; fell in quarterfinals): “Any time you can you can win in two categories – Top Fuel and Funny Car – we’ve done our job as a team for Chevrolet and our sponsors. I couldn’t get the job done, but I trained these guys well. They’ve learned and they are teaching me now. They turned this thing around and made it a great day. Courtney (Force) is not done and I’m not done either.”
DREW SKILLMAN, RAY SKILLMAN MOTORSPORTS, RAY SKILLMAN AUTO GROUP CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 7 qualifier; fell in final): “I just missed the tree, which is not an excuse. I just missed it. We didn’t have a great qualifying, but the weather on race day played to our Gray power. It was a great weekend, and although I’m disappointed in losing in the final we had a positive effort. Now we go to Las Vegas, where I was runner-up last year, and see if we can make up more ground on the leader.”
BO BUTNER, JIM BUTNER AUTO, BUTNER AUTO SALES CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 1 qualifier; fell in quarterfinals): “Racing (KB Racing teammates) them is fun, but it’s more fun to race with them,” said Butner. “To be considered part of that team, which I’ve been watching since I stepped foot in a bracket car… just to be with these guys, is awesome. And (team owner) Ken Black, too. I talked to him after that run and he said, ‘you even shocked me with that run. I have 100 percent confidence in my car, and in my group,” said Butner. That leaves 1 percent of me. I have no worries, I just go up there and do my job.”
TANNER GRAY, GRAY MOTORSPORTS, VALVOLINE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 3 qualifier; fell in quarterfinals): “My guys have worked so hard all year long to give me a great race car. I am so appreciative for everything that they do. Today wasn’t our day to win. Once we left the starting line the tires shook, the tail end of the car began to fishtail and I had to pull in the clutch. I tried to stay in it for as long as I could to see if I could drive through it, but the car just continued to be unhappy. Anything could happen in the Countdown. You had some heavy hitters go out early today that can still leave the field open for a chance at the championship. Pro Stock is the most competitive class out here and we saw why today.”
ERICA ENDERS, MELLING PERFORMANCE/ ELITE MOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 5 qualifier; fell in quarterfinals): “This weekend has definitely been a big step in the right direction. Rick (Jones, chassis builder and crew chief) did some things to the cars after St. Louis and they’re working much better so we certainly have a lot of optimism. We definitely felt like we had a much better handle on these Camaros. After Friday’s sessions we were third overall. We didn’t make a great run Saturday morning and got bumped back a couple of places to fifth, but that run was still a lot better than we have been doing.”
ALEX LAUGHLIN, GAS MONKEY RACING, GAS MONKEY ENERGY CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 7 qualifier; fell in quarterfinals): “This has been a huge weekend for me and all my sponsors: Gas Monkey Energy, Advance Auto Parts, and Havoline. It’s a home race (from Granbury, Texas) with family and friends, and we’ve had three races in a row with s first-round loss, so we really needed this (first-round win). The stress is over.”
JEG COUGHLIN JR., ELITE MOTORSPORTS, JEGS.COM ELITE PERFORMANCE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 9 qualifier; fell in first round): “If the corners are up on my mouth a bit it’s certainly because we’re as close to the front of the pack as we’ve been in quite a while. We’ve been in the top half of the field in all four sessions here and ended up qualified No. 9, which is pretty wild. We started off No. 5, got bumped to sixth, got bumped to eighth and ended up ninth. When you’ve got a tight field like we’ve got this weekend, that can certainly happen. Most importantly, we’ve been within a hundredth and a half to two hundredths (to the quickest car) so I feel like, quite honestly, we have our race car back.”
CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS RACING, HARLOW SAMMONS OF ODESSA CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 10 qualifier; fell in first round): “We knew two weeks ago we might have problems. When we saw that qualifying was on Friday the 13th, we knew. If you looked at our logbook you’d know, too. We even thought about not running and people were laughing at us like it was a joke, but, no, it’s the real deal. We’ve broken motors on the 13th run on tires, we’ve had clocks malfunction on us. You name it. The 13th of anything is bad news to us. We’re still behind the eight ball and will need another couple of runs to catch up and I think we can do better than that, but at least I got on the page.”