POMONA, CA (November 11, 2015) — John Force won’t pick up his 17th Mello Yello championship trophy this weekend at the 51st annual Auto Club Finals but the winningest driver in NHRA history isn’t hanging his head. Coming into the 2015 season Force faced more changes to his team than he had experienced in the past two decades. He had a new manufacturer, new sponsors and a new crew chief. In the face of this kind of adversity Force rallied the troops and won two races, finished in the Top Ten for the 30th consecutive season and was in the championship hunt until a first round loss in Las Vegas sealed his fate this season.

“We are always racing for the championship no matter what. I knew this year was going to be tough but I am proud of this Peak Chevrolet team. We had a bunch of new sponsors and I was breaking in a new crew chief in Jon Schaffer. He did a great job and all my crew guys really kept me in the championship hunt until the very end. We got some wins and that is what the sponsors want and I feel like we have some momentum coming into the Auto Club Finals,” said Force, who could finish as high as 5th in the point standings.

Force’s first win of the season came at the NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas and he followed that up with another win at the New England NHRA Nationals. The first win was significant because it was his first win in a Chevrolet Camaro and while Force readily admits he was coming back to his Chevy roots winning made the process easier.

“I won my first championships in GM and Chevy race cars. That win in Las Vegas was big because it was me and Robert in the final and all the Chevy guys were there. Robert just won again in Las Vegas with all the Chevy top brass at the track. I love racing this Camaro and we have been working on a new 2016 Camaro body for next season. I don’t know when it will be ready but we are excited to be growing this relationship and for all the support Chevy is giving us,” said Force.

The New England Nationals win was Force’s first for new primary sponsor Peak who stepped up to sponsor over half of the races in 2015. Force took out the No. 1 qualifier in the final round and at the top end he gave a winner’s interview for the ages to the ESPN viewers at home.

“You can’t hurt the heart of a champion is what I was trying to say. I race from the heart and that is where I get my motivation. These young guys that have been working on my race car all year motivate me and when I put on my fire suit I feel like I am 20 years old again,” said Force.

No other driver has had the success of John Force at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. He has rolled his Funny Car into the winner’s circle an astounding 16 times. Last year he won the season opening race here and he was runner-up at the season ending Auto Club Finals last year. The 16-time champion came up a couple of round short of winning his 17th championship that day but Force loves racing in front of his “home” crowd.

“Auto Club Raceway is my home track. I sleep in my own bed and I just love driving out to the track and seeing the mountains. I remember driving out to the track at the start of the season and I was just excited to be racing. I will feel the same way every day driving to the races this weekend. I love what I do and I am lucky I get to race with my family and amazing sponsors. We are going for the win and hopefully we can have an impact on this Funny Car championship,” added Force.


POMONA, CA (November 11, 2015) — The 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series crowned the Top Fuel champion in Las Vegas two weeks ago but there is still a furious battle being waged for strong finishes and some unfinished business at the 51st annual Auto Club Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. Most notably third year Top Fuel racer Brittany Force continues to strive for her first career Top Fuel win and also post the strongest finish in Top Fuel since Shirley Muldowney won the championship in 1982. This weekend at the Auto Club Finals Force will make another charge to wrap another successful season.

“Finishing in the highest place we can is exactly our team’s plan,” said Force, who is currently fifth in points. “Everyone is so close in points that anyone can make big moves and we are hoping to reclaim our number three position we had back in St Louis. The key to moving up in points is consistency. We need four great qualifying passes to lock us in the top half of the field before eliminations on Sunday. The entire team needs to be on point. Mistakes cannot be made this far in the game. We need to unleash the beast in Pomona and find that first win we’ve been working for.”

Since 1982 no female Top Fuel racer has finished higher than fourth in the point standings. Between then and now, Muldowney finished fourth in 1983, Lori Johns finished fourth in 1990, Melanie Troxel finished fourth in 2006 and Hillary Will finished fourth in 2008. Force is only 41 points out of third place and with a little luck and a strong race on Sunday could make a run at Tony Schumacher in second place.

The season started a bit conservatively for the first John Force Racing Top Fuel entry but in April the team got a financial boost with the addition of Monster Energy as the primary sponsor. Since that announcement a much more aggressive and successful team raced throughout the regular season and into the Countdown.

This year in the Countdown Force has registered two semi-final finishes as well as a No. 1 qualifier at the Keystone Nationals in Reading, Pennsylvania. She had qualified in the top half of the field the last four Countdown races and has equaled her highest round win total in the Countdown of her career so far with five round wins heading into the Auto Club Finals.

“Having that support from Monster allowed our team to take some more risks and make the moves we wanted on the track,” Force said. “My crew chief Todd Smith and Co-Crew Chief Ronnie Thompson were patient all opening season playing it safe but after our unveiling in Atlanta they had the opportunity to get aggressive and it’s definitely showed. I’m very proud of my entire team and the consistency we’ve shown on the racetrack. Those four qualifying passes are crucial going into race day and making those killer runs has helped us go rounds and move up the ladder.”

With two runner-up finishes this season to go along with five additional semi-final finishes Force has almost doubled her career round win totals this season alone. The progress and improvement has been reflected in her confidence both on and off the track.

“After an amazing season the Monster Energy team’s plan is to bring home our first win at the Pomona Auto Club Finals,” Force said. “We’ve been fighting for that win all year long and have come close with two runner-up finishes. We have one more chance at it before the season ends and we’re definitely going to battle it out at my home track.”

The 51st Auto Club Finals will be contested in front of many of Force’s family and friends. The Yorba Linda, Calif., resident enjoys racing at her home track and is eager to show off for all her supporters.

“I absolutely love racing at my home track in Pomona,” Force said. “That is the track I first got behind the wheel in a super comp dragster years ago so, it definitely holds some special memories for me. My team has made some huge strides this year and no matter where we end up I’m very proud of our season. There’s no better feeling than ending your season on a good note so to take home our first win at my home track would be an absolute dream. I can’t wait for Pomona to get here so the Monster Energy team can battle it out and hopefully celebrate in the winner’s circle.”


Pomona, CA (November 11, 2015) — For the last time this season, Courtney Force will pull into Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, walk into her Traxxas Chevrolet Camaro SS pit area and prepare for a weekend of tough NHRA Funny Car competition. The 24th stop on the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series tour will be the 27-year-old’s 95th Funny Car event.

“Pomona is one of my favorite tracks, being that it’s my home track and one of the most exciting races for the fans since it’s the Auto Club Finals! Our Traxxas team has had a lot of success here, so we are really hoping to finish off the year on a high note.

“I’m still shocked at how quickly this season flew by. I can’t believe this is the final race of the year, and really hope that we can’t pick up a win since this is our last shot in 2015. After all the changes this season and the roller coaster for our Traxxas team, I’m excited for one last weekend in my Funny Car for the year, but also already looking forward to next year. I’m already anxious to start testing for next season,” said Force.

The 51st Annual Auto Club NHRA Finals will commence at the Force family’s home track in Pomona, Calif., about an hour from John Force Racing West in Yorba Linda, Calif. This race was tough for Force in 2014 after qualifying in the No. 9 position, going up against teammate Robert Hight in round one of eliminations and losing after her Traxxas Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car drove into tire smoke.

“We have had success with all our teams at this track so we hope someone from John Force Racing can end up in the winner’s circle this weekend, and I definitely hope it’s my Traxxas team. This is one of the busiest races. It’s a long week leading up to the race. It’s always packed with appearances, fan fests and autograph signings.

“I’m looking forward to signing at Mark Christopher Chevrolet, and signing at Pacific Coast Hobbies for Traxxas before heading to the NHRA Fan Fest to meet and sign autographs for all the fans before the big race this weekend! Auto Club Raceway at Pomona will be packed with fans, family and friends and I’m hoping for a successful weekend for my Traxxas team,” said Force.

At the last event in Las Vegas, the youngest Force daughter posted a career-best ET of 3.933 seconds in qualifying. The impressive pass temporarily secured the track record and the No. 1 qualifying position. Although she got bumped down to the No. 2 starting spot for race day, Force was thrilled to have made some improvements that weekend.

“Our focus this weekend is to have a solid attempt through qualifying like we did at the last race in Las Vegas, starting second in the field, and we of course hope to go rounds on Sunday. We definitely want to finish the year on a high note and be focused going into the new season,” said Force.


POMONA, CA (November 11, 2015) — Robert Hight and his Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car team are rolling into familiar territory with some momentum behind them and their focus on a strong finish. The 51st Auto Club Finals will begin on Friday at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona and Hight will be looking for his fifth Funny Car win at the historic track. At the season opener this year Hight raced to a semi-final finish after qualifying No. 7.

“We got off to a hot start at the Winternationals and I love racing at Auto Club Raceway. We have had a lot of success that track. I’ll have a lot of sponsor activities and we will be busy but it will be a fun kind of busy. Auto Club has a new stage and we will be talking with fans and signing autographs,” said Hight.

At the last race in Las Vegas Hight drove his Auto Club Chevy to the winner’s circle after qualifying No. 3 and putting up nearly career best performance numbers on the way to victory. In the first round Hight outran Gary Densham, his winning time of 4.035 seconds was not enough to give him lane choice in the second round against championship contender Del Worsham.

The Auto Club Chevy Camaro took a miniscule starting line advantage in the left lane but Hight raced to victory with a winning time of 3.983 seconds beside Worsham’s 3.994 second run. In the semi-finals against Chad Head, his eighth semi-final appearance of the season, he took the win light with his second three second run of the day 3.971 to 4.035 seconds.

The win moved the former crewman turned Funny Car driver into sole possession of 4th place on the all-time Funny Car win list. Before the Las Vegas win he was tied with Don Prudhomme and Cruz Pedregon. He only trails John Force (143), Ron Capps (44), and Tony Pedregon (43) on the all-time Funny Car win list.

Hight last won the Auto Club Finals in 2007 but has since picked up two wins at the season opening Winternationals in 2008 and 2011. The historic venue has a special place in Hight’s heart when you consider how many family members and friends turn out to watch the Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro race.

“When you roll up through the staging lane at Auto Club Raceway you see a lot of friends and people from the Yorba Linda office. You want to do well because this is our West Coast home track. Getting another win to close out the season gives you a lot of momentum heading into the off-season. The win in Las Vegas was big since it was our second win of the season and then coming to Pomona has us ready for another win,” said Hight.

The Las Vegas national win kept a significant streak alive for Robert Hight as he has qualified No. 1 and won multiple events every year of his professional career.