|CHEVROLET RACING IN NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION NGK NTK NHRA FOUR-WIDE NATIONALS ZMAX DRAGWAY IN CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA RACE RECAP MAY 16, 2021 |
Chevrolet rolls to two victories in Charlotte four-wide format • No. 1 qualifier John Force grabs 152nd career Funny Car win• Dallas Glenn earns first Pro Stock victory in fourth race• No. 1 qualifier Brittany Force is runner-up in Top Fuel
CONCORD, N.C. (May 16, 2021) – John Force won the inaugural Funny Car four-wide event at MAX Dragway in 2010. He returned to the winner’s platform in 2021.
Force, who turned 72 on May 4, drove the PEAK/BlueDEF Platinum Chevrolet Camaro SS to the No. 1 qualifier position for the NGK NTK NHRA Four-Wide Nationals and ran the table in eliminations to secure his 152nd career victory.
“I pulled it off,” said Force, who dedicated the victory to track owner Bruton Smith. “I ran my big mouth, said I can do this, I’m going to win this. I love this guy and everything he’s done for the sport.
“I don’t have much time left, but when you have a crew chief like Danny Hood and Tim Fabrisi and all these guys who take this old man and give him strength, what a run.”
After John Force Racing’s trio of Chevrolet drivers took off the majority of the 2020 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) season to regroup because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have come back strong through four National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Camping World Drag Racing Series events.
Force, runner-up at Atlanta two weeks earlier, registered his 161st career Funny Car low qualifier honor on the way to his first victory since Indianapolis in September 2019. Teammate Robert Hight, driving the Auto Club of Southern California Camaro SS Funny Car, was runner-up in the season opener at Gainesville and the No. 1 qualifier for the Las Vegas four-wide event. Top Fuel standout Brittany Force was also the top qualifier at Las Vegas and runner-up at zMAX Dragway.
Brittany Force came up just short in the Top Fuel final quad. Driving the Flav-R-Pac Chevrolet dragster, Force recorded a 3.723-second pass at 333.16 mph to finish runner-up to reigning class champion Steve Torrence’s 3.716-second run.
Force, who set both ends of the track record in qualifying No. 1 for the second time this season and 22nd in her career, upped her speed record from 333.08 to 333.49 mph in winning her opening quad.
Dallas Glenn, a KB Racing crew member for 22 of Jason Line’s career Pro Stock victories, picked up his first Wally in his fourth Pro Stock race. Glenn, driving the Rad Torque Systems Camaro SS, edged Mason McGaha’s Harlow Sammons of Odessa Camaro SS at the line in the final quad.
“From the outside watching Jason, you can always see the little things, but driving is so much harder. Being a crew guy, you just make sure nothing falls off and you do everything you’re supposed to,” Glenn said. “Driving is I have to admit a lot harder than I thought to get to this point. I can’t thank RAD, KB Racing, Chevrolet for making this one possible.”
All four finalists, who have a total of 48 starts in Pro Stock between them, were seeking their first victory.
Greg Anderson, the No. 1 Pro Stock qualifier for the fourth time in as many events this season and the 110th time in his career, was aiming for his 97th career victory. He posted low elapsed time of 6.538 seconds in his semifinal quad but finished third and did not advance. Anderson, driving the HendrickCars.com Camaro SS, tied Tony Schumacher for third all time in round victories with 850. Warren Johnson is next with 874.
David Barton of Reading, Pennsylvania, drove his Chevrolet COPO Camaro to victory in Competition Eliminator.
Chevrolet drivers will make the quick turnaround for the Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas, on May 21-23. In the 2020 event, which was postponed to October because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Aaron Stanfield earned his first Pro Stock victory in his Camaro SS.
AN INTERVIEW WITH FUNNY CAR WINNER JOHN FORCE (JOHN FORCE RACING, PEAK/BLUEDEF PLATINUM CHEVROLET CAMARO SS):YOU WANTED THAT ONE BAD, DIDN’T YOU?“Yeah, I ran my mouth and said I could win this for (track owner) Bruton (Smith). I really wanted to and it was in my heart. He’s done so much for me – things people don’t even know – to keep my head in the game. I dedicated this trophy to him. (Crew chief) Danny (Hood) is getting one, so is (co-crew chief) Tim Fabrisi.”
HOW EXCITED ARE YOU TO HAVE A RACE CAR LIKE YOU DO UNDERNEATH YOU?
“(Austin) Coil called Danny Hood last night and said ‘You’re really showing your stuff.’ Like Coil taught Danny how to run the dyno, he said Danny picked it up in one lesson and he’s picked up this race car. And now he’s all into it. Sometimes I wonder where’s Danny, but he’s at his computer. He’s got a good team around him. They’re all working together. And Robert (Hight) always works trying to help me. So, if you surround yourself – and I have a young team – the only thing old is me. Am I going to keep doing it? Today, I’m OK. Sometimes things just work right for me. I won the inaugural, and my mindset (today) was to do it.”
COMING BACK AFTER LAST YEAR AND GETTING A WIN, HOW MUCH CONFIDENCE DOES THAT GIVE YOU?“It says that I can at least compete in the points and do good.”
HOW DOES THIS FEEL?
“I’m telling you, time is everything. God’s got a plan for me. I won the inaugural four-wide and I met (track owner) Bruton (Smith) a hundred years ago in a coffee shop early in the morning. He said he wanted to meet with me when he built Bristol and I saw the fire in his belly, where he was going. We went down the road and did our thing. I called out to Bruton and what I did was I insinuated that I was going to win this race. Then I said, ‘You can’t do that.’ Then I said I’m sure going to try. For all that he’s done for so many of us, the sport of drag racing, NASCAR, INDYCAR, so I go and win the race and Bruton is going to take the trophy home. This make me so proud in the world that I live in.”
CONNECT THE DOTS FROM TAKING LAST YEAR OFF BASICALLY TO BEING BACK IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE.
“You don’t realize how much you love something. It’s a wakeup call. Don’t ever take the job you love for granted, or the people. We’re back here. These kids are tough out there. The car was prepared right by my young team and I halfway did my job. I’m excited. I’m lucky, I have a job. I didn’t have a job last year and it was painful.”
CHEVROLET FROM THE COCKPIT:
BRITTANY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, MONSTER ENERGY/FLAV-R-PAC CHEVROLET DRAGSTER (No. 1 qualifier; runner-up): “Great weekend for this team. We came out Friday Q1, set track record at 3.66 and stole that No. 1 spot. Then, going into Saturday, we struggled. We didn’t get down the racetrack and that was tough for this team. We had a run that was in the cold and the best track conditions and now we needed to reset for race day. So, this team found that. David Grubnic and Max Savage set up this race car and it ran killer runs all day. Consistent all day long. We ended up runner-up. We made it to a final; that’s huge for this team. I’m so proud of all my Flav-R-Pac guys and proud to be teamed up with David Grubnic. I struggled on the second run and just messed up on the Christmas Tree and was so in my head about it, and Grubnic pulled me aside and told me to stop messing with it, I’m overthinking it and go out and drive the car because I know how to do it and rip their throats out. And that’s what we went out there doing. We brought everything to the line the best we could. Unfortunately, it wasn’t our day, but this will carry us into next weekend.”
ROBERT HIGHT, JOHN FORCE RACING, AUTO CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (fell in first round): “We’ve had some issues, but we think we know what it is now. We’re going to stay and test tomorrow. I’m not worried, this Auto Club team, Jimmy Prock, Chris Cunningham and all the guys, they’re working hard to figure this out and once we do, we’ll be hard to catch. We’ll make a couple of runs tomorrow and be ready for Houston next weekend.”
DALLAS GLENN, KB RACING, RAD TORQUE SYSTEMS, CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (won first national event): “To be honest, I don’t even think it’s hit me yet. I’m just trying to enjoy everything I can. I’ve never experienced it on this side. It’s super emotional. This is a whole new perspective for me and these cars are so much fun, but they’re hard to drive. The results just came a little sooner than we were expecting.”
GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING, HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 1 qualifier; fell in semifinals): “It always feels good to get that No. 1 and start the weekend off on solid footing, but to do it with the HendrickCars.com Chevy Camaro just makes this really special. We’ve had a hot rod all year, and this Chevrolet has been in top form at every race.”
TROY COUGHLIN JR., ELITE MOTORSPORTS, JEGS.COM CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (final quad competitor): “We turned on a couple of win lights today, and that’s exciting. I always want more from myself and if I had tightened up my reaction times a little more we could have had an even better day but I’m still really happy to regain some momentum. Credit my guys — Mark Ingersoll, Eric Luzinski, Kelly Murphy, Steven Hurley and Kyle Bates — they gave me an awesome car every round. As a driver, there’s simply nothing better than knowing you have the best team in the sport behind you.”