CHEVROLET AT NORWALK What: Summit Racing Equipment NHRA NationalsWhen: Friday, June 25-Sunday, June 27Where: Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, OhioTV: FOX will telecast eliminations live at 2 p.m. ET June 27 Chevrolet drivers enter seventh race of season with the hot handJohn Force Racing Funny Car drivers have won the past three events
DETROIT (June 23, 2021) – John Force has won the 200th, 400th and most recently 900th Funny Car races in National Hot Rod Association’s (NHRA) history. The 16-time champion won’t rule out competing for the 1,000th.
Force, 72, registered his 153rd career – and second of the young NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season — Funny Car victory at Epping, New Hampshire, to give his namesake team three consecutive category wins. Robert Hight, who holds the distinction of winning the 600th Funny Car race, won in Houston.
The duo will seek to carry their momentum this weekend to Norwalk, Ohio, in the Summit Racing Equipment NGRA Nationals. The event was not held in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A John Force Racing Funny Car has reached the final round in five of the six races this season.
“It sure doesn’t look like we took a year off,” said Force, who is second in championship points in the PEAK/BlueDEF PLATINUM Chevrolet Camaro SS. “Our crew chiefs are dialed in; our teams are working well together. It’s all working for us. Now we have to stay consistent.”
It was fitting that Force held the Wally following the New England Nationals in the milestone race. Since making his first race day appearance in a Chevrolet in 1978, the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion has won an impressive 20% of the 769 career races in which he has qualified. And he’s been runner-up 106 times. His victory total is one of the many NHRA records he holds that is unlikely to be challenged.
“I’m looking forward to my most important job, getting into my PEAK BlueDEF Chevy Funny Car and strapping in to make runs,” Force said. “We’ll be ready, we’ll be good.”
Brittany Force, the No. 1 qualifier and runner-up in the Charlotte four-wide event, looks to get untracked in the Flav-R-Pac/Monster Energy Chevrolet dragster after a pair of first-round exits.
“This Flav-R-Pac Monster Energy team has had a tough couple of races lately so we’re hoping to turn our luck around,” she said.
Pro Stock has seen five different winners in six races. Three-time Norwalk winner and points leader Greg Anderson has claimed top qualifier honors five times in the HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro SS and has two of the wins.David Barton and Aaron Stanfield, who have won the Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown races this season in their Chevrolet COPO Camaros, highlight the field this weekend in the third race of the eight-event series.
FOX will telecast eliminations live at 2 p.m. ET Sunday, June 27.Enders among Best Driver nomineesReigning NHRA Pro Stock champion Erica Enders is a finalist for the ESPY Award in the Best Driver category. The driver of the Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro SS earned her second consecutive – and fourth overall – Pro Stock title in 2020. She is the only female in NHRA history with four titles. The ESPY Awards will be telecast by ABC at 8 p.m. ET Saturday, July 10.
CHEVROLET FROM THE COCKPIT
BRITTANY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, FLAV-R-PAC/MONSTER ENERGY CHEVROLET DRAGSTER (No. 1 qualifier in Las Vegas and Charlotte four-wide events; runner-up in Charlotte): “Our John Force Racing teams head to Norwalk this weekend and I’m excited to be back with my Flav-R-Pac team chasing down a win. We’re going back to old approaches, attacking every run. Playing it safe is easy, comfortable but, we’re going back to pushing the limits because that’s what David Grubnic, Mac Savage and this Flav-R-Pac / Monster Energy team are capable of. In Norwalk we will be chasing records, going after the No. 1 qualifier, and focused on going rounds on race day.”
JOHN FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, PEAK/BLUEDEF PLATINUM CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (two-time winner this season; No. 1 qualifier in Charlotte four-wide; third in points): “John Force Racing, we’re running good. The whole team, myself with PEAK BlueDEF, Robert (Hight) over there with AAA and Brittany (Force) with Flav-R-Pac and Monster Energy. “I always love coming to Norwalk. Bill Bader, well now it’s his son, Bill Bader Jr., they always put on a great show. We’re going there with a full crowd, with everything having been shut down, the fans need the excitement, they need the entertainment. That’s what we’re going to give them.”
ROBERT HIGHT, JOHN FORCE RACING, AAA OF OHIO CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (runner-up in two races, winner at Houston; No. 1 qualifier in Las Vegas four-wide): “We’re on a roll right now and I’m ready to keep it going. We’ve had some luck in Norwalk at Night Under Fire but it’s time for a national event win. I know Jimmy Prock and Chris Cunningham will be ready and my guys will put in the hard work. Right now is the time to be figuring everything out. Get us set up for later in the season. We want to run well, go rounds and win races. Hopefully we get this one done for AAA.”
GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING, HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (two-time winner this season; No. 1 qualifier in five races; points leader; three-time winner at the track): “We go race in front of our longtime sponsor Summit Racing Equipment. It adds extra bang and I love that. It seems to help us. I expect to do well there. The bottom line is you can’t just rest on what you have in this sport or you’ll get passed by. We’ve been great all year, the car has been fantastic, and we should have won a lot of races that we didn’t close the deal on. It’s a matter of paying attention to those details and trying to make every aspect of the game better. The competition is not happy that they’re getting outrun, so they’re going home and working hard. So we’ve been using every minute we can to try to make our engines better, make our cars better and try to make our drivers better.”
TROY COUGHLIN JR., ELITE MOTORSPORTS, JEGS.COM/ELITEMOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (runner-up in season opener; transferred to final quad at Charlotte): “It’s Norwalk weekend, so if you’re from Ohio this is the one you want to win the most. It’s all about Buckeye pride and representing the best state in the country. Our family has done well at this track in the past and we really want to keep that going this weekend. I actually won the last time I raced here (in 2019) when I was in Top Alcohol Dragster.”
KYLE KORETZKY, KB RACING, LUCAS OIL CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 3 qualifier and semifinalist at Houston): “I’m definitely focused on improving every race. I know we have a winning car. I just have to do my job as the driver. My confidence level in the car is huge. I feel we have a car to go to the pole and race well on Sunday on round at a time. I’ve done a lot of practice Tree (since last event) simulation at the shop and find my sweet spot. My first time at Norwalk, so I’m excited to go there.”
ROB TUCKER, AUZMET ARCHITECTURAL CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (1998 Australian Pro Stock champion; making NHRA debut): “I really don’t know if I’ll qualify or not. It’s going to be tough but just to be out there will be great fun. This is going to be a big race for Pro Stock, and I’m proud to be a part of it. My daughter, Kristen, has told me, ‘You can do this. You never really forget how to drive a race car.’”