63-year-old John Force made one thing perfectly clear during a recent NHRA teleconference: he’s not done racing yet.
“I haven't quit yet,” said the 15-time Funny Car champ. “I'm going to drive another five years for Castrol, Ford and Auto Club.”
“Personally, I like any of our drivers,” Said Force. “Robert Hight or Courtney (Force, his youngest daughter). We want to win a championship. I'm excited right now. I made the transition back to (crew chief) Mike Neff that I won a championship with in 2010, when he chose to step out of the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang.”
“As an owner, you want to win because you want to renew those sponsorships that you have,” continued Force. “On top of it, for your own personal (satisfaction), me, I want to prove to Robert and my two daughters that I race with, that I'm still in championship form. I work out every other day to stay in that game. That's really what it's all about.”
The other daughter that’s now part of the JFR team is Brittany, who will be competing in the Top Fuel division – the first time JFR has ventured into dragsters. “She's looking to qualify at every event if she can and hopefully to get a win,” said Force. “If you can make all the shows, you can put it in the Countdown and even then you got a shot at winning. She's a rookie, we'll see what happens. I'm excited right now. Dean Antonelli moved back to the Top Fuel ranks, which is an upward move. He was the best fit to go with my daughter Brittany. As you all know, he started Ashley's career in Funny Car and did well, winning Indy races back to back. The transition is good.”
Force is also becoming a landlord, having purchased property across the street from the JFR shops in Brownsburg, Indiana that belonged to Don “The Snake” Prudhomme. “(Chip) Ganassi is over there now with a couple of his teams. (Bobby) Rahal is over there. I've got renters already. I'm not really worried,” said Force. “I'm investing in the future. I have a few bucks in the bank. I'm not making any money there. I don't play the bonds or stock markets. I put it into rentals where I can rent to people in our industry. That's where my growing point is. Racecars are what I do. Everything out of that revolves around the automotive industry.”
Force continued,“I'm hoping down the road I'm talking with Castrol, not in-depth, things that Castrol does. I'm excited about some of this stuff. Ford has done it with Tasca and Quick Lane. No reason that John Force can't get involved in that because we have the facilities to do it in California and out here. Simpson Safety moved in with us here. The Torrence team took on four bays here with us. I guess his dad is going to race. I'm bringing racing into the Brownsburg community and that's why I'm excited about the growth. I hated to see Don Prudhomme, a name as huge as that, step out. I always pray that he'll come back. He was my hero. Until then, I'm going to keep trying to grow the sport for myself and for Robert and for my children so we can make a living.”
Get ready for the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season at www.nhra.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by the NHRA.
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