There wasn’t much down time during the off-season for 2013 NHRA Funny Car John Force and his John Force Racing family – the patriarch and 16-time champ is focused on the future – 2014 and beyond.
“We evaluate over the winter,” said Force in a recent NHRA teleconference. “If we've lost any people, especially key people, clutch men, engine builders, we evaluate the crew chiefs, if anybody's leaving, we go through a lot just to make sure that we're stable in our approach. Then the approach is give everybody a couple of weeks to rest. Let's not talk racing, even though Robert (Hight) and I, we've been on the road all over the country and we're beat up and tired. We just got back from testing a week, like everybody, but we were gone two weeks. We live on the road. That's what we do. There's not much downtime, a little downtime at Christmas. But the mindset is the same. If you don't focus, if you take winning for granted, you go back to the same process and mindset you had last year and go after it. Only difference is now because of the economy and where we're looking at the future of chasing corporate America, we've got to find some major sponsorship, and that's why we've been living on the road, working with Just Marketing and trying to replace sponsorships that are going to be leaving.”
With Ford and Castrol on their way out after the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season, which kicks off Thursday through Sunday, February 6th through 9th at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in California, Force and the JFR team – daughters Brittany and Courtney and son-in-law Robert Hight included – have been busy looking for sponsors, and the possibility of one car sitting out in 2015 came up – Force said he’d be the one on the outside.
“I've always said if somebody's got to sit out 2015, it will be me,” said Force. “My daughter, I've set her on fire; I've crashed her. I'm not going to tell Brittany you can't race that dragster. I may have to move her into a Funny Car. That's why we switched around the crew chiefs last year. Jimmy (Prock) was struggling when I went over there. I didn't think the car was going to get hot. I did it to team up with Jimmy in case I had to go to Top Fuel. Like I said before, to drive a race car, I don't care if it's Pro Stock, Pro Bike, I don't care what it is, a Fuel Dragster, I want to be able to race and be with my family and be with the fans. If corporate America says here's where we want to, I find a way to go there…We're not going to fail. I will not fail because I've got nowhere to go. This is what I love, and I won't fail my kids. I put them in this business. NHRA has a great product, and we'll fight our way out of this hole.”
Keep up with the off-season at www.nhra.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by the NHRA.
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