John Force Racing heads into this weekend’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio with all four of its teams in the top 10 in their respective categories. Robert Hight still leads Funny Car points by nearly 250 points, while John and Courtney Force sit third and sixth, respectively, separated by only 37 points. Brittany Force sits seventh in Top Fuel points, inching up the standing after her second final-round appearance of the season.
“We want to get back into the winner’s circle,” said Hight, who made six final round appearances in the first seven races of the season, winning four times. “You can’t take anything for granted in this Funny Car class. We have won four races already and been in half of the finals so far this season but that just means we haven’t won eight of the twelve races. We feel like we have a Funny Car that can win every week. The competition is tough and they are trying to get quicker and faster just like us. I am excited to be going to the Bader’s race track. They are great promoters and we want to put on a good race there.”
“We are trying some things to get ready for the Countdown,” continued Hight. “We are not in test mode but we have been lucky to race in some cooler temperatures like those we will see in the Countdown so we have taken advantage of that and worked on a tune-up that will hopefully get us another championship. We are also focusing on racing smart in the heat. We have a great handle on this Mustang to it reacts to the changes Mike (Neff, crew chief) makes.”
Reigning Funny Car champ John Force opened the season with a win and national e.t. record at Pomona, but hit a skid in late spring, failing to advance past the first round in five straight races. He’s back going rounds after events in New Hampshire and Chicago, and Norwalk, in spite of the fact that Force has never won a national event at the track, might be a place where he returns to the spotlight.
“We’ve been struggling a bit but we went a few rounds at New England and a couple at Chicago and that feels good,” said the Force family patriarch. “Right now, we want to stay in the top ten in points and make it into the Countdown. Not just me, but my drivers are focused on that so we need to go rounds at Norwalk. I love coming to Norwalk, the facility is great and the Bader family, who own the track, know how to put on an awesome show and entertain the fans. I just hope my old hot rod can go some rounds and maybe win this thing.”
Courtney Force, whose recent win at Heartland Park Topeka was the 100th national event win for a woman, set the track speed record last year with a 319.67 mph run. Like the rest of her Funny Car-racing family, she’s excited to head back to Norwalk.
“It's great to be back in Norwalk again this year, wrapping up the last race in our four in a row,” said the youngest Force daughter. “I had pretty good luck here last year when I reached the semis with a pretty consistent race car. I feel confident coming into this race after back to back semi- final round appearances and hope we can pick up our first win here in Norwalk, Ohio.”
Brittany Force, who finished runner-up to Antron Brown for the second time this season at Chicago last weekend, has enjoyed the back-to-back racing over the last couple of months – Norwalk wraps up seven races in eight weeks and as well as four straight weekends of action.
“We had a great weekend in Chicago and going to the final round was awesome,” said Brittany Force. “My guys have been working really hard and my car is flying. I can’t wait for Norwalk. I’m pumped up and ready to jump back in my car and get that win for the Castrol EDGE team. With back-to-back races, I stay more focused as a driver and my routine stays sharp. I know it can be hard on my guys but we perform better when we’re constantly on the move and it’s that momentum that will help us keep qualifying in the top half of the field and go some rounds.”
Qualifying for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals begins Friday, July 4th at 4:45 and 7:15 p.m. ET, continuing Saturday, July 5th at 4:45 and 7:15 p.m. ET. Final elimination rounds kick off Sunday, July 6th at 11 a.m. ET. Keep up with the action at www.nhra.com.
Quotes and information in this piece provided by John Force Racing.
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