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2013 NHRA: Team Castrol/JFR Pre-Race Stats Package For Las Vegas
Posted by: newsla on Apr 03, 2013 - 09:06 AM
2013 NHRA: Team Castrol/JFR Pre-Race Stats Package For Las Vegas

Breakdown: The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

(A look at the track on which the 14th annual NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals will be contested starting Friday)

Track history: Opened in 1996 as part of a motorsports complex that also includes a 1.5 mile superspeedway, half-mile dirt oval, 3/8-mile paved oval, road courses and motocross courses on 1,600 acres north of the city. Operates as part of Bruton Smith’s the Speedway Motorsports empire. It is one of only two tracks on the circuit that hosts multiple events in the NHRA Mello Yello Series.
Track composition: Concrete launch pad with transition to asphalt at 762 feet.
Track direction: South to north
Track elevation: 2,100 feet above sea level
Track records: 4.030 seconds by Matt Hagan, Oct. 30, 2009; 317.27 mph by Robert Hight, Auto Club Ford Mustang, Oct. 27, 2012, in Funny Car; 3.773 seconds by Tony Schumacher, Oct. 26, 2012; 327.11 mph in by Doug Kalitta, Oct. 27, 2012, in Top Fuel.


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* * * *

Flashback to . . . .
OCTOBER 28, 2007

After qualifying only 13th in her Castrol GTX Ford Mustang, Ashley Force becomes the first woman ever to race for an NHRA Funny Car event win at what then was the ACDelco Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After beating Gary Densham, Del Worsham and Jim Head, the eventual NHRA Rookie-of-the-Year loses to former JFR driver Tony Pedregon in the final. Six months later (April 27, 2008) she would beat her dad, John Force, in the final round of the Summit Southern Nationals at Atlanta to become the first woman to win in the Funny Car division.

* * * *
The Drivers:

JOHN FORCE, 63, returns this week to the track and to the event that in 2007 ended his record streak of 395 consecutive NHRA tour events without a DNQ. That said, the sport’s biggest winner has forged a new streak and brings his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang into the SummitRacing.com Nationals having qualified for 100 consecutive events, the longest active streak in the Funny Car division.

BRITTANY FORCE, 26, is seeking her first round win as a professional at the wheel of the Castrol EDGE Top Fuel dragster in which she already has made history as the first John Force Racing driver to compete in Top Fuel. The graduate of Cal State-Fullerton put an anticipated career as a teacher on hold to compete in one of the world’s fastest-accelerating vehicles.

ROBERT HIGHT, 43, is coming off of his first semifinal appearance in almost a calendar year, hopefully signaling the end of one of an extended slup at the whel of the Auto Club Ford Mustang in which he has won three times in his last six appearances in the SummitRacing.com Nationals. The 2009 series champ also has a win in the fall race, giving him four overall victories at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

COURTNEY FORCE, 24, the highest-ranked JFR driver n the current Mello Yello point standings (third), drove her Traxxas Ford Mustang to victory in the season-opening O’Reilly Winternatonals at Pomona, Calif. The youngest of John Force’s four daughters recently was revealed as RACER Magazine’s Rookie of the Year for all motorsports, the first drag racing ever so honored.

* * * *
Traxxas Nitro Shootout

Courtney Force, the 2012 NHRA Rookie-of-the-Year, was the final Funny Car qualifier for last year’s inaugural Traxxas Nitro Shootout. This year, she was the first Funny Car driver to qualify for a shot at the $100,000 top prize.

Seven of the eight positions in Funny Car and Top Fuel will be determined by performance in the 17 NHRA Full Throttle Series events leading up to the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis, Ind. The first seven season winners in Funny Car and Top Fuel will be seeded into the starting lineup with an eighth starting position determined by fan interaction and a lottery.

John Force Racing has a history of success in NHRA bonus races including All-Star races contested in the old Winston Drag Racing Series plus the Big Bud Shootout and its successors, the Skoal Showdown and the U.S. Smokeless Shootout.

John Force won the inaugural Traxxas Funny Car Shootout and also earned the biggest single event payday in NHRA racing history when he won the 1999 Winston Showdown at Bristol, Tenn. ($210,000). Overall, JFR drivers have won nine times in bonus races and five times in Winston All-Star events.

Traxxas Nitro Shootout qualifiers as of April 6, 2013:

FUNNY CAR Qualifiers TOP FUEL Qualifiers

COURTNEY FORCE, Traxxas Ford Mustang SHAWN LANGDON, Al-Anabi dragster
RON CAPPS, NAPA Dodge Charger TONY SCHUMACHER, U.S. Army dragster
JOHNNY GRAY, Pitch Energy Dodge Charger ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools dragster

* * * *

FUNNY CAR POINT STANDINGS (After three of 18 events leading up to the Countdown to 1 playoffs)

1. Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge, 244
1. Johnny Gray, Pitch Energy Dodge, 244
3.Courtney Force, Traxxas Ford Mustang, 216
4. Matt Hagan, Mopar/Rocky Boots Dodge, 209
5. Cruz Pedregon, Snap-on Tools Toyota, 181
6. Del Worsham, DHL Toyota, 168
7. Robert Hight, Auto Club Ford Mustang, 156
8. Bob Tasca III, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang, 155
9. Jack Beckman, Valvoline Dodge, 148
10. John Force, Castrol GTX Ford Mustang, 144

* * * *

TELEVISION (all on ESPN2, all times Eastern Daylight):

Qualifying highlights – Saturday, April 6, 10 pm-12 midnight
Race highlights – Sunday, April 7, 11 pm-2 am

* * * *
JFR by the numbers

1 win in 13 appearances in the SummitRacing.com Nationals for John Force, the 15-time champion’s lowest percentage in any event he’s run at least five times.
2 consecutive DNQs for John Force in the SummitRacing.com Nationals (2007-2008), equaling his longest such streak in a single event in 35 years.
3 the NHRA Mello Yello points position currently occupied by Courtney Force after winning the season-opening O’Reilly Winternationals in her Traxxas Ford.
4 victories at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway by Robert Hight and the Auto Club Ford Mustang, the most recent at this race in 2012.
5 JFR Funny Car wins in the last eight races at LVMS
28 consecutive Top 10 seasons for John Force and Castrol GTX
37 events in which JFR has had both the Funny Car winner and Funny Car runner-up including the 2002 fall race at LVMS in which John Force beat Tony Pedregon.
100 consecutive tour starts for John Force, the longest active Funny Car streak
334 NHRA tour events in which JFR has had at least one Funny Car finalist

* * * *

NEXT EVENTS (2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series):

April 19-21 4th annual Dollar General 4Wide Nationals, Charlotte, N.C.
April 26-28 26th annual O’Reilly Spring Nationals, Houston, Texas
May 3-5 33rd annual Summit Southern Nationals, Atlanta, Ga.
May 17-19 25th annual Kansas Nationals, Topeka, Kan.
May 30-June 2 44th annual Toyota Summernationals, Englishtown, N.J.
June 14-16 13th annual Ford Thunder Valley Nationals, Bristol, Tenn.
June 21-23 Inaugural Auto-Plus New England Nationals, Epping, N.H.
June 28-30 16th annual O’Reilly Route 66 Nationals, Chicago, Ill.
July 5-7 7th annual Summit Racing Equipment Nationals, Norwalk, Ohio
July 19-21 34th annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals, Denver, Colo.
July 26-28 26th annual Sonoma Nationals, Sonoma, Calif.
Aug. 2-4 26th annual O’Reilly Northwest Nationals, Seattle, Wash.
Aug. 16-18 32nd annual Lucas Oil Nationals, Brainerd, Minn.
Aug. 29-Sept. 2 59th U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis, Ind.

Countdown to the Mello Yello Championship:

Sept. 13-15 6th annual Carolina Nationals, Charlotte, N.C.
Sept. 19-22 28th annual AAA Texas Fall Nationals, Dallas, Texas
Sept. 27-29 2nd annual AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals, Madison, Ill.
Oct. 4-6 29th annual Auto-Plus Nationals, Reading, Pa.
Oct. 25-27 13th annual Las Vegas Nationals, Las Vegas, Nev.
Nov. 7-10 49th annual Auto Club Finals, Pomona, Calif.

* * * *

John Force most wins by SEASON

Only 19 times in NHRA Funny Car history has a driver won six or more races in a single season. Eleven of those milestones belong to John Force, the only FC driver ever to have won MORE than eight races in one season. Force’s most productive years:

1996 _____________ 13
2000 ___________ 11
1999 ___________ 11
1993 ___________11
1994 __________ 10
2002 ________ 8
1990 _______ 7
2010 ______ 6
2001 ______ 6
1997 ______ 6
1995 ______ 6

* * * *

John Force Racing: we’ve got questions

On how many NHRA championship-winning Funny Cars has Mike Neff, currently the crew chief on John Force’s Castrol GTX Ford Mustang, worked?
a. One
b. Three
c. Five
d. Two

Answer: b. Three. He was crew chief on the cars in which Gary Scelzi and John Force won NHRA championships in 2005 and 2010. He was the bottom end man on the car in which Cruz Pedregon won the title as a rookie in 1992.

* * * *

Sponsor Spotlight on . . . .

BrandSource is the popular alliance of more than 4,500 locally-owned appliance, electronics, bedding, home furnishings and floor covering stores across the country that provides $11 billion in purchasing clout.

Through BrandSource, local appliance stores, appliance and electronic stores, furniture and mattress stores and floor covering stores can provide product choice, pricing and service equal to or better than the big box stores and do it in a neighborhood environment that is both less stressful and more comfortable.

The BrandSource team insures not only a pleasant buying experience, but also professional delivery and installation of all the major brands plus service after the sale.

A major partner of John Force Racing, Inc., BrandSource also is sponsor of the “Win With Force” program that, at selected races, rewards lucky customers with free TVs and appliances whenever a JFR driver qualifies No. 1 or wins a Mello Yello tour event.

PaddockTalk Perspective

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