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Jun 11, 2014 - 06:53 AM
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2014 NHRA: John Force Eager To Turn Things Around At Thunder Valley
Posted by: newsla on Jun 11, 2014 - 06:52 AM
2014 NHRA: John Force Eager To Turn Things Around At Thunder Valley

Legendary drag racer John Force may have been in a slump these past few races on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, but rest assured, it’s making the 16-time NHRA Funny Car Champ work even harder in chasing another world title. Eager to turn things around at this weekend’s Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, John Force knows his Castrol GTX High Mileage Mustang has the horsepower to win races and a crew who are the best in the business.


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However, the Castrol GTX High Mileage Team knows that getting snake-bit by mechanical gremlins on race day can be frustrating for even the most experienced teams. They also know they can’t continue going down that path if they are going to stay in the hunt for the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.

“We are struggling with the clutch setup in the car. It’s been real inconsistent, but I’ve got my brain trust working on it. Jimmy Prock (crew chief), Danny DeGennaro (assistant crew chief) and the rest of the guys will get the clutch issues fixed before Bristol. Lately, this hot rod hasn’t done a good job for our sponsors like Castrol, Auto Club, Traxxas, Mac Tools, Peak and BrandSource. That needs to change, and fast,” said John Force.

Nevertheless, the veteran drag racer is always optimistic and doesn’t dwell on the last race. John Force knows all too well the legacy of his accomplishments at Bristol Dragway. If history can repeat itself, this weekend’s Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals could be the race in which John Force breaks out of the slump and starts going rounds again.

With a weekend off before heading to Bristol, John Force didn’t just sit back and relax. He was on the move and doing what he does best, promoting his brand.

“We took our travelling road show up to Canada. It was on display at the Hardcore Horsepower Shootout at St. Thomas Raceway Park over in London, Ontario. We showed the fans some of our cool hot rods and they really liked them,” said John Force.

John Force loves branching out to new venues, but his heart is still behind the wheel and strapped into his 8000 horsepower Castrol GTX High Mileage Mustang. He also knows it was at the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals last year that his 18-month drought, in which he had been winless for 31 races, would finally end.

John ended up qualifying sixth with a strong 4.071 second run, and went all the way to the finals on race day, winning the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals for the fourth time. It was also at this event that John Force secured a spot in the second annual Traxxas Shootout.

During last year’s Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, John Force to had race daughter Courtney in the opening round. It may have been Father’s Day, but Courtney wasn’t going to hand a win over to her father. She was going for the win, and despite her .088 reaction time advantage to his .092 and the great side-by-side race they gave the fans, Courtney just came up short as John crossed the finish line first.

John Force would go on to defeat the 2011 NHRA Funny Car champ Matt Hagan and newcomer Blake Alexander before squaring off against rival Cruz Pedregon in the final round, ultimately claiming his fifth win at Bristol Dragway.

Once again, this year’s Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Sunday eliminations will take place on Father’s Day. Racing legend John Force would like nothing more than to be surrounded by his family in the winner’s circle at Bristol Dragway as he lifts the iconic Wally over his head for claiming his 140th career victory.

With his win at this year’s NHRA Winternationals and final-round appearances at the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida and the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, we’d like to think the chances are in his favor to receive the best Father’s Day present this weekend.

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