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Jul 03, 2014 - 06:16 AM
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2014 NHRA: Force To Knock It Out At Norwalk
Posted by: newsla on Jul 03, 2014 - 06:14 AM
NHRA
2014 NHRA: Force To Knock It Out At Norwalk


John Force is ready to come out swinging for the fences when the Castrol GTX High Mileage team rolls into Norwalk, Ohio for the 8th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. The 16-time NHRA Mello Yello World Champ is looking not just to go rounds, but to claim his 140th career victory while chasing an unprecedented 17th world title.

 

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The 2014 NHRA Mello Yello season has been throwing the reigning Funny Car champ a few curve balls, with mechanical gremlins that have hurt the car’s performance consistency. However, crew chief Jimmy Prock has been working on correcting the problems, and they began to turn it around over a week ago as John Force raced to a semi-final finish at the NHRA New England Nationals.

"We’ve been struggling a bit but we went a few rounds at New England and a couple at Chicago and that feels good. 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," said John Force.

The team was also hoping to keep the momentum moving in the right direction and go some rounds at last weekend’s Route 66 NHRA Nationals. With a great qualifying performance, John Force would advance to the quarterfinals, but ultimately lost to his daughter and teammate, Courtney Force. Despite this, John Force’s hard driving attitude keeps him doing what his loves, strapped in and behind the wheel of his 8,000 horsepower Castrol GTX High Mileage Funny Car. This is why he’s once again been nominated for the ESPN ESPY Award for Best Driver.

It’s no accident that this legendary driver has accumulated 139 career wins and 16 NHRA World Championships while setting numerous performance benchmarks along the way. Force earned this latest nomination on the success of his 2013 season, in which he won four races in nine final round appearances, on the way to his 16th Mello Yello championship. It was in 2013 that John also along with the Funny Car number qualifying position six times.

During last year’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, John Force was the number one qualifier and took out rising star Blake Alexander in the opening round. Going into the quarter-finals, John faced veteran Jack Beckman, but came up short in his bid to advance to the semi-finals. Despite being the winningest driver in NHRA history and claiming victories at 24 different tracks, John Force has never won at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, where he is 0-for-7 with only a runner-up finish in 2010 to show for his efforts.

"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," said John Force.

As the 2014 season surpasses the halfway mark, the reigning NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car champ knows he needs to start going rounds and winning races if he’s going to secure a 17th Mello Yello World Championship. With consistent performance, courtesy of crew chief Jimmy Prock and the rest of the Castrol GTX High Mileage Team, they’ll be on track to once again rewrite the record books. John Force is currently in third place with 769 Mello Yello Championship points. He’s only out of second by 17 points and trails his teammate, son-in-law and current leader, Robert Hight, by 263 points. More important, John Force knows the gap between him and the rest of the field is tightening up, so he knows it’s imperative that he goes rounds at this weekend’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.

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 and a recent semi-final finish at the New England Nationals, we’re confident that John Force will be a contender for a win this weekend at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.


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