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Jul 16, 2014 - 07:02 AM
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2014 NHRA: John Force Looks To Be King Of The Mountain
Posted by: newsla on Jul 16, 2014 - 06:57 AM
NHRA
2014 NHRA: John Force Looks To Be King Of The Mountain


Coming off his recent win at the 8th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, John Force is looking to start a winning streak as the Castrol GTX High Mileage team rolls into Denver for this weekend’s Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals. Despite only having won two races this season, the 16-time NHRA Mello Yello Word Champ is pumped up and ready to drive his 8,000 horsepower Mustang to the winner’s circle. With seven wins to his credit at the NHRA Mile-High Nationals, John Force is the undisputed king of the mountain at Bandimere Speedway, which is nestled in the foothills of the majestic Rockies.

 

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“I love racing at Denver and the fact we sorted out the mechanical gremlins means Jimmy (Jimmy Prock, crew chief, Castrol GTX High Mileage Funny Car) can stay focused on tuning my hot rod to run in the higher altitude,” said John Force.

John Force would also like to repeat a sweep of the Western Swing, something that has eluded him since 1994. The Western Swing consists of Denver, Sonoma and Seattle, all back-to-back races, and it is probably the toughest and most grueling part of the NHRA Mello Yello Season. It tests drivers, crews, their race cars and equipment. Winning three races in a row for any team is a major undertaking, but to win the Western Swing is a major accomplishment for any driver.

However, for John Force and his crew chief Jimmy Prock, their focus is making sure the Castrol GTX High Mileage Funny Car stays consistent, like it has the last few races. With Bandimere Speedway’s 5,280 foot altitude, it can be challenging for even the most experienced tuner. However, the team has momentum working in their favor, as they head to the first race of the infamous Western Swing.

During last year’s Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, John Force qualified his Castrol GTX Mustang in the 6th spot with a 4.127 second pass at 308.99 mph. During eliminations, he faced Bob Tasca III in round one and came up a few thousandths short. Force’s Mustang dropped a cylinder at about half track and Tasca was able to get the win.

It was also at this race last year that John Force switched crew chiefs and other team members around, trading a few with Robert Hight.

“We shook things up before the Mile-Highs last year, and it paid off for us. People questioned what we were doing, but we got our 16th NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car championship, so we must have been doing something right,” said John Force.

As the 2014 season begins its march west, the reigning NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car champ knows he needs stay solidly in the top half of the points going into the Countdown to the Championship 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 solidly in second place with 889 Mello Yello Funny Car points. He trails his teammate, son-in-law and current leader, Robert Hight, by 178 points. More important, John Force knows he’s opened the gap between he and the rest of the field, but is aware that can change very quickly. Therefore, he knows it’s imperative that he goes rounds this weekend.

With wins at this year’s NHRA Winternationals, Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, and final-round appearances at the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida and the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, confidence is high that John Force will get win number eight on the mountain during this weekend’s Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.

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