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Jul 23, 2014 - 04:47 PM
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2014 NHRA: Force Ready For Second Stop On The Western Swing
Posted by: newsla on Jul 23, 2014 - 04:45 PM
2014 NHRA: Force Ready For Second Stop On The Western Swing

Despite coming up just short of what would have been his 141st career victory last weekend at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, John Force is still pumped up going into the second race of NHRA’s annual Western Swing. As the Castrol GTX High Mileage team rolls through the Rockies westward on to Sonoma Raceway, the 16-time NHRA Mello Yello World Champion will be looking keep his back-to-back streak of final appearances going at the 27th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals.


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“If I ever had a shot of sweeping the Western Swing, I had the car to do it, as it’s been 20 years since the last time I did that. Jimmy Prock (crew chief) has been on his game plan and my hot rod has been running great these past few races. Unfortunately, we came up short in Denver but hey, that’s racing and we move on to Sonoma,” said John Force.

Located in the heart of Northern California’s luscious wine country, Sonoma Raceway is a special place for John Force. The reigning NHRA Funny Car world champion has the most wins of any driver at Sonoma Raceway with seven, but he hasn’t visited the winner’s circle there since 2007 despite going to the final round 12 times since NHRA first hosted this race back in 1988.

Being the second stop of three consecutive race weekends during the famed Western Swing, it puts the drivers, teams and their machinery to the ultimate test. Also in the back of everyone’s mind is the fact that there are only three races following the NHRA Sonoma Nationals until the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoff fields are set.

With fellow teammate and son-in-law Robert Hight already locked in to the countdown, John Force is not only focused on himself, but his other team drivers as well to get to that milestone. Even though he goes into Sonoma in second place with 998 points, he wants to make sure his daughters, Brittany and Courtney, do well this weekend and go rounds to secure a spot in the countdown as well.
“We have great sponsors and it’s our job to do good, go rounds and win races. It’s important that all my drivers are in the countdown,” said John Force.

At last year’s race, John Force drove his Castrol GTX Mustang to a runner-up finish against veteran Ron Capps. This weekend, he knows the momentum is behind him as he qualified number one in Denver and any mechanical issues that may plagued in Castrol GTX High Mileage Mustang earlier this season are gone. Crew chief Jimmy Prock has not only given John a fast race car, but also a consistent one at that.

Even though John Force won’t repeat a sweep of the Western Swing, something that has eluded him since 1994, it doesn’t diminish his determination to win the next two races and making a run for unprecedented 17th NHRA Mello Yello World Champion title. While As the 2014 season marches it way through the western states, the reigning NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car champ is ready to once again to rewrite the record books.

With wins at this year’s NHRA Winternationals, Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, and final-round appearances at the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida, NHRA Four-Wide Nationals and Mile-High NHRA Nationals, we’re confident that John Force will get career win number 141 during this weekend’s NHRA Sonoma Nationals.

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