ENNIS, TX (October 14, 2015) — Overcoming long odds and big deficits is nothing new to John Force or the NHRA’s Countdown to One championship format. Heading into the 30th annual AAA Texas FallNationals John Force and his Traxxas logoed Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car are 150 points out of first place and sit in the No. 6 position in the Mello Yello point standings. History might be on Force’s side once again.
In 2008 with three races left in season Cruz Pedregon was in 6th place in the points and 115 points away from the title. Pedregon won the last three races and cruised to his second Funny Car championship. He was 93 points ahead at the end of the season a remarkable 203 point improvement over three races on the No. 1 driver.
In 2009 Force’s own teammate Robert Hight entered the Countdown as the No. 10 driver and he picked up three wins and essentially wrapped up the title by the conclusion of the fifth race. Hight only needed to qualify at the season ending Auto Club Finals to win his first Funny Car championship.
The winningest driver in NHRA history can also draw on his own experience and strength to fashion another championship run. In 2010 Force lost in the first round of the Keystone Nationals and had to watch Matt Hagan race to victory and 64 point lead in the points with only two races left in the season. Force wound up winning his 15th championship by 42 points after winning Las Vegas and Pomona to close out the championship season. In two races Force had dropped a 106 points advantage on the point leader.
“I am never going to give until they hand someone else the trophy. I have a great team led by (crew chief) Jon Schaffer and a bunch of young kids. A lot of them have never been in a championship chase so I have to remind them we are still in this championship battle. We had a tough weekend in Reading but Dallas and the Texas Motorplex are a new chance for us,” said Force.
In 2007 Force suffered the worst crash of his illustrious career breaking his arms and legs but not his spirit. After an off-season of excruciating rehabilitation and the support of his family and team Force was back testing in Phoenix and racing at Pomona less than four months after the accident.
“The doctors told me a good goal for me after the accident would be to walk with a cane. I told them to get me new doctors and that I wanted someone that could get me back in a race car. I was lucky to be at Baylor Hospital in Dallas where they take all the rodeo cowboys. Those guys have it a lot rougher than me. I got with the rehab people and they put a program together and I worked hard to get back into shape but it still took me a couple years,” said Force, who went on to win in Topeka of 2008 less than a year after the crash.
Force has said he has no plans to retire but one thing that he will accomplish before hanging up his fire suit is winning again at the famed all-concrete race track outside of Dallas. Built in 1986 by former Funny Car driver Billy Meyer the Texas Motorplex has become the template for every super track built on the NHRA tour.
“Billy used to stay with my Uncle Beavs (Gene Beaver) in California when he was starting out. He was a young kid chasing his dream and I can relate to that. He had a dream for a great race track and he built the Texas Motorplex,” said Force, a six-time FallNationals winner. “I love racing here because so many of my heroes are from Texas. Guys like Kenny Bernstein and Raymond Beadle. I want to win this weekend and get another championship but really I just want to put on a good show for the fans.”
Force will be racing a red Traxxas Funny Car and his daughter Courtney will be in a pink Traxxas Funny Car this weekend. In honor of the two Forces teaming up to support Traxxas, the fastest name in radio control, the Texas based company will be offering a special promotion during the FallNationals.
If either John or Courtney advances to the semi-finals, Traxxas will offer 10% off at Traxxas.com. If either driver advances to the Final, fans will get 20% off at Traxxas.com. If John or Courtney win fans will get 20% off at Traxxas.com plus a free DTS-1 Drag Timing System with the purchase of two Traxxas vehicles. Fans need to use discount code “FORCE” which will be valid through 11:59 pm on Monday October 19, 2015 if John or Courtney reach the semis, final, or win.
“We definitely want to get as many round wins as possible and save some money for the fans on these Traxxas radio controlled race cars and trucks. We want everyone to keep an eye on John Force Racing and be ready to save some money when we hopefully win this race,” said John Force. “The competition is tough and I am in a battle for the championship so this weekend is important. I’ll do my best and I know Courtney will be at the top of her game like she always is. She won this race last year and we’ll see if one of us can do it again.”
John Force will also have a Traxxas firesuit for this weekend and his team will be in special Traxxas uniforms throughout the race. Nitro qualifying for the 30th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals will begin on Friday, October 16 at 3:30 p.m.