ENNIS, TX (October 18, 2015) — After qualifying three race cars in the top half and setting a Funny Car track speed record John Force Racing advanced three race cars to the second round at the Texas Motorplex. Robert Hight and the AAA Texas Chevrolet Camaro Funny Car qualified No. 4 and moved up to the No. 9 spot in the points today while Brittany Force slipped one spot to No. 4 and John Force held onto his No. 6 spot.
The AAA Texas Camaro Funny Car and Robert Hight outran Cory Lee in the first round. Hight drove his Mike Neff tuned Funny Car to the win on the strength of their 3.971 second run at 321.19 mph. The win propelled Hight into 9th place in the points and set up a second round match-up with Ron Capps.
In the next round Hight made another great run, 3.974 seconds but Capps was slightly quicker getting to the stripe a few hundredths of a second quicker, 3.957 seconds. Hight’s reaction time and elapsed time combination on that run would have defeated all six of the other quarter-finalists.
“We would have outrun every other Funny Car that session except the car in the other lane. We were one of top Funny Cars all weekend. I am looking forward to getting to Las Vegas and continuing to improve. We wanted to qualify in the top four and we did that. We ran in the threes both elimination rounds, 3.97s, which is pretty quick for the conditions,” said Hight, a two-time winner at the Motorplex. “This AAA Texas Camaro was one of the most competitive race cars and I think we are moving in the right direction.”
Brittany Force and the Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster had almost a perfect first round of eliminations. The No. 3 driver in Mello Yello points won their first round match-up with Terry McMillen and then watched as the No. 4 driver and the No. 2 driver in the points lost first round. Force’s 3.756 second run easily out distanced McMillen’s 5.456 second run.
In the second round Force took herself out of competition with an unfortunate red-light disqualification against eventual race winner Richie Crampton. The loss was compounded by the fact that the Monster Energy dragster made another stellar run, 3.778 seconds. It was the sixth consecutive quality run for the Monster Energy team at the AAA Texas FallNationals.
“I was ready to go and I just staged and then I left before the tree. I knew it instantly and it was too late at that point. It was just one of those things and when you are out here trying so hard to win sometimes you just screw up. I feel like I gave it away. My team is really supportive and told me we win together and we lose together. We are going to pack up and get ready for Las Vegas,” said Force.
“I have an awesome team. They put everything into this car. We just have to keep pushing and eliminate the mistakes. I made one today and I need to make sure I get back on the top of my game.”
The marque match-up of the first round of Funny Car featured John Force versus Courtney Force in a tough Camaro versus Camaro race. The six-time FallNationals winner and father of Courtney Force took a slight starting line advantage and parlayed that into a round win as Courtney Force and her pick Traxxas Chevy smoked the tires at half-track.
John Force’s win set up a critical race against the No. 2 driver in the Funny Car point standings, Jack Beckman. In the second round Force was pulling away from Beckman when the manifold burst panel on Force’s red Traxxas Chevrolet Camaro broke, prematurely deploying the parachutes and costing Force a chance to derail Beckman’s chance of winning. It was an unlucky break for Force and his team but not a devastating blow to his championship hopes.
“The competition is running really good and we are running right there with them. We need them to stumble and we had a shot here. We need to win the next two races and our competition has to struggle some. I have seen it happen. I am not going to the next two races negative. I am going to Las Vegas and Pomona ready to fight. What I like is how my cars are running. That Monster dragster made six good runs down the race track. We are on to some technology and we get these new Chevrolets we will be all right,” said John Force.
“You don’t blow out burst panels like on my car. That shut me off and they drove by me. That doesn’t happen but it is part of the game.”
Both drivers were running Traxxas Chevrolet Camaro paint schemes this weekend at Dallas; Courtney in the pink paint scheme in support of breast cancer awareness month and John in a red and black traditional Traxxas design. At the start of race day, one thing was a given, and that was the guarantee of a Traxxas Chevy Camaro in the second round.
“This weekend in Dallas was special to our team and my dad because we both got to run Traxxas cars at my sponsor’s home track in Ennis. We had a lot of ups and downs but we are looking forward to the next to races and being able to have the opportunity to finish on a strong note,” said Force.
“It’s never fun running a teammate, but I’m glad we were able to get one of the Traxxas cars to the second round this weekend,” added Force.
Courtney was pulling away at the 60-ft mark until her Traxxas Camaro smoked the tires. She had a front row seat to watch her father move on to the second round against Jack Beckman.
FUNNY CAR – 1. Del Worsham, 2488; 2. Jack Beckman, 2450; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr, 2341; 4. Ron Capps, 2330; 5. Matt Hagan, 2329; 6. John Force, Traxxas Chevrolet Camaro SS, 2264; 7. Alexis DeJoria, 2206; 8. Cruz Pedregon, 2201; 9. Robert Hight, AAA Texas Chevrolet Camaro SS, 2196; 10. Tim Wilkerson, 2195; 11. Courtney Force, Traxxas Chevrolet Camaro SS, 1010.
TOP FUEL – 1. Antron Brown, 2505; 2. Tony Schumacher, 2373; 3. Richie Crampton, 2302; 4. Brittany Force, Monster Energy dragster, 2298; 5. Larry Dixon, 2268; 6. Steve Torrence, 2254; 7. Shawn Langdon, 2236; 8. Dave Connolly, 2219; 9. JR Todd, 2213; 10. Doug Kalitta, 2205
PRO STOCK – 1. Erica Enders, 2501; 2. Greg Anderson, 2347; 3. Chris McGaha, 2335; 4. Allen Johnson, 2299; 5. Drew Skillman, 2298; 6. Larry Morgan, 2292; 7. Jason Line, 2240; 8. Jonathan Gray, 2220; 9. Vincent Nobile, 2220; 10. Shane Gray, 2183
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE – 1. Andrew Hines, 2412; 2. Eddie Krawiec, 2391; 3. Jerry Savoie, 2381; 4. Hector Arana Jr, 2331; 5. Chip Ellis, 2305; 6. Matt Smith, 2297; 7. Karen Stoffer, 2280; 8. Hector Arana, 2219; 9. Jim Underdahl, 2158; 10. Scotty Pollacheck, 2107
JOHN FORCE, 66, Traxxas Chevrolet Camaro SS
Final Qualifying: 7th at 3.960 seconds, 320.28 mph
Bonus Qualifying Points: 0
Race results: Beat Courtney Force; Lost to Jack Beckman.
ROBERT HIGHT, 46, AAA Texas Chevrolet Camaro SS
Final Qualifying: 4th at 3.941 seconds, 325.14 mph
Bonus Qualifying Points: +1 (3rd quickest of Q3)
Race results: Beat Cory Lee; Lost to Ron Capps.
COURTNEY FORCE, 27, Traxxas Chevrolet Camaro SS
Final Qualifying: 10th at 4.018 seconds, 320.43 mph
Bonus Qualifying Points: 0
Race results: Lost to John Force.
BRITTANY FORCE, 29, Monster Energy Top Fuel Dragster
Final Qualifying: 3rd at 3.749 seconds, 326.71 mph
Bonus Qualifying Points: +4 (2nd quickest of Q2 and Q4)
Race results: Beat Terry McMillen; Lost to Richie Crampton.