For the ever gregarious, fast-talking John Force his Funny Car win this Sunday in Washington was his 150th win at a National Hot Rodding Association national event. It’s a first in drag racing history. It was also his first win in 25 races.
Force Says It All
The 70-year-old Force said, “I may not be as young as these kids and a hotshot on that tree, but I can still get it done. I’m glad it’s over and I can calm down now and not live with that, thinking I’d never get it. I know I’ve only got a few years left. I want to enjoy it. I want to have fun. And when you can’t win–I’ve been trained to win and it’s just not fun (when you don’t).”
Force’s milestone came at the 32nd annual NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Washington. It came exactly 700 Funny Car races after his first win June 28, 1987, in Montreal, Canada. That win was his first-ever in a driving career that started 10 years earlier.
Running his Peak Auto Lightning Camaro SS Funny Car, he beat Ron Capps with a 3.971-second time at 320.58mph.
Why It’s Taken So Long
He spoke about his problems with his Funny Car this year, which possibly caused the dry spell between his 149th win and 150th, “I’m just doing stuff all the time and don’t even know my car. And you know (Crew Chief Brian) Corradi and (former Crew Chief Austin) Coil said, ‘You’ve got to get to know your car. You’ve got to live it and you’ve got to love it. You’ve got to study drivers.’ I said that I do all of that, but I wasn’t. So sometimes you need a slap in the face, and that was the monkey that made me focus.”
Greatest All-Time Driver
Force is a 16-time season champion if the Funny Car Top Fuel class. The next highest winning driver is retired Pro Stock legend Warren Johnson with 97. So, 150 wins is an incredible record in the NHRA’s almost 70-years of existence. It cements him in as the greatest driver of all time.
What About For the Season?
This win also puts him in third place this season in the Funny Car standings, while guaranteeing a spot in the six-race NHRA Countdown playoffs later this year.
John Force Racing has in past years harnessed John’s daughters as drivers. Currently, Brittany Force is part of the four-car team that includes Robert Hight and Austin Prock driving the lone Top Fuel Dragster.
Icing On the Cake
Adding icing to the 150-win cake, teammate Prock won his first national event at the Northwest Nationals. He beat Steve Torrence in the finals with a 307.86 mph pass at 3.875-seconds.
Currently, teammate Hight is leading in Funny Car points this season.