DEFENDING EVENT WINNER JOHN FORCE ENERGIZED FOR RETURN TO EPPING
EPPING, NH (May 31, 2016) --- Last year John Force powered his PEAK Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car into the winner’s circle for the 143rd time outrunning No. 1 qualifier Tommy Johnson Jr. in the process and securing his first win at the NHRA New England Nationals. New England Dragway became the 25th different track for Force to capture a win and the emotion of the moment was not lost on the 16-time champion at the top end.
“I raced here 38 or 40 years ago before most of you were born to come back and have one race on the circuit that I couldn’t win; I needed this race win. One of these days I am going to go out and it is going to break my heart but I ain’t leaving until I win all of them and now I’ll try and win all of them twice. This was a great day,” exclaimed Force to an awestruck TV audience. “My daughter (Courtney Force) spanked me in the inaugural race and I tried to screw her up in the first race but I couldn’t do it. I taught her too well. I am giving this trophy to PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant and BlueDef.”
Now in 2016 Force is coming back to Epping on the heels of a tough outing in Topeka, Kansas where on Friday he brushed the wall with his much anticipated and brand new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car. Force had to go to a back-up Funny Car for the rest of the weekend and immediately following the race he went to the team’s Brownsburg, Indiana shop to fix his racecar.
“I have been at the shop in Indy since after Topeka working with my team. It had been great since I usually just come in for a day and try to get something done quickly. We have been able to go through the car and really get me fitted and comfortable,” said a focused Force. “I have been able to spend some time with the Aerodine to work on the body I brushed the wall with and I think we made it a little better. So many people have worked on this new Camaro body we are excited to get it back at the track. My Camaro will be ready for Epping and so will I.”
Force started the season with a runner-up finish in Phoenix and two semi-final finishes at the Winternationals and the Las Vegas Spring NHRA national event. The winningest driver in NHRA history has been hit with three consecutive first round losses but he has remained positive based on the team’s hard work over the off-season.
“I want to get into the winner’s circle more than anyone I think. You want your team to have success but when you are trying to get one of the last spots in the Traxxas Shootout plus get that win for our sponsor PEAK Antifreeze and BlueDef you put a lot of pressure on yourself. I can handle the pressure and so can my team,” said Force. “I got my first win for PEAK last year in Epping and I think I have a great chance to get another win for them. We aren’t just racing for PEAK or Chevy but also for Auto Club, Traxxas, Monster Energy, Lucas Oil and Mac Tool. You never take winning for granted and I know I have won a lot but I want to keep winning and teaching my kids.”
The 4th annual NHRA New England Nationals will start a stretch of four races in four weeks for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The extended run of races does not seem daunting to Force at all. In fact the 16-time champion and defending New England Nationals winner has already been on the road for nearly a month.
“I haven’t been home in a month already. I don’t do vacations. I was at the Indy 500 for Chevy and we signed autographs with Linda Vaughn and Courtney on Saturday. I was all over the race track talking with fans and media people. I have been in Indy working on my race car and new sponsors,” said Force. “I can’t wait to get to the race track and get into my race car. We are going to test on Tuesday in Indy before Epping and then we’ll get on an airplane and head up to the track. I think the best way to get off to a good start is to just focus on each race. If you start thinking about trying to get on a win streak you won’t be thinking about what you need to do on that run.”
Heading back to the northeast also has Force excited about continuing to grow the sport that he loves and has devoted his life to dominating.
“Epping is a great market for NHRA and we see a bigger crowd every year. Courtney won the first race there and I won last year. The fans have always been great and we are close to Boston which is a big media market. I know Courtney and Brittany are coming in early to work the media so I think we will see big crowds again,” summed up Force.