John Force to be inducted as a Legend of Thunder Valley

John Force, one of the biggest names in drag racing history, will officially be honored by Bristol Dragway this June as the iconic driver is named to the track’s Hall of Fame during the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

Force, driver of the PEAK Antifreeze Chevy Camaro SS Funny Car for John Force Racing, will be inducted as a Legend of Thunder Valley during driver introductions for the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals on Sunday, June 19. He joins such names as former track GM Jeff Byrd, Speedway Motorsports executive chairman Bruton Smith, NHRA icon Don Garlits and NHRA team owner Don Schumacher.

1999 – John Force wins the first Winston Showdown, knocking out a quartet of top fuel dragsters to earn the $200,000 top prize and showcasing Bruton Smith’s dramatically improved “Thunder Valley.”

Force’s shining Bristol achievement may be his win at the 1999 Winston Showdown in the renowned Superman Funny Car. The all-star exhibition event pitted Funny Cars against Top Fuel dragsters for the first time in NHRA competition history. Force beat Top Fuel’s Bob Vandergriff Jr. in the final to claim the victory. The event was so successful that NHRA soon returned to Bristol in 2001 for the first national event since 1967.

“As NHRA celebrates 50 Years of Funny Car, it makes perfect sense to honor John as a Legend of Thunder Valley,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of Bristol Dragway. “From his victories at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals to his 1999 Winston Showdown win in his iconic Superman scheme, great stories about John are continually told, and we’re delighted to honor him during race weekend.”

Guests are invited to come celebrate Father’s Day with Force, who will participate in the 10 a.m. track walk with daughters Brittany and Courtney Force. In honor of the recognition, Bristol Dragway will be distributing special edition hero cards that detail Force’s achievements at Thunder Valley. With every ticket being a pit pass, opportunities abound to get the custom hero card autographed by the winningest driver in NHRA professional history.

John Force (center) pictured here with his daughters Courtney (left) and Brittany (right)