Force Looks To End U.S. Nationals Drought
INDIANAPOLIS — John Force put an end to one winless drought this season, snapping a 31-race streak without a victory in June at Bristol Dragway.
Now the 15-time Funny Car world champion hopes to put another drought behind him when he takes his 8,000-horsepower Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis for the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.
It’s been 11 years since Force won the world’s most prestigious drag race, with his last victory coming in 2002. That has left him stuck on four wins at Indy for more than a decade, but coming off a strong testing session and a solid summer has Force excited about his chances at the 2013 edition of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.
Force hopes one of the lasting images of this year’s race will be him celebrating a fifth Funny Car win at Indy, which would tie him with Ed McCulloch for the most in class history.
“Indy is the biggest race of the year and it always has been,” Force said. “Every time you roll through the gates you think of Big Daddy (Don Garlits), (Don “The Snake”) Prudhomme and all the greats. It has been a while since I won Indy but we have a hot rod that is running well. (Crew chief) Jimmy Prock has the Castrol GTX Mustang flying and we ran well in testing last week. You have to be ready for anything and I am excited to be racing there with my whole family.”
During last week’s test session at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, Force, who is currently fifth in the points standings and has clinched a spot in the Countdown to the Championship, powered his car to a time of 4.021 seconds at 318.24 mph, the best time of any Funny Car over a two-day stretch.
It’s a further sign that things continue to move in the right direction for Force, who has advanced to three more finals since winning at Bristol. He’s still searching for that second win in 2013 and Indy would be the perfect spot in his mind. Force is also well aware of what a fifth Funny Car win at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals would mean and he is readily embracing that challenge.