John Force Racing President and Driver of Auto Club Ford Mustang
On The Western Swing, Denver And The Points Race
This is my favorite part of the season. Race car drivers love to be in the car every week. You get in the groove and get more and more comfortable. I’m from the West Coast, so the Western Swing is through my favorite part of the country.
I remember years back, being a crew guy, driving a truck, it was the best part of the season. It’s a beautiful drive, the races are not too far apart, and a lot of friends, family and sponsors are there.
I’m from Northern California and now my home track is Pomona but I guess you could say that Sonoma would have been my home track growing up. I’d make sure to spend time there in the summer and always made it to the FRAM/Autolite Nationals.
At Denver I’ve had a lot of luck and so has my crew chief Jimmy Prock, who still holds a lot of records there, not just Funny Car but with Top Fuel dragsters too. That’s how good he is.
It’s only this one race a year that you have to focus on and change so much on the engine, but it’s really no different from any other race in terms of points and money. I’m defending champ and Jimmy has won here a lot, so we tend to do well at Denver and we have some confidence going in.
Things have changed over the years at Denver. It was not a real good race track, so even if you could make up some horsepower, you couldn’t use it because the track was pretty tough. A few years back John Bandimere put in an all concrete track and the first 300 feet or so have chillers, a cooling system underground, so now when we crank up horsepower you can get the traction and really go fast. Last year when we left there the engines sounded like they were at sea level. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some times in the 4’s.
John Force Racing has won the last five races in a row and we want to keep it going. Mike Neff and I each have four wins already this season and he’s in that number one spot and I’m third, just a few behind Jack Beckman.
My goal still is to be number one because of the advantage that gives you in the Countdown. I don’t know if I can catch Mike but if I can’t, at a minimum, I want to come out of Denver in the number two position.
There’s only been one Funny Car driver to ever sweep the Western Swing and that’s my boss, John Force, so it’d be great to be the second driver on that list.
I’m looking forward to some family time on this trip too. My daughter, who’s seven, is out of school and she travelled with me to Chicago and is with me now on our way to Denver. As a family we’re going to drive up to Sonoma next week. My wife likes the Bay area and it’ll just be a fun time with family and friends.
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