GAINESVILLE, FL (March 11, 2020) – Sixteen-time Funny Car world champion John Force and the BlueDEF Chevrolet Camaro SS team are showing no signs of letting up as they head to the AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals this weekend at Gainesville Raceway for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series East Coast opener.
Force, who finished runner-up at the season-opening Winternationals, continued to impress behind the wheel of his ‘Ole Blue’ Chevy Camaro at the recent NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. The 152-time winner rocketed to the No. 2 qualifier spot and brought the same energy into race day. In the first round of eliminations, Force laid down low ET and top speed of the event with a stout 3.848-second pass at 335.90 mph. His consistency showed through the next two rounds and although he came up short to rival Jack Beckman in the semifinal, he left Wild Horse Pass third in the Mello Yello points standings by only two points.
“We didn’t get the win, but Phoenix was a good weekend for the BlueDEF Chevy team. I have a good race car and we’ll get BlueDEF, Chevy and all our sponsors in the winner’s circle soon,” Force said. “It’s early and the season is just getting started but my son-in-law Danny Hood, Ronnie Thompson and Tim Fabrisi and the young guys on my team are working hard so we’ll be there soon.”
The Hall of Fame team owner and driver makes his way to historic Gainesville Raceway with success on his side. Force has 13 final round appearances with eight victories at the facility and has started race day from the top spot seven times. At last year’s Gatornationals Force raced to a semifinal finish.
“I always like getting to Gainesville. It’s the first race on the east coast and it’s always a big show. The locals, the fans, it’s just an unbelievable event every year,” Force said. “This BlueDEF team is ready to get there and I’m ready to get back in the car. I’ve won at Gainesville before, I’ve crashed there, lots of good and not so good memories but I’m hoping we get to the final and get a win this weekend.”
John and daughter, Brittany Force and fellow Funny Car teammate Robert Hight will be at Gainesville Buick GMC on Friday, March 13 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at 2101 N Main Street, Gainesville, Fla. 32609 for a special meet-and-greet and autograph session with the fans.
Nitro qualifying at the AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals takes place Friday with sessions at 3:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. and will continue Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. Eliminations begin Sunday at 11 a.m. Fans can watch the action on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) Friday at 2 a.m. ET, Saturday at 1:00 a.m. ET and Sunday at 9:30 p.m. ET.
About John Force Racing
John Force Racing, Inc., based in Yorba Linda, Calif., and Brownsburg, Ind., is a professional sports dynasty, one that has earned 21 NHRA championships and claimed 280 professional victories in Funny Car (269) and Top Fuel (11). Led by team owner and driver John Force, a 16-time Funny Car world champion, 1996 Driver of the Year for all of American motor racing, 2011 International Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee, and driver of the PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car, JFR is additionally comprised of Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS driver Robert Hight, 2019, 2017 and 2009 Funny Car world champion and 2005 Auto Club Road to the Future Award winner (NHRA’s Rookie of the Year); Top Fuel driver Brittany Force, 2017 Top Fuel world champion and 2013 Auto Club Road to the Future Award winner; and Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist driver Austin Prock, 2019 Auto Club Road to the Future Award winner.
For more information, please visit www.johnforceracing.com.
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Photo Credit: Gary Nastase, Auto Imagery, driver photo: NHRA