In the time it takes to pre-stage, stage and run, John Force went from being the fastest on the drag strip to being second, for the third day in a row. Moments after Force posted a 4.087 second, 308.71 mph pass, Robert Hight left the “old man” in the dust with a stellar 4.053 second, 310.91 mph pass.
Looking to best them both, Ashley Force-Hood was done by the 60 foot mark.
“I'm excited about it,” said Force when asked to discuss the run. “Last year here I couldn't get down the racetrack for three days and then we finally did. It shows the preparation of the track.”
Last year 23 teams showed up for testing in Las Vegas and the track conditions were sub-par. This year, Force was promised the track would be much better.
“I chose to come here. Charlie Allen (track owner) said it wouldn't be like last year; they would fix it. I had our guy Lanny Miglizzi (the famed track whisperer) over here two days early to see what they were doing to try and give any input he could. Dan Olson was here. They really were focusing on it and I have already gotten a number of calls from other teams (saying they) screwed up; should have been there.
“This is the road to Pomona. This is where you come back first. Florida don't do me no good. My guys wanted to go but I said no.”
Based on the calls he's received this past weekend, Force believes “some boys are kicking themselves.
"Nobody wants to come and run for three days and you can't blame them from last year.
Last year I look at and mistakes sometimes happen. People try new stuff you know what I mean. JP1 has this new VHT stuff because it has to be chemically (enviromentally friendly), because of Obama's campaign that we don't screw up the ozone. It has to be green. It started last year because of certain chemicals that can't be in the air.”
Two years removed from a near fatal accident, Force believes he is really ready to contend for a championship.
“4.08 is good. It is good for me mentally,” continued Force. “Robert ran right around me. He got and .05 that is big. I feel good. I feel confident. It is never good to get too fast to quick cause you almost feel lucky. Then luck goes away. Mike Neff and Austin Coil working together - this is going to be good.
The single downside to the run was damage done to a brand new body.
“They had left the (1320') cones out because they have so many different categories running. It is a lot of work in all fairness to them to change it back/ they have to go glue them and everything. I went through the lights not thinking anything was there and I am not supposed to cross the centerline anyway. My fault.”
The new chassis, according to Force contributed to issue.
“If you see me leaving the starting line it is snaking,” started Force as he explained how he was adjusting to the new chassis. “I am over steering it because it is like it has power steering with the new hump built into the chassis. I am used to muscling it in my old car you know what I mean. It is like driving a truck. This Ford Mustang you give it a little bit it takes a lot so I am trying to find my spot.”
Once Force saw the damage from the cones, he said, “That made me sick.
“When I passed the lights (the car) started to drift over and I didn't jerk it back. I thought just pull it back slow. I had nobody in the other lane and I mowed em down. In my brand new body.”
Finished talking about his run, Force turned his attention to Hight's blistering 4.053 second pass.
“It made me look bad again,” said Force with a laugh and a huge smile. “He is just proving that the champ is thundering. That is what it is all about. He came out and saw that 4.08 he knows how to run his car. A 4.05 is pretty good. He'll come back and make it run a little bit harder. We'll see what happens. We are trying some new stuff right now.
“I was excited for Robert. I love Robert. I have to call the grand baby and say that daddy beat grandpa again.”
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