John Force Racing expects excellence.
The Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol (Tenn.) definitely didn’t live up to the team’s high expectations.
John Force, Robert Hight, Mike Neff and Courtney Force all suffered first-round losses at Bristol June 17.
“We all know what we need to do and you can’t panic based on one weekend,” Hight said. “We have four good Ford Mustangs and we just have to go out there and get the job done.”
Hight remains atop the point standings 73 points ahead of the surging Ron Capps and he isn’t about to let Bristol sabotage his season.
“We have as good a car out there as anybody and I have only had one bad race and that was Bristol,” Hight said. “We tried too hard in qualifying and we didn’t get lane choice and you weren’t going to win from the left lane. We weren’t going to beat Johnny Gray or Ron Capps from the left lane. It was our own fault we should have qualified better.”
Hight lost to Gray at Bristol. Gray, the No. 8 qualifier, clocked a 4.091-second lap to beat No. 9 Hight who came in at 5.036 seconds.
Hight is planning to bounce back at NHRA’s Route 66 Nationals Thursday through Sunday in Chicago.
“Chicago is going to be a whole different ballgame they have two night sessions and the field is going to be quick,” Hight said. “Then it is going to totally change and be totally different come Sunday because we will have not faced the heat we are going to have. I still believe I have as good a car out there as anybody. Do I have an advantage? No. But, I do not believe anybody else does either. We can run right up and down the track with Capps and any of those guys. The way this class has been, you have to be perfect to win.”
Hight admitted his team has been trying different combinations on Saturdays.
“We have been doing a little bit of testing on my car on Saturdays, trying to learn things and get better,” Hight said. “Maybe that has hurt our consistency a little bit. We had a pretty good points lead and we had the luxury of doing that. Now that the points lead has dwindled down I think we are probably going to rethink testing a little bit and try to do what Capps is doing and be more consistent. We did some testing Saturday in Bristol and it bit us. We dropped a cylinder on one run because of what we were testing. Had we not been testing and trying things we probably would have made a run near the top of that session and that would have gone a long way in helping our cause Sunday.”
Last Friday, Glen Gray, NHRA’s Vice President, Technical Operations, confirmed to Competition Plus John Force Racing, Alan Johnson Racing, which manages the two-car Top Fuel operation of the Al-Anabi Racing Team, and Bob Tasca III’s Funny Car team were all fined by NHRA for modifying parts without NHRA’s approval.
Gray said Force was fined $10,000 - $2,500 for having unapproved modified parts on each of his team’s four Funny Cars.
According to Gray, he detected the unapproved modified parts right before Bristol.
Hight said the fines levied by NHRA had no impact on JFR’s Bristol performance.
“Nope,” Hight said quickly about whether the NHRA fines were a distraction.
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