While pursuing his 17th NHRA Funny Car Title, 67-year-old John Force balances being a father, a boss and a mentor to his racing family.
As the Countdown begins in the NHRA, one of the biggest personalities in the NHRA has more than just races to get ready for. John Force has to be a dad and boss to two of the most popular drivers in the sport.
In Charlotte North Carolina at Zmax Dragway for the first race of the NHRA Countdown, John Force took a couple minutes with me to discuss the challenges of all the rolls he must fill. He begins the chase with all his teams in the Countdown and serious contenders for championships.
With the two other racing Force children having arguably their best seasons, John Force must balance being a dad with being a boss and a competitor. A challenge that he tackles with both arms open. When John talks about his daughters, you can see the pride he has for his girls.
Brittany is having her best season behind the wheel of the Monster Top Fuel dragster. She comes into the Countdown 5th in points. She was the winner at the 4 Wide Nationals in Charlotte earlier this season. That was her second of three event wins in 2016.
Courtney Force has just 1 event win in 2016 but has been incredibly consistent. Coming into the Countdown 4th in points, she has been a contender every week. Winning the Traxxas Shootout in Indy showed again the Traxxas car is going to be fast to finish the season.
John himself has found the fountain of youth having won two events on the west coast swing. He says he wants wins but is rooting for his teammates to win the title. Already with 16 championships in his illustrious career, he has not slowed down one bit.
I haven’t won the championship since 2013 and my team hasn’t gone three seasons in a row without a Funny Car championship since before 1990. I am looking to get another championship and if I can’t then I am pulling for Robert or Courtney. I have a great hot rod and my young team is getting better. I am excited to be heading back to Charlotte. The last couple of years we have started the Countdown with some success but I want to start with a win.
Sometimes driver and team president Robert Hight gets overlooked. Height is having a season himself. He enters the Countdown having won early in Gainsville and 6th in the countdown. Roberts last name might not be Force but he is a key part of the JFR family.
As a father, I can’t imagine not just being my daughters boss, but competing against her week after week. All the pressure to want your child to succeed while needing to win yourself. John Force has found a balance that many so many of us cannot. The 2016 Countdown could be a special one for John and the family Force.