NHRA: John Force Racing Looking To Bounce Back In Reading

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

After a strong performance at the NHRA Carolina Nationals, the JFR teams headed to St. Louis with confidence. After the second round, all the teams were done and looking for answers.

The third round of the NHRA Countdown cranks up in Reading this weekend for the Dodge NHRA Nationals. After a disappointing Sunday in St. Louis, the JFR teams are looking to rebound. JFR has had success at the track recently. They are hoping to bring back some magic on Sundays.

I don’t think anyone could have predicted the Force racing teams struggles coming out of the Carolina Nationals. 16 time NHRA Champion won the event while all the teams showed strength. Robert Hight laid down the number one qualifier in St. Louis and the roll looked to continue.

Sunday came and before the fans could get their lunch, all the Force teams were loaded in the hauler. The promise of the strong qualifying efforts went up in smoke. Now they enter Reading ready to get back in the hunt for championships.

John Force entered the Countdown in the 8th spot. After his win in Charlotte, he moved all the way up to 3rd. Now he finds himself in 4th just, 74 points back. John Force needs to look back to 2013 when he won at maple Grove on the way to his 16th and last championship.

"I love racing at Maple Grove Raceway. We have won this race a lot and I remember 2013 when we got the win and then went on to win the championship in Las Vegas. I have a lot of fans up here and the biggest thing I have is these young guys led by Jon Schaffer, Jason McCulloch and Nick Casertano on this PEAK Funny Car"

Robert Hight is carrying the momentum of performance into the Dodge Nationals. His improved qualifying performance shows the team has the speed to win. They just need to perform on Sunday.

Related Story: DSR Rolls in St. Louis as Laughlin Crashes Countdown

Having won here in 2011 and being the number one qualifier last year, the team feels confident. Sitting 7th in the NHRA standings, Hight knows he needs to win rounds for a shot at the 2016 title.

"Anyone still has a chance to win this Funny Car championship, We need to have a good race in Reading but I think we can do that. I am excited to get to the track. We have a couple sponsor appearances before the race for PEAK and PPG but when I get to the track everything will focus on Friday’s qualifying runs.”"

Courtney Force finds herself in unfamiliar territory in 2016. Most of the season has seen Courtney sitting at or near the top of the points standings. Her struggles in St. Louis saw her fall to 8th, 124 points out of first.

It is hard to understand her struggles the last couple weeks having made it to the semi-finals in eight events in 2016. The Houston winner knows what she is facing if she is going to make a run at the title.

"You look at who we are chasing and it is a tough group of races. The good news is I have a great team with the Traxxas guys and we will be ready to get to Maple Grove Raceway and start getting some of those qualifying bonus points. If you can start getting some of those points and get a good start on Sunday you can make up some ground. No one is going to win the championship this weekend but I think we can make up some ground and get right into the middle of this Countdown"

For Brittany Force, before breaking through or her first three career wins in 2016, Reading was arguably her best track. She has made a final and a semi-final in her two previous appearances there. Expectations are higher this year with the wins under her belt.

Sitting 5th, just 91 points back, Force knows she still can win the title. Her team has shown it is a title contender all season. She rolls in needing to make a statement and go rounds this weekend.

"We have had great success in Reading. Last year we were No. 1 and raced to the semifinals. The year before that, we had lane choice in the final round and smoked the tires. I look at those races as learning experiences and I want to get those four round wins on Sunday this year. Brian Husen and Alan Johnson have given me a great race car and I can’t wait to get to the track"

This weekend is big for the John Force Racing teams. With their past success there I expect all the teams to be strong. The DSR teams have been on a roll in the NHRA Countdown. If anyone is going to knock them off, it is going to be on the Force quartet. Look for JFR to flex their muscles in reading.