PEAK Chevrolet driver John Force hopes to capitalize on Reading success this weekend

Sixteen-time NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion John Force is no stranger to success at Maple Grove Raceway.
The Yorba Linda, Calif., driver and living drag racing legend has seven victories and 14 finals appearances at the east Pennsylvania track, but hopes for an eighth victory this weekend as the Countdown to the Championship moves north from North Carolina.
Force, driving the PEAK Coolant & Motor Oil Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car, made it to the quarterfinals of last weekend’s NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C. He won his first-round race with ease, though dropped a close second-round matchup to daughter Courtney Force despite making a solid pass. Courtney Force went on to make it to the finals.
But John Force had one of the most consistent cars in qualifying at Charlotte, earning three bonus points after topping one of the rounds, and setting the fourth quickest time in two other sessions. Without that matchup against his daughter, the No. 1 qualifier, he’d likely be higher in the points standings, as he guns for a record-extending 17th title.
Force’s success at Reading goes beyond overall race victories. He’s won 59 elimination rounds and recorded eight No. 1s, and qualified outside the top half of the bracket only four times in 32 races. And while many people are looking toward record-breaking numbers on the scoreboard, Force is looking to add as many points as possible.
“I know Reading well,” Force said. “I think we’re going to go into Reading motivated. We tested at Charlotte earlier this week, so we’ll see what happens.”
Two qualifying rounds each are scheduled for Friday (2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. Eastern) and Saturday (1:30 and 4), with final eliminations slated for noon on Sunday.
Fox Sports 1 will television one hour of qualifying on Friday at 2:30 p.m. Eastern (live) and Sunday at 2 a.m. FS1 will broadcast three hours of live coverage on Sunday at 2 p.m.
4-Second Reads:
  • John Force has competed in 32 races at Maple Grove Raceway, all consecutively since 1985.
  • Force has seven victories at Reading (1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1997, 2001 and 2013). Overall he has 14 finals appearances.
  • Force is 59-25 in 84 elimination-round races at Reading.
  • Force has qualified No. 1 at Reading eight times (1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2013). He’s won four races from the No. 1 position (1990, 1994, 2001 and 2013 – all championship seasons).
  • Of the 32 races for which Force has competed at Reading, he has qualified in the top half of the track 28 times (exceptions were 1988, 2006, 2007 and 2016).
  • Force is 21-11 in 32 first-round elimination matchups. His longest streak was 10, between 1989-1998.
  • Force enters the Countdown to the Championship eighth in Funny Car points standings.
  • In 2017, Force has one victory, a 18-18 record in elimination rounds, and one No. 1.
  • In his career, Force has 148 victories and 1,281 elimination-round wins, both records. He has 155 No. 1 qualifying spots, of which 60 have resulted in victories, also both records.
  • Most recent NHRA victory – 2017 NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.
  • Most recent No. 1 qualifying effort – 2017 NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.
  • Best time/speed at Reading – 3.987 seconds (2013 Q2); 323.97 mph (2014 Q4)
  • Best career time/speed – 3.832 seconds (2017 Gainesville Q2); 337.16 mph (2017 Sonoma Q4)

John Force Racing PR/Photo Gary Nastase and Auto Imagery

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