John Force lands PEAK Chevrolet in the No. 13 qualifying position for Reading’s NHRA Nationals

John Force will seek an eighth NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car victory in Sunday’s NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway from the No. 13 qualifying position.
Force, gunning for a 17th Funny Car title, had a best qualifying pass of 3.978 seconds at 324.12 mph in the PEAK Coolant & Motor Oil Chevrolet Camaro SS, improving on his career-best run at the track despite lifting early. He ran in the four-second range twice Saturday, unable to surpass Friday’s second-round effort.
With the No. 13 position, Force will take on No. 4 Jonnie Lindberg in the opening round Sunday. Lindberg’s best run was 3.895 seconds at 331.53 mph. It will mark only the second matchup between the two drivers; their only meeting came in the Gatornationals final of in March at Gainesville. That victory went to Force.
“We finally leaned on this thing,” Force said. “She’s like a woman that you like but doesn’t like you back. She didn’t want to dance with me. She stood straight up out there at about 400 feet. It was going to be a hell of a run. But that’s the excitement of the sport. Sure, I’ve been struggling recently, but I want to win too. So I’ll be OK tomorrow.”
Force has had a solid record at the Reading track. The 16-time champion owns a 59-25 elimination-round record at Maple Grove and last won here in 2013, which came in his most recent championship season.
Force’s teammate, Robert Hight, captured his 55th career No. 1 in the Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS, while daughter Courtney Force earned the No. 8 qualifying spot in the Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro SS.
Eliminations for the NHRA Nationals begin at noon Eastern. Three hours of television coverage begins at 2 p.m. Eastern on Fox Sports 1.
4-Second Reads:
  • Qualifying Round 1 (Left Lane): 6.253 seconds/107.79 mph; smoked the tires about 200 feet down and coasted to the finish (No. 13 of session and No. 13 overall; no bonus points in session)
  • Qualifying Round 2 (Right Lane): 3.978 seconds/324.12 mph; good run but lifted early (No. 12 in session and No. 12 overall; no bonus points in session and no bonus points overall)
  • Qualifying Round 3 (Right Lane): 4.458 seconds/193.35 mph; smoked tires just before mid-track and coasted to the finish (No. 10 of session and No. 13 overall; no bonus points in session and no bonus points overall)
  • Qualifying Round 4 (Left Lane): 4.115 seconds/237.55 mph; strong launch but began drifting toward wall near end of the run and slowed (No. 8 of session and No. 13 overall; no bonus points in session and no bonus points overall)
  • This is the second time this season and 12th time in his career Force has qualified No. 13 for a race. He is looking for his first career victory from the spot and second-career final.
  • Force’s only other finals appearance from the No. 13 position came in 2007 at Pacific Raceways in Seattle, Wash., when he faced Jack Beckman.
  • This is the first time Force has qualified No. 13 at Reading.
  • Force’s first-round matchup against Jonnie Lindberg marks the second time the two will compete against each other. Force won the only other matchup, in the finals of the Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in March.

John Force Racing PR/Photo Gary Nastase and Auto Imagery

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