PEAK driver John Force ready to make impact on title chase, Vegas race

Sixteen-time Funny Car champion John Force may only have an outside shot at his 17th title in 2017, but the PEAK Coolant & Motor Oil Chevrolet Camaro SS driver could still have a big impact on this year’s championship race.
Force qualified in the No. 11 spot for the NHRA Nationals on Saturday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – and that matches him against points leader Ron Capps in the first round of eliminations.
Force is sixth in the Funny Car standings, but John Force Racing teammates Robert Hight and Courtney Force are second and third, respectively. Hight, especially, could be boosted by a Force win over Capps on Sunday.
“The guy in the long run that everybody’s chasing is Capps, so just like Dallas, I get another shot,” Force said. “Good kid, world champion, love him, but bottom line, I’m going to try to help my teammates in this chase for the title. Hell, I’m not even out of it yet. It’s grim, but I still have a shot.
“Courtney’s in, Robert’s in, of course Brittany (Force) in Top Fuel, so it’s going to be fun. I’m going to go up there, and all I can do is give it all I can do.”
Force has fallen to Capps in each of the last two races, but Force’s car has been fast in Las Vegas. His run of 3.854 seconds at 335.48 mph on Friday night would have put him in the No. 2 spot, but Force hit a timing block and had the run thrown out.
“Night sessions don’t do you any good in the middle of (race) day, but it does at the end of the day. I ran .85 – my car may have had a shot at low (ET) – but I got the cone, so it got taken away from me,” Force said. “So, bottom line, we were out here today trying to run .92 in the first session, which will be close to race day conditions, it might be a little bit cooler.”
Force did make a pass of 3.928 seconds at 328.15 mph in Q3 to earn the No. 11 spot. Capps was No. 6 with a top lap of 3.896 at 326.08 mph.
Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. Pacific on Sunday. Fox Sports 1 will televise three hours of live finals coverage at 1 p.m. Pacific on Sunday.
4-Second Reads:
  • Qualifying Round 1 (Left Lane): 4.013 seconds/302.82 mph; dropped a cylinder at about half-track but still finished with respectable time (No. 5 of session and No. 5 overall; no bonus points in session)
  • Qualifying Round 2 (Right Lane): No Time/No Speed (3.854 seconds/335.48 mph); time disqualified after car drifted to the left early and eventually over the centerline, taking out a timing block at the end of the track (No. 18 of session and No. 12 overall; no bonus points in session and no bonus points overall)
  • Qualifying Round 3 (Right Lane): 3.928 seconds/328.14 mph; strong pass despite drifting to the left to jump into the top half of the bracket (No. 2 of session and No. 8 overall; two bonus points in session and two bonus points overall)
  • Qualifying Round 4 (Left Lane): 4.846 seconds/160.96 mph; struck tires about 330 feet down and slowed (No. 10 of session and No. 11 overall; no bonus points in session and two bonus points overall)
  • This is the second time this season and 17th time in his career Force has qualified No. 11 for a race. He is looking for his second victory and fourth finals appearance from No. 11.
  • This is the third time Force has qualified No. 11 at Las Vegas. He also qualified No. 11 in the Fall race in 2009 and Spring race in 2010, a race which he won (defeated Tony Pedregon in the finals).
  • Force’s first-round matchup against points leader Ron Capps marks the 91st time the two will compete against each other. Force owns a 55-35 advantage in 90 meetings, with an 0-3 mark this season and 2-1 record at Las Vegas (Force defeated Capps in the semifinals of last year’s race, en route to the overall victory). The two have competed against each other in each of the last three races (Madison, Ill., and Dallas, Texas).

John Force Racing PR/Photo Gary Nastase and Auto Imagery

Spread the love