TEAM JFR FRIDAY QUALIFYING REPORT
Event: 29th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, 13th of 24 events in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
Site: Bandimere Speedway, Denver, CO
Dates: July 11-13, 2008
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John Force Racing Qualifying Highlights: John Force runs top speed of Friday, 294.84 mph and qualifies No. 2… Mike Neff races to No. 7 spot followed by Robert Hight in No. 9 position.
JOHN FORCE JUST MISSES TOP SPOT AT DENVER
-Three JFR Mustangs tame Bandimere Speedway, John Force Runs Top Speed -
(DENVER, CO) --- After one day of racing at a shortened Bandimere Speedway the Ford Mustang drivers of John Force Racing feel that they have a good handle on the new distance heading into tomorrow’s final day of qualifying. With three drivers in the Top 12 and 2007 Rookie of the Year Ashley Force just outside with the thirteen quickest run of the day spirits are high.
In the second session under the stars of the Colorado sky team leader John Force and the Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang raced to the No. 2 qualifying position and ran the fastest mph of the day for the Funny Car class (294.84 mph). Racing beside former teammate Tony Pedregon Force got wrapped up in the competitive spirit as he and Pedregon reached the new finish line.
“I was chasing (Tony) Pedregon and I forgot where we were at. I just trucked on down there and I thought, ‘Man I am going to catch him.’ Then I realized I was out the back door,” said the winningest driver in NHRA history.
Automobile Club of Southern California driver Robert Hight made as he put it “the stupidest mistake of his driving career” in the first session but his time of 4.285 seconds was quick enough to land him in the No. 9 qualified spot.
“I went in and lit the top bulb when (crew chief) Jimmy (Prock) stopped me and it messed up my routine a little bit. I forgot to put my visor down,” said the former world class trap-shooter. “I left the starting line and this Mustang was noisy and there was stuff blowing in my eyes I could not believe it. I wasn’t about to quit. I think I even drove it past the new finish line.”
Mike Neff made a sub par run in the first session but as the Old Spice Ford Mustang opened up the second session running 4.275 seconds at 292.33 mph and letting everyone in the stands know his team would be in solidly in the show heading into Saturday.
The Castrol GTX Mustang made a strong run in the heat of the day during the first session and in the second session Ashley Force had her hands full as she drove her Mustang to the finish line.
“I just wanted to not hit the wall and I didn’t so I am happy with that run. We’ll go back, we’ll learn from it. It was a good run it went A to B,” said Force.
Heading into the night session Force was thinking about the new finish line and the impact of a new racing environment under the lights. With only a handful of passes at Bandimere Speedway the young driver kept her focus on the second run.
“I was a little nervous running at night. I didn’t know how the changes running to a thousand foot would be but it was actually better. You could see very clearly where you needed to get to,” concluded Force.
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JOHN FORCE, 59, Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang
Friday Qualifying: 2nd at 4.233 seconds, 294.84 mph
Quotable: “First of all for all these years I have been on fire so many times at a thousand feet I am ready to get off it anyway. I’m excited. I think the fans are going to see some good racing here this weekend. I think NHRA made the right call.” – JOHN FORCE
ASHLEY FORCE, 25, Castrol GTX Ford Mustang
Friday Qualifying: 13th quickest run of the day at 4.320 seconds, 284.21 mph
Quotable: “It was a good run it went A to B. I was a little nervous running at night I didn’t know how the changes running to a thousand foot would be but it was actually better. You could see very clearly where you needed to get to.” – ASHLEY FORCE
ROBERT HIGHT, 38, Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang
Friday Qualifying: 9th at 4.285 seconds, 281.13 mph
Quotable: “We went back to ‘05 technology here because that was when we dominated this mountain.” – ROBERT HIGHT
MIKE NEFF, 41, Old Spice Ford Mustang
Friday Qualifying: 7th at 4.275 seconds, 292.33 mph
Quotable: “That run (second qualifying run) was a little nerve-wracking but fun.” – Mike Neff
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Saturday, July 12
Funny Car Qualifying 2:00 p.m.
Funny Car Qualifying 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 13
Opening Ceremonies 11:00 AM
Final Eliminations 12:00 noon
July 18-20 Schuck’s Nationals Seattle, Wash.
July 25-27 FRAM/Autolite Nationals Sonoma, Calif.