JOHN FORCE/ASHLEY FORCE HOOD
Pre-Race Package for the 40th annual UA SuperNationals
June 12-14, 2009
Old Bridge Township Raceway Park
11th event in the Countdown to the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Championship
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Coming off a runner-up finish in last week’s United Association Route 66 Nationals at Joliet, Ill., Ashley Force Hood tries to maintain momentum at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, a track on which she has struggled as a professional Funny Car driver but one on which she thrived at the wheel of the Castrol dragster she drove for car owner Jerry Darien in the Top Alcohol division.
Ashley, who has been a finalist in four of the last seven Full Throttle tour events and the No. 1 qualifier in three of the last five, has yet to win a round of racing at the New Jersey track as a professional. Her struggles at the wheel of the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang are contrasted by the fact that she never failed to reach the semifinals and won two times in six Raceway Park appearances in the Darien and Meadows dragster.
All four of the John Force Racing Mustangs are coming off encouraging performances last week including second year pro Mike Neff, who lost last year’s SuperNationals final to Tim Wilkerson by .006 of a second.
Neff took the Drive One Ford to the semifinals last week before losing to Ashley. His was THE most consistently quick Funny Car all weekend long, averaging 4.113 seconds on seven trips down the 1,000 foot course.
Robert Hight, who has struggled most of the year in the Auto Club Ford, showed flashes of his former form last week. In addition to earning his first round win since April, the 11-time tour winner gave Pedregon his best race of the day, 4.079-to-4.096. The 4.096 represented the quickest run for the blue-and-white Mustang since Feb. 22 at Phoenix.
Meanwhile, team leader John Force made five strong runs at Joliet before he and his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford exited in round two.
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JFR RACING HISTORY AT RACEWAY PARK:
Wins – 7, four by John Force for Castrol GTX (1993, 1996, 1998, 1999); one by Tony Pedregon for Castrol SYNTEC (2001); two by Gary Densham for the Auto Club of Southern California (2002, 2004).
Last year – Rookie Mike Neff beat Ron Capps, Tony Pedregon and his boss, John Force, to reach the final round where he was disappointed by Tim Wilkerson, 4.877-4.883. Ashley Force Hood was beaten in round one; Robert Hight in round two.
Notable #1 – John Force has gone longer without a victory in the SuperNationals than in any other event in the Full Throttle Series. He last won at Raceway Park on May 23, 1999, beating Cruz Pedregon in the final round. He is winless in his last nine starts at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
Notable #2 – When he was struggling to establish himself in professional racing, the late Vinnie Napp was one of the first track operators outside of California to see his potential and to hire him for a booked-in show.
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PRO POINTS (2009 NHRA Full Throttle Series point standings):
Funny Car – 1. Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger, 760; 2. Tony Pedregon, Q Racing Chevrolet, 702; 3. Ashley Force Hood, Castrol GTX Ford Mustang, 700; 4. Del Worsham, Al-Anabi Toyota Solara, 641; 5. Jack Beckman, Valvoline/MTS Dodge Charger, 584; 6. Tim Wilkerson, Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang, 553; 7. Matt Hagan, Shelor Motor Mile Dodge Charger, 513; 7. Bob Tasca III, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang, 513; 9. John Force, Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang, 507; 10. Cruz Pedregon, Advance Toyota Solara, 494. Also, 11. Mike Neff, Ford Drive One Ford Mustang, 480; 12. Robert Hight, Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang, 430.
Top Fuel – 1. Antron Brown, Matco Tools dragster, 770; 2. Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army dragster, 752; 3. Brandon Bernstein, Budweiser dragster, 701; 4. Larry Dixon, Al-Anabi dragster, 650; 5. Cory McClenathan, Fram dragster, 595; 6. Morgan Lucas, Geico Insurance dragster, 576; 7. Spencer Massey, US Smokeless Tobacco dragster, 560; 8. Shawn Langdon, Lucas Oil dragster, 556; 9. Doug Kalitta, Kalitta Racing dragster, 475; 10. Clay Millican, Nitrofish dragster, 397.
Pro Stock – 1. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Jeg’s Chevrolet Cobalt, 905; 2. Mike Edwards, Young Life/Penhall Pontiac GTO, 812; 3. Jason Line, Summit Racing Pontiac GXP, 748; 4. Greg Anderson, Summit Racing Pontiac GXP, 727; 5. Allen Johnson, Team Mopar Dodge Stratus, 607; 6. Greg Stanfield, Attitude Apparel Pontiac GXP, 535; 7. Kurt Johnson, ACDelco Chevrolet Cobalt, 497; 8. Ron Krisher, Valvoline Chevrolet Cobalt, 463; 9. Rickie Jones, Quarter-Max/RJ Race Cars Dodge Stratus, 420; 10. Warren Johnson, K&N Filters Pontiac GXP, 384.
Pro Stock Motorcycle – 1. Eddie Krawiec, Englishtown, N.J., Harley-Davidson V-Rod, 433; 2. Andrew Hines, Brownsburg, Ind., Harley-Davidson V-Rod, 382; 3. Matt Smith, King, N.C., Suzuki, 380; 4. Douglas Horne, Aberdeen, Md., Buell, 349; 5. Hector Arana, Milltown, Ind., Buell, 319; 6. Craig Treble, Harvey, La., Suzuki, 311; 7. Matt Guidera, Loomis, Calif., Buell, 280; 8. Shawn Gann, Stoneville, N.C., Buell, 241; 8. Steve Johnson, Birmingham, Ala., Suzuki, 241; 10. Karen Stoffer, Smith, Nev., Suzuki, 211.
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TELEVISION (all on ESPN2, all times Eastern Daylight):
Qualifying – Saturday, June 13, 7-8 p.m.; 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
NHRA RaceDay – Sunday, June 14, 11 a.m.
Race Highlights – Sunday, June 14, 10 p.m.-1 a.m.
Repeat race highlights – Wednesday, June 17, 2-4 a.m.
Sportsman race highlights – Sunday, June 21, 10-11 a.m.
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NEXT EVENTS (2009 NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship):
3rd annual Summit Racing Equipment Nationals, June 26-28, Norwalk, Ohio.
30th annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals, July 10-12, Denver, Colo.
22nd annual NHRA Northwest Nationals, July 17-19, Seattle, Wash.
22nd annual FRAM/Autolite Nationals, July 24-26, Sonoma, Calif.
28th annual Lucas Oil Nationals, Aug. 14-16, Brainerd, Minn.
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For additional information or photos, contact one of the representatives above or go to www.johnforceracing.com or www.nhra.com.
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For Immediate Release
FORCE HAS HISTORY
AT RACEWAY PARK
14-Time Champ Trying to Jump-Start Latest Title Bid
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. – At Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, a track so important to his early development as a race car driver, John Force hopes to breathe new life into his latest NHRA title bid this week when he sends his Castrol GTX® High Mileage™ Ford after the Funny Car championship in the 40th annual United Association SuperNationals.
The late Vinnie Napp, who as a promoter made Raceway Park the most active and successful track in the country by not being afraid to book taxi races, bus races, jets, jumpers and wheelstanders to augment a traditional drag racing program, saw in a raw, unproven John Force the charismatic personality who ultimately would become the sport's biggest winner.
"Vinnie gave me my start on the old match race circuit," Force recalled. “I'd never been out of California. In fact, Raceway Park was the first East Coast track I ever raced on. Vinnie was a throwback. He did it all. He was hard, but he was fair and I used to run here all the time. I still miss him."
Despite Force's familiarity with Raceway Park, the track hasn't exactly been kind to him in 27 previous appearances in the SuperNationals. While he never has failed to make the starting lineup and even though he went to the final round in his first ever SuperNationals appearance (1979), Force has won the race just four times and hasn't been in the winners circle since the turn of the century.
Granted, that was just 10 years ago, but in the Force world, that's an eon. In fact, outside of new events at Norwalk, Ohio, and Charlotte, N.C., the SuperNationals