Pre-Race Package for the 3rd annual Summit Racing Equipment Nationals
June 26-28, 2009
Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park
12th event in the Countdown to the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Championship
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follow John Force Racing at www.twitter.com/jfr_racing
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JFR RACING HISTORY AT SUMMIT RACEWAY PARK:
Wins – 0.
Last year – Robert “Top Gun” Hight was the only John Force Racing driver to survive beyond the first round. He took the Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang to the final before losing to Tony Pedregon.
Notable #1 –.Robert Hight is the quarter mile record holder at Norwalk Raceway Park at 4.713 seconds, a mark he established on June 29, 2007.
Notable #2 – Although they have yet to capitalize, John Force Racing drivers made more runs down Summit Raceway Park than anyone else the result of appearances the last 12 years at the track’s independently-produced “Night Under Fire” event that not only involves the four JFR Funny Cars, but also the Top Alcohol dragsters driven by Brittany Force and Courtney Force.
Notable #3 –.The principal grandstand at Summit Raceway Park is named for John Force.
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PRO POINTS (2009 NHRA Full Throttle Series point standings):
Funny Car – 1. Tony Pedregon, Q Racing Chevrolet, 818; 2. Ashley Force Hood, Castrol GTX Ford Mustang, 798; 3. Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger, 792; 4. Del Worsham, Al-Anabi Toyota Solara, 695; 5. Tim Wilkerson, Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang, 626; 6. Jack Beckman, Valvoline/MTS Dodge Charger, 615; 7. Bob Tasca III, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang, 587; 8. John Force, Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang, 558; 9. Cruz Pedregon, Advance Toyota Solara, 546; 10. Matt Hagan, Shelor Motor Mile Dodge Charger, 545. Also, 11. Mike Neff, Ford Drive One Ford Mustang, 537; 12. Robert Hight, Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang, 465.
Top Fuel – 1. Antron Brown, Matco Tools dragster, 864; 2. Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army dragster, 830; 3. Larry Dixon, Al-Anabi dragster, 767; 4. Brandon Bernstein, Budweiser dragster, 754; 5. Cory McClenathan, Fram dragster, 651; 6. Morgan Lucas, Geico Insurance dragster, 631; 7. Shawn Langdon, Lucas Oil dragster, 630; 8. Spencer Massey, US Smokeless Tobacco dragster, 592; 9. Doug Kalitta, Kalitta Racing dragster, 507; 10. Clay Millican, Nitrofish dragster, 450.
Pro Stock – 1. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Jeg’s Chevrolet Cobalt, 1018; 2. Mike Edwards, Young Life/Penhall Pontiac GTO, 909; 3. Greg Anderson, Summit Racing Pontiac GXP, 803; 4. Jason Line, Summit Racing Pontiac GXP, 780; 5. Allen Johnson, Team Mopar Dodge Stratus, 681; 6. Greg Stanfield, Attitude Apparel Pontiac GXP, 588; 7. Kurt Johnson, ACDelco Chevrolet Cobalt, 552; 8. Ron Krisher, Valvoline Chevrolet Cobalt, 521;
9. Rickie Jones, Quarter-Max/RJ Race Cars Dodge Stratus, 452; 10. Warren Johnson, K&N Filters Pontiac GXP, 438.
Pro Stock Motorcycle – 1. Eddie Krawiec, Englishtown, N.J., Harley-Davidson V-Rod, 528; 2. Matt Smith, King, N.C., Suzuki, 452; 3. Andrew Hines, Brownsburg, Ind., Harley-Davidson V-Rod, 436; 4. Craig Treble, Harvey, La., Suzuki, 427; 5. Douglas Horne, Aberdeen, Md., Buell, 401; 6. Hector Arana, Milltown, Ind., Buell, 357; 7. Matt Guidera, Loomis, Calif., Buell, 337; 8. Steve Johnson, Birmingham, Ala., Suzuki, 274; 9. Shawn Gann, Stoneville, N.C., Buell, 273; 10. Karen Stoffer, Smith, Nev., Suzuki, 265.
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TELEVISION (all on ESPN2, all times Eastern Daylight):
Qualifying – Saturday, June 27, 8-10 p.m..
NHRA RaceDay – Sunday, June 28, 11 a.m.
Race Highlights – Sunday, June 28, 7-10 p.m.
Repeat race highlights – Wednesday, July 1, 3-5 a.m.
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NEXT EVENTS (2009 NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship):
30th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA 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.
25th annual Toyo Tires Nationals, Aug. 21-23, Reading, Pa.
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FORCE TRIES TO LIVE UP
TO HIS NAME AT NORWALK
Champ Still After First Round Win in Summit Nationals
NORWALK, Ohio – John Force's name, in letters 10 feet tall, identifies the main grandstand at Summit Motorsports Park, site of this week's third annual Summit Racing Equipment Nationals. While he is humbled by the recognition, the 14-time NHRA Champion would prefer to see his name on a Funny Car winner's check.
Force, who has won more races (126), more championships and more rounds (1,024) than anyone in history, hasn't fired a shot since the NHRA opted, three years ago, to add the Summit Nationals to its schedule.
A 2008 inductee into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, Force started his Castrol GTX® High Mileage™ Ford Mustang from the No. 12 and No. 10 positions in his first two Summit Nationals starts. On both occasions, he was a spectator by noon, losing in the first round to Jack Beckman in 2007 and Del Worsham a year ago.
Although he considers his anemic performance an embarrassment, the 60-year-old icon also believes he has a chance this year to give the folks in "his" grandstand something more to talk about than the track's legendary ice cream promotion.
"We're getting better," Force said. "New chassis, new engine, new clutch, new rules. Everything's different than it was before Eric's crash (a fatal testing accident involving team driver Eric Medlen in March, 2007), my crash (September, 2007, at Dallas, Texas) and Scotty Kalitta's (June, 2008, at Englishtown, N.J.).
"Some have been able to adjust a little quicker, but some, like us, have struggled. We're a lot better than we were a year ago, but we're not where we want to be yet. Every week, I think we're going to turn the corner. Maybe this is the week."
Force currently occupies the No. 8 position in Funny Car points but is less than a round ahead of reigning series champion Cruz Pedregon and Rookie-of-the-Year contender Matt Hagan.
"I've fought with my guys off and on this year," Force said of the frustration that has mounted during the longest stretch of his career in which he has failed to reach an NHRA final round (25 straight events).
"I'm so used to winning that I tend to get kind of panicked (when we're struggling)," he said. "We've won 15 championships (as a team) and it wasn't all me, trust me. (My crew is) the best and that's what I told them when I apologized for the way I've been acting.
"They really dug into their hot rods and they're finding stuff (that needed to be addressed) from body tin to chassis flex to clutches everything you can imagine. We've had seasons where we were off two or three months, even six months, but not this far off, but I can see it starting to turn around."
Although his qualifying effort has improved dramatically from 2008, when he failed to qualify for a career high four events including the biggest race in the sport, the Labor Day Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis, Ind., Force has not yet been able to string together the three-or-four solid runs necessary to get him to the winners' circle.
Since winning last year at Topeka, Kan., Force has advanced to the semifinals five times, but hasn't been able to go any further. He hopes to change that Sunday.
"We've got a great history with the Bader family," he said. "This would be a great race to win."
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At Summit Motorsports Park:
– John has been a fixture at the track's independently-produced "Night Under Fire" event for 14 years. He'll return for the 32nd renewal on Aug. 1 with another "theme car," this one an updated version of "The Nightstalker" Ford Mustang he drove early – and briefly – in his career. As usual, 1/25 scale replicas of the car will be available for sale duri