JFR DRIVERS TURN ON MILLER MOTORSPORTS PARK
TOOELE, UT (April 17, 2008) --- With the snowcapped Oquirrh Mountains as a picturesque backdrop, Funny Car points leader Ashley Force along with John Force Racing teammates Robert Hight and Mike Neff completed the two day Ford Racing High Performance Driving School at the state-of-the-art Miller Motorsports Park today.
“One the first day I was not in my comfort zone at all. I missed by Castrol GTX Funny Car but after I got with the instructors by the end of the day I didn’t want to get out of these Mustangs. This morning I was excited to get back on the course and work on getting better,’ said Ashley Force the current Funny Car points leader. “This facility reminds me of some of my favorite tracks on the NHRA circuit like Las Vegas or Sonoma. You have everything you need here and it is totally clean and well laid out. There is lots of open space around the track so you never have to worry about getting into anything.”
All three drivers were put through a variety of driving courses as well as classroom review. The driver made their laps behind the wheel of high performance Miller Mustang GTs, Mustang Challenge cars, and they even took some time to work on their handling skills inside the Ford Skid Car.
“More than anything I wanted to go out there and get quicker and faster with each lap. I’m new at this so I am going to make mistakes but I know with every session we get behind us I get more confidence,” said Hight, the fastest Nitro driver to reach 100 career round wins. “Just when you start thinking you have these Mustang GTs figured out an instructor gives you a tip or pointer that shows you how much better you can be. One thing that is cool is Ford Racing has made us feel like we are part of their family.”
The goal of the two day course was to give the drivers a new driving experience as well as expose them to the superior handling and acceleration of the Mustang GT as they took it through the paces at the impressive Miller Motorsports Park.
“This experience was better than I expected it to be. This is an awesome facility. This is something that most people never get the chance to do. It has just been a thrill and I want to thank Dan Davis and Ford for giving the three of us this chance,” said rookie Funny Car driver Mike Neff. “I’ve driven go-karts and that is an extreme measure of this as far as the precision you need. What we have picked up is the importance of picking the right line or apex through the corners, when to brake and when to accelerate. We are just learning to be smooth with the fundamentals that apply to any type of racing.”
The drivers also took time to meet with Salt Lake City media members to talk about their experiences at Miller Motorsports Park as well the NHRA POWERade season.
Miller Motorsports Park, home of the Ford Racing High Performance Driving School, is a 511 acre multi-use motorsports facility that has a main course which is 4.5 miles long and features 23-turns making it the longest lap in North America. The John Force Racing drivers spent the majority of their time on the 2.18 mile, 10-turn West Course.
In addition to the massive loop Miller Sports Park boasts a race paddock that is twenty-four paved acres, a KART Track, the Larry H. Miller Auto Museum, and a premium level clubhouse that can be used for corporate and group events.
Ashley Force exits the East Course in her Mustang GT.
Auto Club Ford Mustang driver Robert Hight takes a spin behind the wheel of the Ford Skid Car as part of the Ford Racing High Performance Driving School.
John Force Racing drivers (in driving suits from left) Robert Hight, Mike Neff and Ashley Force talk with Dan Davis, Director of Ford Racing Technology (center) and Scott Denby, Ford Racing (second from right) during a break in the action at Miller Motorsports Park.
Ashley Force, Robert Hight and Mike Neff took time out to talk with the Utah media about their racing experience at Miller Motorsports Park.