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JFR READY TO KEEP MOMENTUM GOING IN SONOMA

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JFR READY TO KEEP MOMENTUM GOING IN SONOMA

HIGHT RETURNS TO EVENT WHERE HIS DREAM CAREER BEGAN

SONOMA, CA (July 22, 2014) --- Before Robert Hight was a five-time winner in 2014 and the 2009 Funny Car champion on the NHRA Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing Series tour, before he was the go-to clutch man for 16-time Funny Car champion John Force he was simply a fan watching the Sonoma NHRA Nationals from the ropes like tens of thousands of fans will do this weekend. Hight has witnessed every running of the 27th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals from just about every perspective.

“This is my favorite time of the year. I am a West Coast guy. Sonoma is where I first saw fuel cars run at a national event. I have been to every single NHRA national event they have had either as a fan, a crew guy or a driver. I’ve won here so that makes it special. I’d like to win that race again and get second third of the Western Swing,” said an excited Hight moments after winning the Mile-High Nationals.

The Auto Club Ford Mustang team has been on a little bit of a roller coaster ride this season with an optimistic Hight looking to start another upward trend. The team raced to six consecutive final rounds with four wins before not advancing beyond the semi-finals at the next six races. The struggles didn’t get Hight down but they were definitely beginning to creep into his consciousness.

“In 2012 we won four races in a row and then it took another year to get a win. Stuff like that was crossing my mind. If you look around it is not that easy to win out here. There are a lot of good Funny Cars in this class,” said Hight, a 34-time winner.

Hight will start his run at a second Sonoma Nationals title by meeting with the media on Wednesday in San Francisco and then he will spend some time with family in friends leading up to the race. During the race Hight and the rest of the John Force Racing team will have a number of friends and family in attendance. Late teammate Eric Medlen was from Oakdale, California and won his last professional race at the 2006 Sonoma Nationals.

“You are always reminded of Eric Medlen. A lot of his family from Oakdale, California will be at the races and I will have a lot of friends and family there as well. If you can put away some of the distractions and win the race it is awesome to celebrate with all your family and friends you grew up with,” said Hight.

It has been twenty years since John Force became the only Funny Car driver to win the Western Swing. Since that time only three Funny Car drivers including Force have even won three races in a row at any point in a season. Hight is in that group along with former teammate Tony Pedregon. Back to back races do not intimidate Hight but rather invigorate him.

“No one was won the Western Swing since John Force and it would be an honor to be the second Funny Car team to do it. I believe we have the team to win three in a row. I know we have four races in a row earlier in the season but this Western Swing is more grueling on the teams because of the distances we are travelling,” added Hight. “You start out in Denver where you change everything on the race car. You have to go up there and make horsepower in the thin air. Now you go to Sonoma and Friday night there is a good chance you will see three second runs because it cools off so quick there. It is a brand new ballgame.”

BRITTANY FORCE READY FOR ANOTHER TRIP TO THE FINALS

For the third time this season, Brittany Force went to the finals and just came of shy of securing her first Top Fuel win. It was during last weekend’s Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver that Brittany Force showed the fans and her fellow competitors that it’s game on when she gets behind the wheel of her 10,000 horsepower Castrol EDGE Dragster. Even though this 27-year-old driver is only in her second year competing in one NHRA’s premier categories, she’s a serious threat to the rivals she lines up against on race day.

Now, as the annual NHRA Western Swing makes it second stop at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals, Brittany Force is ready to climb back in the cockpit and do it all over again. The 2013 NHRA Rookie of the Year thrives on back-to-back races and uses the momentum to her advantage to stay focused, in the groove and pumped up. She has the force going into Sonoma and it’s been that way most of this season.

“I love going on the Western Swing, and I’m excited to be heading back to the west coast. My energy is up heading to Sonoma and I just can’t wait to hit the track,” said Brittany Force.

With her third runner-up finish of the season coming at Bandimere Speedway last weekend, Brittany Force still remains in 7th place in the NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel Points Standings. Despite only three races left after this weekend’s NHRA Sonoma Nationals until the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoff fields are set, Brittany’s confident, due in part of her improving driving skills and the talent pool she has tuning her Castrol EDGE Dragster ensuring that it’s a strong and consistent performer come race day.

“We ran so well in Denver and it’s that momentum that will hopefully carry us to another trip to the final round. We’ve come so close this year and my guys are doing an awesome job on the Castrol EDGE dragster,” said Brittany Force.

Led by Todd Smith and Dean “Guido” Antonelli, they rallied the crew and dug deep when the chips were stacked against them during last weekend’s qualifying sessions at Denver. Knowing you’ve got a team like this behind you adds even more confidence to Brittany when she’s behind the wheel of her race car.

“The Castrol EDGE team has worked so hard and we’re a much stronger team than last year. Todd Smith and Dean Antonelli and the rest of my guys have been doing awesome this season,” said Brittany Force.

Armed with the valuable knowledge from these past few races and the fact this is Brittany’s second race at Sonoma Raceway, she knows the Castrol EDGE team is tough and can give any opponent in the next lane a run for the money. Even with back-to-back races, Brittany still finds time to focus on her reaction times and review her routine as a driver. She knows what needs to get done this weekend – qualify in the top half of the field, get lane choice, go rounds and get to the finals.

With Brittany solidly in 7th place in the NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel standings with 783 points, she’s looking to move up come Sunday at Sonoma Raceway. With the direction her Castrol EDGE team is heading, the always optimistic Brittany Force could very well get her first Top Fuel win for Castrol EDGE and John Force Racing during the Western Swing.



About Castrol

BP Lubricants USA Inc. markets premium lubricants and business–building programs directly to independent lube operators, service providers, new car dealers and leading retailers. Our leadership brands include Castrol® GTX® – a premium conventional motor oil; Castrol® GTX® High–Mileage™ – a premium synthetic blend designed for vehicles with over 75,000 miles; the Castrol® EDGE ® line of advanced full-synthetic super premium motor oils that offer unsurpassed strength and performance; as well as our range of commercial transport lubricants. To find out more about Castrol products and programs, please call 1–888–CASTROL or log on to www.castrol.com/us.

FORCE READY FOR SECOND STOP ON THE WESTERN SWING

Despite coming up just short of what would have been his 141st career victory last weekend at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, John Force is still pumped up going into the second race of NHRA’s annual Western Swing. As the Castrol GTX High Mileage team rolls through the Rockies westward on to Sonoma Raceway, the 16-time NHRA Mello Yello World Champion will be looking keep his back-to-back streak of final appearances going at the 27th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals.

“If I ever had a shot of sweeping the Western Swing, I had the car to do it, as it’s been 20 years since the last time I did that. Jimmy Prock (crew chief) has been on his game plan and my hot rod has been running great these past few races. Unfortunately, we came up short in Denver but hey, that’s racing and we move on to Sonoma,” said John Force.

Located in the heart of Northern California’s luscious wine country, Sonoma Raceway is a special place for John Force. The reigning NHRA Funny Car world champion has the most wins of any driver at Sonoma Raceway with seven, but he hasn’t visited the winner’s circle there since 2007 despite going to the final round 12 times since NHRA first hosted this race back in 1988.

Being the second stop of three consecutive race weekends during the famed Western Swing, it puts the drivers, teams and their machinery to the ultimate test. Also in the back of everyone’s mind is the fact that there are only three races following the NHRA Sonoma Nationals until the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoff fields are set.

With fellow teammate and son-in-law Robert Hight already locked in to the countdown, John Force is not only focused on himself, but his other team drivers as well to get to that milestone. Even though he goes into Sonoma in second place with 998 points, he wants to make sure his daughters, Brittany and Courtney, do well this weekend and go rounds to secure a spot in the countdown as well.

“We have great sponsors and it’s our job to do good, go rounds and win races. It’s important that all my drivers are in the countdown,” said John Force.

At last year’s race, John Force drove his Castrol GTX Mustang to a runner-up finish against veteran Ron Capps. This weekend, he knows the momentum is behind him as he qualified number one in Denver and any mechanical issues that may plagued in Castrol GTX High Mileage Mustang earlier this season are gone. Crew chief Jimmy Prock has not only given John a fast race car, but also a consistent one at that.

Even though John Force won’t repeat a sweep of the Western Swing, something that has eluded him since 1994, it doesn’t diminish his determination to win the next two races and making a run for unprecedented 17th NHRA Mello Yello World Champion title. While As the 2014 season marches it way through the western states, the reigning NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car champ is ready to once again to rewrite the record books.

With wins at this year’s NHRA Winternationals, Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, and final-round appearances at the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida, NHRA Four-Wide Nationals and Mile-High NHRA Nationals, we’re confident that John Force will get career win number 141 during this weekend’s NHRA Sonoma Nationals.

About Castrol

BP Lubricants USA Inc. markets premium lubricants and business–building programs directly to independent lube operators, service providers, new car dealers and leading retailers. Our leadership brands include Castrol® GTX® – a premium conventional motor oil; Castrol® GTX® High–Mileage™ – a premium synthetic blend designed for vehicles with over 75,000 miles; the Castrol® EDGE ® line of advanced full-synthetic super premium motor oils that offer unsurpassed strength and performance; as well as our range of commercial transport lubricants. To find out more about Castrol products and programs, please call 1–888–CASTROL or log on to www.castrol.com/us.



COURTNEY FORCE LOOKING TO MAKE ANOTHER JUMP IN SONOMA

SONOMA, CA (July 23, 2014) --- Courtney Force is keeping a positive outlook on the current Western Swing and 2014 NHRA Mello Yello season. The Traxxas Ford Mustang team has seen their fair share of ups and downs this season, but the third-year driver is making a comeback, recently advancing to No. 5 in the Funny Car Mello Yello point standings at the last NHRA event in Denver. The 2012 NHRA Auto Club Rookie of the Year knows there is still work to be done in positioning the Traxxas team for a higher starting spot in the Countdown to the Championship which kicks off in just four more races.

This week the goal is to perform well at the second stop along the Western Swing, the 27th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals in the heart of California’s wine country. In previous years, Force has qualified in the top half of the field (No. 5 in 2012 and No. 7 in 2013) and had a semi-final finish last year.

“I'm excited coming back to beautiful Sonoma. Our Traxxas team has done well here in the past and being that it's in the middle of the Western Swing I'm hoping to get a win. We had a consistent car at this race track last year and hope we can continue to improve on that. We need to continue to go rounds and keep ourselves in that No. 5 spot that we just moved up to. It's going to take a lot of hard work, concentration and consistency this weekend, but we are ready for it,” said Force.

In 11 of the last 14 races this season, the Traxxas Ford Mustang team has qualified in the top half of the field and started race day with lane choice over their first round opponent. Force has qualified No. 1 twice and has gone to two final rounds and taken her hotrod to the winner’s circle once, when she won the 100th professional race for women in the NHRA, at the NHRA Kansas Nationals in Topeka.

“Sonoma is one of the most beautiful places on the circuit. This track had been good to our team in the past and the fans have been incredible. I love this point on the Western Swing because I get to be back in California, in the middle of the summer and in my race car. This track makes for one of the best sceneries on our circuit with the rolling hills and vineyards close by. I'm excited to be back. Not to mention the staff here has always done an amazing job to help promote the event. The fan turnout is always great! I hope that this Traxxas team can give the fans a great show,” said Force.
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