BRAINERD RACE HAS HIGHT MOTIVATED TO GET ON ROLL
BRAINERD, MN (August 13, 2014) --- Brainerd International Raceway has been the site of fourteen Funny Car wins for John Force Racing but NHRA Mello Yello points leader Robert Hight has never hoisted the Wally as the winning Funny Car driver. While HIght has collected 34 Funny car wins in his career and this season he has raced to the winner’s circle five times this event is one of three tour events he has never even reached the final round.
“John has dominated this race and we just want to get our first win in Minnesota. This track is great and the fans are even better,” said Hight.
This season Hight has enjoyed unmatched success in his already storied career. He raced to six consecutive final rounds earlier in the season picking up four wins and then the 2009 NHRA Funny Car champion started off the Western Swing with a win in Denver. Hight’s win started a JFR domination of the Western Swing which included JFR posting top qualifier times at all three races and also each driver winning one of the historic events with Courtney Force winning in Sonoma and John Force winning two weeks ago in Seattle. The team is on a four race Funny Car win streak as they roll into Brainerd.
Hight knows it is important to build momentum starting in Brainerd as all the teams head to Indianapolis for the U.S. Nationals. After Indy the NHRA Countdown starts and the regular season successes are forgotten as the final six races determine the NHRA Mello Yello champion.
“Brainerd is a great race because you can put the finishing touches on your tune-up and get ready for the final seven races of the season. They are the most important races of the season and I think getting some traction in Brainerd could be the key. Even though we haven’t been to the winner’s circle in Brainerd we have always figured one or two things out,” said Hight.
As the Funny Car points leader the last 13 races, the longest stretch as Mello Yello points leader in his career, Hight focuses on what is ahead for his team not who is behind him. Leading team owner and legend John Force by 47 points is important but not a distraction.
“All three of our John Force Funny Cars are in the top four now. Any one of them could win this race. I just hope it is the Auto Club Mustang in the winner’s circle on Sunday. This has been a fun season so far for sure with the team winning ten times and having ten runner-up finishes. We want championships so that is where our focus lies,” said a confident Hight.
While Hight has been doing his job behind the wheel he gives a ton of credit to his crew and crew chief Mike Neff for putting him in the position to see a class leading 32 win lights for round wins on Sundays.
“I have always said the Funny Car competition continues to get tougher and tougher and you have to have confidence in yourself and your team. I have so much confidence in Mike Neff and all my crew guys I honestly think we can win every race. I know that is not going to happen because the competition is so strong but when you have that confidence things fall your way. We have been very consistent this season and I am looking to continue that consistency this weekend at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals,” concluded Hight.
COURTNEY FORCE LOOKING TO JUMP INTO TOP THREE IN BRAINERD
BRAINERD, MN (August 13, 2014) --- Courtney Force and her Traxxas Ford Mustang team are quickly approaching the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship. Currently, the team is in the No. 4 spot, just nine points from moving into the third position behind her Funny Car teammates John Force and Robert Hight. With just two races left before the Countdown, Force is ready to compete at Brainerd International Raceway for the 33rd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, the 17th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
“This race can be a game changer for a lot of the competitors, including myself. Our Traxxas team is working hard to stay in the top ten to lock into the Countdown to the Championship. This is a race that can move us up or down and out goal is to stay up in the top,” said Force.
In 2012 during her rookie season, Force made three consistent passes in qualifying and landed in the No. 12 spot without lane choice. She took on competitor Ron Capps and lost with his 4.07 second pass outpacing her 4.26 second run. In 2013, Force qualified in the top half of the field in the No. 7 spot. She took down Bob Tasca III in the first round, but made an exit in round two against Matt Hagan.
“We haven't had the best luck at this track in the past, but are looking to turn that around this year. We've always had a good car at this track, but are going to have to push it harder if we want to get the win. I'm going to have to be on my A-game this weekend and can't wait to see what happens,” said Force.
Most recently, Force picked up her fifth career win at Sonoma Raceway and became the winningest female in the Funny Car category. She qualified No. 1 that weekend to make for her third No. 1 start of 2014.
“One weekend we are on top and winning and the next we're out in the first round, but that's racing. That's a great reminder for myself and my team that you have to keep your focus and work hard week after week, and I've got a great team that pushes hard every day. We are looking to be back on top this weekend in Brainerd in this Traxxas Funny Car and hopefully moving up in points,” said Force.
The quartet of Force drivers will be appearing at Mills Ford in Baxter, Minnesota on Friday morning of the race weekend. John, Courtney and Brittany Force will be joined by Robert Hight for an autograph session and meet and greet from 11:30am-12:30pm.
BRAINERD BOUND FORCE FEELING CONFIDENT
John Force is feeling pretty good and he has every reason to. The 16-time NHRA Mello Yello Champion just came off a great Western Swing in which he had two runner-up finishes and a win driving his Castrol GTX High Mileage Mustang. He also locked up his berth in the Countdown for the 30th straight season and the legendary racer will finish in the top ten. However, for John Force, is not just “finishing” a season, it’s about winning NHRA world championship title #17.
“I’m excited to be heading into Brainerd. We swept the Western Swing as a team. With Robert and Auto Club winning Denver, Courtney and Traxxas winning Sonoma and me winning Seattle with Castrol, our confidence is pretty high heading not only into Brainerd, but also the Countdown. Right now our focus will be to win Brainerd and then Indy,” said John Force.
As he heads to Brainerd International Raceway for the 33rd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, John Force will be looking for win number twelve at this drag strip. In true Force fashion, he holds the most vi