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Castrol GTX High Mileage Team
     

 

John Force
Driver

Sport’s Biggest Winner Still Going Strong

John Force’s greatest career accomplishment was not his come-from-behind performance in winning the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car Championship at the age of 61; not his comeback from crippling injuries suffered in a 300 mile-an-hour crash at Dallas, Texas in 2007; nor even his leadership role in improving race car safety through the creation of The Eric Medlen Project.

By any measure, Force today is an American icon because of his single-minded determination to follow his dream – regardless of the obstacles. To compete at drag racing’s top levels, the Southern California native had to overcome childhood polio, poverty and rampant skepticism, even from within his own inner circle.

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Dean Antonelli
Crew Chief

JFR General Manager/Crew Chief on the Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang

Dean “Guido” Antonelli, General Manager of John Force Racing, Inc., and the co-crew chief on the Castrol GTX® High Mileage Ford Mustang in which John Force will try to repeat this year as NHRA Funny Car Champion, was uniquely prepared for a career in drag racing.

While it’s true he had great racing genes as the son of the late Joe Antonelli, who earned a reputation driving some of the most cantankerous vehicles on the planet, among them the “Nanook” fuel altered, he had some other assets, too.

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Danny DeGennaro
Crew Chief

 

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Brian Benedict
Team Leader

Nickname (If any): Fire Arms
Birthdate: 08/16/1976
Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska
Current Residence: Brownsburg, IN
Year hired at John Force Racing: 2007
Which Team: John Force (Castrol GTX High Mileage)

How did you get involved in drag racing: His best friend, Joe Hartley

Background (education/work/racing experience): Worked for Joe Hartley Racing and Mike Troxel Racing prior to coming to John Force Racing

Team Responsibilities: Team Leader

Favorite part about being involved with drag racing/working at JFR: being a part of D-Team

Career Highlights: Winning Atlanta and the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship in 2008; winning the US Nationals back to back with Ashley

Favorite Track/Race: Las Vegas

Hobbies/Interests: being a father; theme parks; going out; traveling; racing

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Andy Bissett

Birthdate: 11/17/1976
Hometown: Rushden, UK
Current Residence: Indianapolis, IN
Year hired at John Force Racing: 2005
Which Team: John Force (Castrol GTX High Mileage

How did you get involved in drag racing: Grew up close to Santa Pod Raceway in England and went to races with family and friends and was hooked!

Background (education/work/racing experience): He attended Lancaster University, UK and received a degree in Computational Physics. His racing career began at Nemesis Racing in the UK with TAD. He started at JFR in 2005 on Ashley's A/ Fuel Dragster and moved up to Funny Car with her.

Team Responsibilities: team leader, D Team transporter driver, transport manager, piston and rod assemblies, manifolds

Favorite part about being involved with drag racing/working at JFR: winning races; the challenge; traveling around the country; the camaraderie of the team

Career Highlights: 2003/2004 FIA European Champions; 2008 Full Throttle Pit Crew Champions; only crew guy to win in two different categories at a NHRA National Event with Ashley Force

Favorite Track/Race: Pomona (Winternationals and Finals)

Hobbies/Interests: music, reading, theme parks, cycling, poker

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Aaron Cave

Birthdate: 12/22/1986
Hometown: Spotsylvania, VA
Current Residence: Avon, IN
Year Hired at John Force Racing: 2011
Which Team: John Force (Castrol GTX High Mileage)

How did you get involved in drag racing: He grew up around the sport and knew that’s what he wanted to continue to be around.

Background (education/work/racing experience): Before he actually worked in the automotive field, he spent his time doing construction at the airport near his hometown and working on a coal mine. He then spent his time working on Bunny Burkett’s car in the IHRA before joining John Force Racing.

Team Responsibilities: bottom end and short blocks Favorite part about being involved with drag racing/ working at JFR: He enjoys being a part of a championship caliber team and working with a great group of guys

Career Highlights: getting a job at one of the most respected teams in drag racing and winning in Denver with John

Favorite Track/ Race: Bristol Hobbies/Interests: cars, racing, dirt bikes, spending time with family and friends.

 

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Alex Conaway

Birthdate: 7/12/86
Hometown: Grand Island, Nebraska
Current Residence: Avon, IN
Year hired at John Force Racing: 2007
Which Team: John Force (Castrol GTX High Mileage)

How did you get involved in drag racing: His parents raced, so he grew up at the track and fell in love with the sport.

Background (education/work/racing experience): He worked for Mitch King Motorsports and Tony Pedregon Racing before coming to work at JFR.

Team Responsibilities: left side of engine assembly, fuel system and misc.

Favorite part about being involved with drag racing/working at JFR: the whole idea of drag racing: the speed, smell, and feeling you get from racing, being exposed to the newest technology in racing and seeing parts developed

Career Highlights: making history with Ashley the past few seasons; winning the US Nationals back to back with Ashley

Favorite Track/Race: Topeka, KS - first NHRA race he attended with his family

Hobbies/Interests: spending time with family and friends, movies, relaxing, bracket racing, baseball, going to concerts

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Joe Diasio

Birthdate: 09/28/1989
Hometown: Parma, OH
Current Residence: Indianapolis, IN
Year Hired at John Force Racing: 2009
Which Team: John Force (Castrol GTX High Mileage)

How did you get involved in drag racing: When he was growing up, he was always into cars and he built his own car at 16. He continued to have a passion for cars and decided that racing is where he wanted to be.

Background (education/work/racing experience): While in high school, he attended a 2 year vocational school for auto mechanics. He enjoyed the work in his auto classes, so he decided to further his education in that particular field. He attended another 2 year program at Ohio Technical College specializing in high performance.

Team Responsibilities: body, tires, team welder

Favorite part about being involved with drag racing/ working at JFR: great facility with great people, everyone is very helpful, being with the best team in the NHRA

Career Highlights: being team welder, having the privilege to work with John Force, winning his first race after blowing up in Denver

Favorite Track/ Race: Norwalk, OH

Hobbies/Interests: Building imports, playing video games, welding, fast cars

 

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Matt Madden

Birthdate: 01/14/1985
Hometown: Richmond, VA
Current Residence: Brownsburg, IN
Year hired at John Force Racing: 2008
Which Team: John Force (Castrol GTX High Mileage)

How did you get involved in drag racing: While he was in school, he decided that it was his career of choice because he was familiar with the motors and wanted to travel.

Background (education/work/racing experience): He graduated from the University of Northwestern Ohio with a degree in High Performance Technology. In 2006, he worked with Walsh Bros Motorsports in the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League. In 2007, he went to work at Worsham Racing building cylinder heads.

Team Responsibilities: D Team transporter driver; clutch

Favorite part about being involved with drag racing/working at JFR: the people he works with and the traveling

Career Highlights: winning first national event in Houston 2008; 1st #1 qualifier in Reading 2007; winning back to back Mac Tools US Nationals with Ashley; getting John the career #1 qualifier record

Favorite Track/Race: Bristol and Gainesville

Hobbies/Interests: anything with wheels or an engine; fishing; his boxer puppy, Blazer

 

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DJ Minter

Birthdate: 02/19/1982
Hometown: Benton, KY
Current Residence: Indianapolis, IN
Year hired at John Force Racing: 2007
Which Team: John Force (Castrol GTX High Mileage)

How did you get involved in drag racing: friends

Background (education/work/racing experience): He attended the School of Automotive Machinists and then went to work in NMRA Hot Street.

Team Responsibilities: superchargers

Favorite part about being involved with drag racing/working at JFR: the people are great and the way they act as one team is what makes it so successful

Career Highlights: 2008 Full Throttle Pit Crew Champions and winning Atlanta; winning back to back Mac Tools US Nationals with Ashley

Favorite Track/Race: Gainesville

Hobbies/Interests: drag racing; reading; yard work; ATV's; fishing; off-roading

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Paul Brewer

Nickname (If any): Chip
Birthdate: 05/26/1992
Hometown: New Carlisle, OH
Year Hired at John Force Racing: 2012
Which Team (s): John Force (Castrol GTX High Mileage)

How did you get involved in drag racing: His family and friends introduced him to racing
Background (education/work/racing experience): He previously worked at Pat Dakin Racing.

Team Responsibilities: Cylinder Head Specialist

Favorite part about being involved with drag racing/ working at JFR: the competitive side of the sport

Career Highlights: won first round in 2010 against Morgan Lucas

Favorite Track/ Race: Indianapolis, US Nationals

Hobbies/Interests: bracket racing

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Andrew Lewis

 

     

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