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John Force hopes to deliver a Chicago victory for PEAK

JOLIET, Ill. (July 8) – PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil driver John Force started his week on the mound at historic Wrigley Field.

He hopes it can end in winner’s circle at Route 66 Raceway.

Force threw out the first pitch before the Chicago Cubs beat the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, and he hopes to deliver four fastballs during eliminations for the Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals on Sunday.

Force will start eliminations from the No. 11 spot, as he made a best run of 3.943 seconds at 321.58 mph with his Chevrolet Camaro SS. He’ll square off against No. 6 qualifier Tommy Johnson Jr., who made a top pass of 3.913 seconds at 326.00 mph.

Force will race his PEAK Chevrolet in front of Old World Industries CEO Tom Hurvis, who will be a special guest of John Force Racing on Sunday. Numerous PEAK employees and customers have been in attendance this weekend, as OWI is based in Northbrook, Ill.

PEAK is also a sponsor of the World Champion Chicago Cubs and arranged for the 16-time Funny Car champion to throw out the first pitch Wednesday. Before a big crowd at Wrigley, Force delivered a strike to Cubs pitcher Eddie Butler, who served as catcher for the special moment.

“I didn’t think about it, and then Hurvis looks at me and says, ‘Whatever you do, don’t throw it in the dirt,’” Force said. “When it was time to go out, I hammed it out and waved to the crowd. But I went out, and I said, ‘Throw the switch off Force, or you’ll throw this thing 100 mph in the wrong direction.

“(Butler) said to me, ‘If it’s low, I can’t help you. Throw it high, and I can jump and get it. Get it somewhere near me.’ I wound up and threw it as hard as I could throw it, and it went right down the middle.”

Force could use four such runs on Sunday – which could result in his fourth win in Chicago.

Final eliminations are scheduled for noon Central on Sunday and will be televised live at 2 p.m. Central on Fox Sports 1.

4-Second Reads (John Force):
- Qualifying Round 1 (Right Lane): 3.943 seconds/321.58 mph; clean pass from start to finish (No. 2 of session and No. 2 overall; two bonus points)
- Qualifying Round 2 (Left Lane): 7.381 seconds/97.58 mph; up in smoke early (No. 15 of session and No. 9 overall; no bonus points in session and two bonus points overall)
- Qualifying Round 3 (Left Lane): 4.009 seconds/293.60 mph; straight down the track but let off just before the finish (No. 3 of session and No. 9 overall; one bonus point of session and three bonus points overall)
- Qualifying Round 4 (Right Lane): 4.112 seconds/241.41 mph; lost a cylinder and veered toward the centerline before shutting off (No. 7 of session and No. 11 overall; no bonus points of session and three bonus points overall)
- This is the first time this season and 16th time in his career Force has qualified No. 11. The last time Force qualified No. 11 was June 2016 at Norwalk, Ohio. His last victory from the No. 11 position was in 2010 in the spring race at Las Vegas, Nev.
- This is the first time Force has qualified No. 11 at Chicago.
- Force’s matchup against Tommy Johnson Jr. marks the 47th time the two will compete against each other, the most recent meeting in April at Las Vegas. Force holds a 33-13 advantage all-time, including a 2-1 lead this season and 1-0 in their only other Chicago meeting, in 2005.

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