John Force skips vacation to test

16-time Funny Car champion John Force is not happy with his recent results, so last week he spent time testing some new parts and pieces at Lucas Oil Raceway in hopes of rounding the corner, performance-wise.  Indy bureau chief John Kernan reports.
04 Jul 2017
Posted by NHRA.com staff
NHRA Today™

John Force drove the PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil Chevrolet Camaro tuned by crew chief Mike Neff and co-crew chief Jon Schaffer at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis on Thursday, making four solid, straight passes with good performance.

“With my situation changing over the years, I had to go through a rebuilding stage like any football team,” Force said. “Basically, Neff kept my ship afloat for two years and did a great job. He’s a very savvy racer.

“Our teams evolved, and it was time to evolve the combinations. Jimmy Prock (crew chief for JFR teammate Robert Hight) came with a lot of ideas and a lot of things we’re trying.”

The evolution of any ideas takes time and moves from team to team, and the process is continual. Hight and the Auto Club of Southern California Chevy and Courtney Force and the Advance Auto Parts Chevy have shown lots of speed this season, and the evolution of their speed to John Force’s race car continues.

“We evolve our combinations slowly,” Force said. “We’re evolving some of Jimmy’s stuff into our car, and it shows potential.”

Additional parts to make the appropriate changes to Force’s car were manufactured in the JFR machine shop this week, and they were incorporated and then tested Thursday.

“We got the parts, and we made more of the transition,” Force said. “Out of the box, it runs 800, 850 feet, 3.86. Came back in the heat and it ran 3.90.”

Force was pleased with the performance as he prepares to race in the Fallen Patriots Route 66 NHRA Nationals next weekend at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill.

“First, I said, ‘We’re trying to get back. I got my money back, I got my band back,’” Force said. “The next story is, ‘We’re starting to turn the corner.’”