Sixteen-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force to be inducted into California Sports Hall of Fame later this year, becoming the first in motorsports to join the Hall.
“It’s an honor to be the first to represent not only my sanctioning body, NHRA, but to be the first of any driver in motorsports to be inducted into the California Sports Hall of Fame,” Force said. “Being a California native, growing up in the L.A. basin, this is truly an honor.”
Force, who was born in Huntington Park, Calif., and lives in Yorba Linda, holds a number of NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series records, including most championships (16), most victories (148) and most No. 1 qualifiers (155). Force, 67, will be inducted into the Hall during a ceremony June 25 at Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa in Cabazon, Calif.
Force will be racing at the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, that day and will deliver a videotaped message during the ceremony.
“I’ve worked hard to get to where I am today, and my family is following,” Force said. “To be chosen as the first motorsports representative, to take our sport of NHRA drag racing into the Hall, I feel it’s an opportunity to represent all the professional racers, from Top Fuel to Funny Car to Pro Stock to Pro Stock Motorcycle to all the grassroots racers – and to kids up-and-coming in a Jr. Dragster, like my granddaughter Autumn [Hight], who someday might be in the California Sports Hall of Fame. I was the first, and this is a true honor.”
Force previously was enshrined in the Motor Sports Hall of Fame of America in Novi, Mich., in 2008, and in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Ala., in 2012.