John Force: A Living Legend

Ask yourself, what do you want to do when you’re seventy-years old?
Sit in a rocking chair on top of a white porch, letting the breeze pass while you enjoy your retirement? Perhaps your plans involve traveling and seeing all the sights this world has to see. Have the great-grandkids come over for the holidays?

John Force claimed his milestone 150th Mellow Yellow NHRA Funny Car win during the Northwest Nationals last weekend; a win that seemed to elude him at every run down the track. The 16-time champion defeated Ron Capps in the finals by traveling the quarter-mile at 320.58 mph, while crossing the line with an ET (elapsed time) of 3.971 seconds.

He achieved this at seventy-years old.

Force’s best years were during the seasons of the 1990s and 2000s, where he was able to capture ten consecutive championships from 1994 to 2002. In 1993, at Texas Motorplex, Force recorded an ET under five-seconds on a quarter-mile. He was the first Funny Car driver to be officially registered by the NHRA to do so. Force also claims the record for the most #1 qualifications in NHRA history with 158 and is also a four-time champion as an owner; three in the Funny Car classification with the other coming from his daughter, Brittney Force, in Top Fuel.

He has quite literally done it all.

When Force climbed out of the car to celebrate his victory, it seemed as if he had a renewed faith within himself as he broke a 25 race winless streak. He was euphoric. He showed that he still has a passion for the sport; still has that determination to continue to prove himself to the world.

What else does he have to prove you may ask? Well, like all racers, it’s that he can still go out and win. This time, it’ll be for win 151.

Scott Masom

photo credit: Burghardt Photography

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