Courtney Force Edition
Courtney Force is new to professional drag racing, but for drag-racing fans, the name "Force" needs nointroduction. With 17 NHRA Championships attributed to John Force Racing, and 15 of those won by JohnForce himself, "John Force Racing" is more than a man or a team, it's a dynasty. With drag racing as thebackdrop of her childhood and an insatiable desire for speed in her DNA, daughter Courtney Force isready to carry the Force name on to more NHRA championship victories.
Courtney earned her NHRA competitor's license in 2005 and has been on course to a fulltime racing career ever since…and she is taking The Funny Car class in NHRA by storm in herTraxxas Ford Mustang Funny Car. Courtney impressed her fans and fellow drivers (includingfather John Force) with her solid debut at the 2012 NHRA Winternationals. Her performance made her onlythe second of eight Funny Car drivers at John Force Racing to snag a first round win during their debut event.
Courtney followed up her debut with another strong showing at the NHRA Arizona Nationals, achieving asub 4.10 second run at over 300 mph in the process. Now a proven competitor who will only improve withexperience, Courtney is well on her way toward her goal of winning the 2012 NHRA Rookie of the Year award.Traxxas is proud to be on board with Courtney as she carries The Fastest Name In Radio Control® alongfor the fastest ride in motorsports.
John Force Edition
John Force today is an American racing 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. The fact that he has become the greatest champion in the history ofstraight-line racing, perhaps the greatest in all of motor racing, is just a bonus.
While other 60-somethings are content to manipulate nothing more stressful than a TV remote, Force again is mashing the throttle on the Castrol GTX HIGH MILEAGE Ford Mustang that has carried him to 27 straight Top 10 finishes.
Before the victories came sacrifice. Force wasn't really pursuing championships in the 1970s and early '80s. He was just trying to make enough money to pay for gas and bologna sandwiches for himself and his crew. Staying in a hotel was a luxury that usually meant six guys to a room. "Anything to get us to the next race," he has said of his philosophy. Force wanted nothing more than to compete on the same big stage with Don "the Snake" Prudhomme, Tom "the Mongoose" McEwen and three-time world champion Raymond Beadle. In his first 65 starts, Force reached the final round nine times – but never won. Persistence finallypaid off when he won at Montreal, Canada, in 1987. It proved to be just a stepping stone for drag racing's most prolific driver.
Force's career finally began to turn in 1985 with the arrival of Coil as crew chief on the Coca-Cola/Wendy's Corvette. It really took off a year later when he signed his first contract with Castrol GTX for a modest $5,000 and all the oil he could use. Seventeen championships, 134 NHRA national event wins and 1,100 round wins (the only driver with over 1000!), John Force is the undisputed king of drag racing. A 2008 inductee into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in Detroit, Force is more determined than ever to remain in the cockpit as teammate to a spectacular assembly of young drivers that includes youngest daughter Courtney, driver of the Traxxas Ford Mustang Funny Car. "It's all about these kids now," he said. "I'm still going to race as hard as ever to win the championship. That won't change. But my main job now is to (continue to) train (these young) drivers so that they won't have to go through what I went through."
Robert Hight Edition
Robert "Top Gun" Hight, driver of the Auto Club Ford Mustang and president of John Force Racing, has quietly established himself as the gold standard in a Funny Car division in which boss and teammate John Force still attracts most of the attention.
Hight has achieved something in his first seven pro seasons that no one, not Force, not Don Garlits, not Don Prudhomme, Kenny Bernstein or Tony Schumacher did before him. Since making his driving debut in 2005, Hight has never won fewer than two races in a season, has never failed to qualify No. 1 at least one time, and has never failed to drive his way to the top of the Full Throttle Funny Car driver standings. That's a triple that many drivers don't achieve in an entire career. Hight has done it seven straight years, which is why he and crew chief Jimmy Prock invariably find their way into every championship conversation.
Although he had no previous driving experience, the former world class marksman reached the winners' circle in just his fourth start at a rookie, capping the season by accepting the Auto Club's Road to the Future Award that designates the NHRA Rookie of the Year. He's never looked back. In seven seasons, he has started from the front 39 times, more often than anyone except Force (139), Bernstein (50) and Cruz Pedregon (45).
Since his driving career took off in 2005, Hight has won 23 races which is the 8th most all-time in the Funny Car category. In the seven-year stretch, no driver has won more Funny Car races on the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
Mike Neff Edition
Mike Neff is daring, determined and diverse, characteristics that have transformed him from surfer to off-road truck mechanic to one of the hottest properties in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, where he has excelled as both a crew chief and a driver.
A native of Hemet, Calif., Neff grew up racing dirt bikes and off-road trucks. Although he played baseball and football and wrestled in high school, Neff's passion was riding motorcycles and, later, working on off-road vehicles. It was while working on off-road trucks at night at truck-team owner Larry Minor's shop that he learned to weld and fabricate, skills that would serve him well as a mechanic and, later, crew chief.
Neff first came to prominence as a professional crew chief in 2005 while working for John Force Racing's principal rival in the Funny Car division. Two years later, he was enticed to JFR with the promise of a chance to drive. Neff earned the Road to the Future Award as the NHRA Rookie of the Year in 2008. One season later, he became seventh Funny Car driver to win in a JFR Ford Mustang.
After winning two NHRA Funny Car championships from his computer console, the first with Gary Scelzi in 2005 and the second with motorsports icon John Force in 2010, the quiet over-achiever got a second chance at the wheel of JFR Ford Mustang in 2011 and ran away with the regular season championship before falling just shy winning the NHRA Funny Car championship in the dual role of driver/crew chief. "I always wanted to drive," Neff said of his various career turns, "but it never seemed like an option. It wasn't something you're going to go around talking about or asking about because it just didn't look like anything like that would be possible."