DRO: DOES IT BUG YOU TO BE ON DISPLAY? HAVE YOU REACHED THE POINT YET WHERE YOU WANT TO SHOUT, "I'M ASHLEY FORCE! I'M NOT JOHN FORCE!"?
AF: People come up and ask me technical questions. And I say, "I don't know. Ask one of them (her crew)." I feel like I should know.
DRO: HEY, YOUR DAD'S NOT MECHANICAL. HE ONCE PAID A GUY 20 BUCKS TO PUT A VACUUM CLEANER TOGETHER BECAUSE HE DIDN'T KNOW HOW.
AF: Yeah, I think I get it from him.
DRO: ARE THESE PEOPLE ASKING TO HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY TO YOU, OR DO YOU THINK THEY'RE TRYING TO TEST YOU?
AF: I don't know. I think they're just kind of interested. They just want to see what I have to say, because they've never really met me or anything. Nobody even really knew me. I don't even know people on our own fuel teams. But there's like a whole other group of people in other categories. I'm just used to Funny Car. So it's kind of neat to see how much bigger this sport is.
DRO: BEING A YOUNG WOMAN COMPETING IN NHRA IS NOT A NOVELTY ANYMORE. THE NOVELTY IS THAT YOU'RE JOHN FORCE'S DAUGHTER.
AF: I know that it's going to be like that. Also, that my dad wants it to be so big kind of makes it more like . . . "Oh, we have to have our name on the side of the car." That's good for sponsors and everything, but I try to remind him, "I haven't done anything yet. I haven't even raced." I want to be able to learn to race before people start interviewing me. I knew it wasn't going to be like that, where nobody would be watching. I know people are watching just to see how it (is going). But I think a lot of people are supportive. I know our team is so excited for me. I'm hoping it's not in a bad way -- that people are watching because they're excited.
DRO: YOUR DAD HAD SAID A YEAR AGO THAT HE WAS HOPING MELANIE TROXEL WOULD AGREE TO BE YOUR MENTOR. HAS SHE BEEN?
AF: I've talked to Melanie Troxel a lot. At the first adventure course, I went with a girl from our work. She went with me, just to have a girl with me. On this last one, Melanie went with me. She sat in on the class and gave me tips. They teach you everything in the class, then we'd be going down to the staging lanes. I'm was like, "OK -- go over this with me one more time." She'd kind of run through it with me.
DRO: DID YOU FEEL YOU COULD SAY THINGS TO HER YOU COULDN'T MAYBE SAY TO GUYS?
AF: Yeah. Definitely.
DRO: HOW ARE YOU AND YOUR DAD COMMUNICATING AT THE TRACK?
AF: It's kind of hard, because he's your boss, but he's also your dad. But I'm like, "No! I'm going to argue back." He's my dad. That's just what daughters do. He and I butt heads because we both are similar. We're used to fighting -- not really fighting, but I'll tell him what I think. I think it's actually harder for Dad to talk to me than his other drivers. I think it makes him nervous. I don't know why. (If I were a boy) he'd probably be harder on me. But I want him to tell me if he thinks I did something wrong or whatever, (give me) his opinion. But he's trying to keep out of the way. I don't know why. I never told him to stay away, but he's so worried about getting in my way.
DRO: ONE ASSET OF BEING JOHN FORCE'S DAUGHTER IS THAT YOU CAN BENEFIT FROM HIS WIDE NETWORK OF BUSINESS ACQUAINTANCES.
AF: I don't know that much about it, either, but my dad, he
just loves all that stuff. He loves selling. He's always been like that.
This is just a new thing for him to sell.
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