John Force

By Jeff Burk

These days John Force -- or as he has been dubbed by some members of the press "The Loquacious One" -- has been keeping a low profile or as low a profile as drag racing's most popular racer/team owner can. While having a season that almost any other racer on the planet would shoot his dog to have (he is currently sixth in points, just 31 points behind Ron Capps) he has been taking some serious flak from his fans, the media and even some of his competitors for, of all things, not winning a race this season. They've questioned his will to win, the integrity of himself and his team, and his motives as a racer. So, Force has kind of taken a vow of silence. He isn't avoiding the press but his interviews lately have been very low key and mainstream. A combination of DRO's reputation for playing it straight and editor Jeff Burk's unabashed sucking up got Force to give us a very telling interview where he deals with some questions that he had never been asked before.

So here it is -- the ultimate game of 20 questions with 12-time World Champ John Force with DRO editor Jeff Burk. Burk just asked the first 20 questions he could think of and let Force do what he does better than

DRO: Okay, John, are you ready to answer twenty questions?

Force: Depends on what they are, but I'll do the best I can.

DRO: What are your plans for yourself and John Force Racing for the next five years?

Force: I'm signed with Ford until 2007. What I want to do during that period of time is to continue expanding my racing operation. I want to further expose John Force and my teams to all the racing fans, not just drag racing fans. I've hired a new agent to help me with that. I'd like John Force Racing to be thought of by race fans, the media, and corporate America in the same way that (Roger) Penske's racing operation is.

DRO: What, if any, plans do you have for your daughter Ashley as far as her future career in drag racing?

Force: I'm not getting in any hurry to move Ashley to quicker and faster cars, if that's what you're asking. Before I do that I have to make sure that's what she wants. Before that happens she needs to grow and mature as a drag racer. I need to know in my heart that she loves this sport as much as I do before I put here into faster cars. I believe that if you don't love this sport, and I mean really love it, then you can't really be successful. I think she does love it like I do, but we are going to take it one step at a time and not get in a rush as far as her career is concerned.

DRO: Who in drag racing had the most influence on your career?

Force: I'd have to say that more than anyone else Don Prudhomme has motivated me to do what I've done. Kenny Bernstein is also someone who has greatly influenced the way I've tried to do things as both a racer and a team owner. I know that a lot of people always bring up (Don) Garlits and Shirley (Muldowney) when that question is asked, but frankly I wasn't a big fan of theirs because they drove dragsters. I've always wanted to drive Funny Cars, so Prudhomme and Bernstein were guys that influenced me.


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