John Force


By Jeff Burk

When we ran the first part of this interview with John Force he was still searching for his first win of the 2003 NHRA POWERade season and was mired in sixth place in the chase for yet another NHRA World title. What a difference a couple of weeks make. Force got a win on the mountain at Denver and jumped over a couple of teams in the points chase and is now fourth on the points chart with a bullet. The rest of this NHRA POWERade season promises to be a titanic battle, as you can bet your last buck that the drivers in front of Force are hearing footsteps and looking over their shoulders. Here is the rest of our interview with the defending Champ.

DRO: How do you continue to motivate yourself and your crew?

Force: We're a team. I'm just part of the team. I don't have to motivate these guys much; they want to win. Vince Lombardi once said that you win with heart. My team has heart and I love them even if they do piss me off once in a while.

DRO: What is more important to you: being a successful race driver or a successful team owner?

Force: Being a successful team owner is important to me, but I'm still a racer at heart and being a successful driver is still the most important thing to me. Besides, my crew really likes those bonus checks they get when we win and that does motivate them.

DRO: At this point in your career what's more important: money or wins?

Force: Well, the answer to that question is both. If I win I make my sponsors happy, they keep giving me money so that I can keep doing this. So "both" is the answer to that question.

DRO: What do you think can be done that isn't being done to make drag racing more popular?

Force: It's simple, we need more and better media coverage both in the magazines and newspapers and on television. Tom (Compton) put together a terrific television package for us, but we are in a war with the other motor sports for the fans. We need to find ways to get the mainstream press that only know NNASCAR or those Indy car guys to start paying attention to our sport. The racers and NHRA have to team up and make that happen.

DRO: If you could start over again what if anything would you do differently?

Force: I would spend more time with my kids. I spent too much time away from them when I was just getting started and I do regret that...I'd spend more time with my kids.

DRO: Who is your best friend in drag racing?

Force: I got a lot of friends in this sport but there are three guys that I consider to be my best friends. Now, I'm going to give you three names but that doesn't mean I like the first one better than the next two; I just consider all three of these guys to be my best friend. My crew chief Austin Coil, my PR guy Dave Densmore and my pal Bob Fisher. Fisher used to work for me but now he's got the NitroFish deal going. By the way, I just want to say something about all those other people who've copied Fisher's deal. They're just bottom feeders. The NitroFish is the original and real deal.

DRO: If you weren't drag racing what would you like to be doing and why?

Force: I either want to be the world's greatest quarterback or president of the Teamster's union.

DRO: Is it true you have pictures of Bob Fisher abusing farm animals?

Force: Yes, I do!

DRO: Is it true that you and Densmore belong to the hair club for men?

Force: No! (at this point Force made this reporter pull on his luxurious mop of slightly graying hair to prove his point. Densmore declined to comment.

Previous INNERviews
John Force, Part 1 — 7/16/03
Scott Geoffrion — 6/6/03

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