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DRO: So back to Ashley . . .

FORCE: We had music playing in the car. I was so emotional, I thought I was going to cry. I love it [drag racing] that much. I said to her, "What do you do when you hear a great song on the radio? Your heart starts pounding. It's that moment. When that car
starts pounding, it makes music to you. That's when you have magic. Right now, it's just boom-bang-boom-bang and all you're thinking is 'That sounds terrible, like it's going to blow up and kill me.' But one day when you hear it and you know it's right, you know it's going to make you a winner."

DRO: What about [daughter] Brittany?

FORCE: She'll be testing some this year. She's still in high school. She wants to be a glamour driver.

DRO: She has the firesuit with the stars on it, right?

FORCE: Yeah, she said she wanted stars on it. I told her, "You've got to earn being a star." She said, "Just put the stars on there and they'll believe it."

DRO: How about Megan McKernan driving your Super Comp car that Ashley started out in?

FORCE: She's so small, we didn't think anybody was in it. I thought the car ran away from the trailer.

DRO: Jerry Toliver isn't like your kid. He gave you fits in 2000. Are you ready for him to come back into the mix?

FORCE: Toliver will take out half the competition. He'll beat 'em up in the bar. (Laughs.) They'll show up on Sundays with black eyes. (Laughs.) He was a wild man when he came in.

DRO: Are you ready to take back your championship?

FORCE: My new theme is redemption. I want to get back to where I belong. I dream about coming back and how it could be. I just have a lot of different dreams, dreams for Gary Densham to win the championship, dreams to see Eric Medlen survive so I can prove the ones wrong who said I made a mistake.

DRO: How are you different this time around from 1993, when you were determined to regain the championship that Cruz Pedregon won in 1992?

FORCE: It ain't a matter of hope. If you've got the money, the parts, the right tune-up and you stay focused, you can come back and win again. I didn't know that in 1992.

DRO: Can you describe that motivation?

FORCE: The catalyst for the whole thing is the fact if you've won for 12 years, they expect you to win and you'd better keep winning or you might be looking at no sponsorship. It isn't, "Look what you did for us." It's "What are you going to do today?" That fire will come out on race day.

DRO: Will you be able to concentrate on winning another championship with all you have going?

FORCE: Without coffee or madness, I can't get motivated.

Previous INNERviews

Skooter Peaco (PART TWO) 1/21/04
IHRA Director of Race Operations
Skooter Peaco (PART ONE)

Tony Pedregon 12/9/03
Mike Dunn

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