ultiple NHRA Funny Car Champion and record holder John Force flew to London for the weekend of 3rd-4th December 2005 to be presented with the John Bolster Award at the 2005 Autosport Awards night. The NHRA organised a brunch, presented by NHRA President Tom Compton and attended by John, daughter and Top Alcohol Dragster racer Ashley and FC driver Eric Medlen, and kindly invited Eurodragster.com to attend. Together with photo-journalist Roger Gorringe, Eurodragster.com interviewed John in some detail about his career, Ashley's career, his future plans and more.
Eurodragster.com was kind enough to share this interview, which originally ran in their December 5 issue, with us here at DRO. (We left in the British spellings to confu…we mean, to expand our readers' cultural awareness, because we care. Really).
Roger Gorringe: Welcome
to London. It's a shame it's winter and you haven't brought
John Force: Yes!
Congratulations on the award, it's good to see you getting
the recognition you deserve over here. You've won a lot of
races, a lot of championships, and a lot of achievement awards.
Is there any one particular race, any one championship, or
any one award which means the most to you?
John Force: I think the
first in 1990. In fact my first race I ever won was in Canada.
I raced in Australia in the early days in 1975, but otherwise I've been in the States into Canada
where we won in Montreal, in 1986, my first NHRA win. I remember
I was there with Wally Parks and Dallas Gardner and it was
really an exciting time to be a part of that. I joked earlier
that it was the first time my wife has liked me since she
married me twenty-two years ago.
You dedicate so much of your life to a sport and then all
you do is work. But then to come to London and to see a part
of the world that I may never get a chance to see, and especially
with my kids, it's really a great honour.
Is there an off-season for John Force? Does John Force get
time to have hobbies?
John Force: No, we don't.
Racing's what I do, it's my hobby. I have a car collection,
and a car museum, and motorcycles, and my apparel stores that
I have and we've evolved. But racing's what you do every day
of your life. It's so interesting that here on the streets
of London you run into people who are NHRA cardholders. It
shocked me. Then walking down a little brick street someone
would come up and say "Hey, John Force". And of
course I wear that Powerade jacket with pride everywhere,
and people notice that. Then Coca Cola trucks go by and they
blow their horns at me walking down the street. It's just...to
be a part of this, it's just really an experience, to leave
the States and come here and people are good to you, the service
is good, the hotels are great, and we're really having a great