Table of Contents DRO Store Classifieds Speed Connections Archives & Search Contact DRO You mentioned Ashley, given everything you have been through in your time do you ever worry that she's going to see Elvis somewhere down the track?

John Force: Yea. And it's like flying on an airplane when you don't like it. You don't think about it. But we didn't push her into racing. At sixteen she wanted to go to Frank Hawley's Driving School. And she don't want a Mustang,
she wants an F150 Ford pick-up truck. And for a girl that's something. She very much has followed Shirley Muldowney and watched her and studied her, growing up y'know? And there's a big chance for a woman in the sport to be a star. I'd like to see her become an international star, because the sport is bigger than the United States. I'd like to see her branch to take her to the next level beyond me, as well as Eric and Robert, it's all a matter of a timeframe. And if we're gonna accomplish that maybe the cars have to fly, maybe we're going to have to put them on a jet, and that cost can be big. We wouldn't do it for the income, to come over, the guy in Australia said "We'll pay you whatever it takes" and I said "It's not a matter of a paycheque, we make plenty of money." The sponsors would pay us to go there. Castrol BP decides us to come here, I ain't worried about what the race track can pay me. The race track can only pay what the crowd allows them to pay, what you can draw. If BP goes, they'll do it for world exposure. The same way in Australia. If Ford and BP decide to send us, that decision will be made. And that's why we're coming over to meet them. Because I want to go beyond the States. That's what I wanna do.

I'm not getting any younger, and in my retirement I will travel worldwide to many countries and race. I'm gonna hit the Boises, the Spokanes, the old Kansas City track, it's still there. I'm gonna go back to my roots and then I'm gonna go to Australia, and I've never been to New Zealand, I've had relatives who've raced in New Zealand in the early days, and I'm gonna hit 'em all. I'm gonna do an international tour. That's my game plan and you can announce that because that's what's coming. I mean I wanna go to places like Africa and race, and my wife said "Wow! There's a life beyond drag racing?". I will still be a team owner, I will still race in the street, but I will never get to Africa unless it's with a racecar. And yet I run into people who say "You oughtta come and run in Africa" and I say "What, do you outrun a lion?". That's the key, where do they race? And I was amazed that there are tracks in parts of the world we're not even aware of. So drag racing is huge. And that will be my final tour, but that won't be done in a year, that will be over a five-year programme. You're signed with Castrol until, 2010 is it?

John Force: 2012. We signed for five years and a one-year extension. We put in an extension when Ashley goes Pro, that we're pushed out. We've been with them twenty, twenty two years and we do our job, that's why I didn't like losing. I did not like losing. Is it good for the sport that we dominated for fourteen years? No. That's not good for any sport. We did it through hard work. But I congratulated Gary Scelzi and Ron Capps on a job well done, but we will turn this around in '06, we know how to do it. I made some mistakes, and the mistake that I made personally - not my team - I thought I was unbeatable. And that's why a lot of fans said "You show no pressure, you act like you don't even care if you're gonna win". I never had the pressure because I didn't believe I could lose.

Right there in the finals when they went out, it was like the door is open. I was shocked that I was beat and it was all I could do to keep a straight face and smile, and yet the kid that took me out, I hired my own assassin: Tony Pedregon, I trained him. From a kid I trained him, I turned him into a champion and then he left and then...

Roger Gorringe: Was that hard, when he went? To let him go?

John Force: Yea, because I knew that I could teach other kids, because we taught Tony. But Tony was like my son, and it was hard. He didn't walk away. Tony's a very emotional kid, there was a lot of crying when he left. He didn't wanna leave. But his brother...he was really between the guy that gave him a chance and was like a dad to him. Tony lost his dad at a very young age and I was like that father to him, that I gave him that chance. And trust me, he taught me a lot. I got caught up in corporate America, and how to find money, and Tony was caught up in "I get to drive a racecar." And there's a difference, and you forget that. And I'm learning that through my kids. They go to the races and I'm like "You gotta stand to attention - OK, here comes the President from Triple A, the President from Castrol" and it's like "Dad, the fans are out there, they want our autographs".

My two littlest ones, they have their own eighteen-wheelers, their own teams, they've been put into this world of people wanting their autographs, and they don't understand why. One's in the first year of college, Brittany, Courtney's just come out of college actually, with her degree in theatre and communications. She was thinking about how to make movies. And she's in the perfect world now actually. She does all of our videos, she does all of our...if I do a show in Vegas she cuts all my tapes, our promos, and she's making a Christmas movie every year. She makes our Christmas show and it's about our season and she says "I don't know how to end it dad, you lost, you've always won". And as long as she can remember we've won.


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