Table of Contents DRO Store Classifieds Speed Connections Archives & Search Contact DRO You've hinted at it already but how do you see the future for the Force dynasty? It seems that Ashley has her career path pretty well mapped out, but how do you see that continuing?

John Force: It's only starting because big money's coming into the sport. I do sixteen, seventeen million a year, but that's three teams and now my Super Comp teams, two dragsters. That'd only buy you one real, slightly good car in NASCAR, but in our deal that's why as much as Schumacher aggravates the hell outta me I have total respect for his way of doing business. It's to beat and fight, my way is to love. There's two ways to get to the winners' circle: you can beat 'em to the winners' circle or you can love 'em to the winners' circle. But in that love it's tough love. It's kinda like, my dad told me once when my daughter ran out in the driveway and I called out "Come here honey", my dad said "Did you ever consider spanking her or disciplining her?". I said "Why?". He said "Because you'll kill her with kindness. And if you don't teach her that she can't run out in the street, she's gonne be dead some day". So I run a team with that, that you punish but you love. Schumacher...maybe "punish" is the wrong word. He drives them in certain directions. He doesn't care if they like him, that's the impression I got. 'Cos it sounds like too many don't like him but he gets the job done. And I have respect for that. So I try to find the balance. I believe he likes them but I just think that's his personality. You know what I mean? So I have respect...I'm talking about the old man, Don. But there's two different ways and I do it my way but I think that doors can open.

NASCAR, about fifteen years ago...I remember the day when drag racing was bigger than NASCAR. We were everywhere in the early days. But boy, they leapfrogged ten years ago. It went crazy. And I think we're gonna get our share back. I really do, and I believe that NASCAR has grown to that point, that it's such a machine. Our door's open to corporate America, they can come down here and they can buy a team and they can be in the top of the game. Our market is huge - it's not a NASCAR market but let's look at it in fifteen years. And that's why I'm looking at international: there's a whole new world out there untapped.

I'm sitting there one day trying to figure it out. Why can Formula One come over here and their drivers are...the media's hard to get to them, but I'd die for an interview. I'll go anywhere for an interview. And yet their world is so huge and the kind of money that they make because they're international. They go to each market in America, wherever they go around the world, that one market is as's like our whole market in the USA today. But it's so big that you say "Don't they have a fear of insulting somebody?". I don't think they have a fear, because their demand is so huge. I mean I was with Montoya. I'll be real careful what I say. But I was with him in Indy, and I was totally shocked by the way they work. And it's like, I don't mean rude, but "Here's the timeframe", and it's very short, "Get me now or I'm gone". And I'm like, "Are you shitting me? I'll stay here all day for this kind of attention". And yet I realise that his media people moved him fast. And Castrol said to me "Understand, that's how it works". And I start saying "What would make it any different from us?". And I realised, international market. And that's where I'm going.

If I can move drag racing into a market like London, or I could go to Japan some day, or I can go to Africa, New Zealand or Australia. You know, what have I got to prove in the States? I'm gonna prove that I can build a team, a dynasty, that'll be bigger than mine, with young stars that have the financial backing, that don't have to wait 'til they're old like me to make it. It took me thirty years to make it. And as I build that programme in the States, I'm gonna build my dynasty worldwide. That's my thinking. And I'm starting right here in London. I'm gonna let 'em know my personality, and then I will go back to Australia, I will go to Japan, I will go to all these places. And I never thought that way five years ago. I will get my machine running again, and I started the next generation a year ago. I'm building me five...actually I'm building me five drivers: Eric, who's my lead driver, Robert - who's not too shabby, Rookie of the Year - Ashley, Brittany and Courtney. When I step out I'm building me five teams. And I think the girls will wanna do it because I told them "It's not just about drag racing, this can involve you into so many places. You talk about Hollywood, well let's talk about London, let's talk about the places you can go where you'll be a star overnight". I never realised when I went to Australia in 1975 how big I was. And I was a total nobody! But they thought I was a megastar. I showed up wearing a cowboy hat and I said "What do I wear?". I wore cowboy boots and I've worn them ever since. I've never been on a horse. And you can become a star by just leaving the States. But you better bring that racecar with you, and you better go three hundred miles an hour, 'cos then you're a star. And that's the key.

So I told my youngest girls "It ain't about being a drag racer, it's about the notoriety, the fame that you get because you do what nobody can do and you're a female. And that girl over there (Susanne), I can bring her to the States and I can put her in one of my cars, and I might pitch that pitch. A girl who looks like that would be a big star. Because she's international. Just the words "She's from London". John Force is from the United States and they love me in Australia. In 75 when I went back to the States that's what gave me the money to race: Australia, a foreign market, made me a star. That leapfrogged me right in. You know the Prudhommes and Bernsteins had been over there, Garlits, they'd been racing for fifteen years ahead of me. Garlits probably twenty five. But I came back from Australia and I was a star. And I never got it. I don't think I got it 'til I walked off the plane in London. I think I figured it out, that that's what does it. Because you people pick it up, and all of a sudden we're global. And I got the biggest company BP Castrol, they're global. And let's face it, we all get retired. That's why I'm bringing these kids behind me, so they can't retire me. In five or six years I ain't gonna be so cute!

Quick answers now, I'm sorry! It's not a problem at all...

John Force: But remember, I'm not going global, I'm taking NHRA with me. I built myself to a point, people know who I am in the NHRA market. And I'm seeing a whole new life ahead of me. See, my old deal is...I'm turning into, at my age, if you took away my racing, I ain't got nowhere to go. It scares me to think about it. And this racecar makes me young. I walk into any bar with that jacket on, and I'm a star right there buddy. And they don't care if I'm a hundred years old, and that racecar can keep me young for ever. And that's the key: that I gotta stick around longer to give these kids a chance. 'Cos you can take the money away from them, they'll sink. And do they know how to find money? No. I do, I know where to look. 'Cos I spent thirty years looking in the wrong place.

I would become Marlon Brando. They would move me to an island, and I'd weigh four hundred pounds, if you took me out of my racecar.

Street Address
E-Mail Address

Copyright 1999-2005, Drag Racing Online and Autographix