Humorously Improbable: O’s Legendary John Force Blazes to 15th NHRA Funny Car Championship With Pomona Triumph
If you were 61, have been winning Funny Car Championships since 1990, are a bona fide NHRA Legend and almost ended your career in an insane crash just a few years ago, you probably would be contemplating retirement at this point.
But not John Force.
Despite suffering through a horrific race crash three years ago, the long-time drag racer displayed his extreme resilience, as he emerged victorious at the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona this past weekend – tallying his 15th Funny Car Title, sixth victory of the year and 132nd overall triumph.
After super intense work in the gym, almost nonstop, he raced in awesome form this year. And despite fierce competition throughout the season, it all came down to John powering past Bob Bode in the Pomona final. The win propelled him past 27-year-old Matt Hagan, who held a comfortable 38-point-lead in the standings before the event. The result was an extraordinarily improbably Championship. Especially since he could barely use his limbs not long ago.
“You always think of the first championship as the greatest, but I lived in the gym for the last three years to get my legs back and arms back to where I could drive my car,” Force said, who has been a long-time Oakley racer. “I owed that to my kids who were by me and my wife and family. They knew racing was the only thing that I know. They didn’t want me to come home and retire…Things couldn’t be better.”
It definitely wasn’t easy. He was trailing by 40 points going into the final. But John and crew charged. Big time.
“And I looked at my guys, and I said it so many times. You’ve got to believe. That Hagan kid is too good, too focused to fail. And at the end of the day, I was preaching: ‘Believe. Believe.’ I never allowed myself to believe that it couldn’t happen.”
And it happened. The amazing feat proved one thing. John Force was made to be on the track.
“I’ve got nowhere to go, guys. I ain’t trying to be no cool dude here that says things to make a story. I got nowhere to go. I go to the racetrack. It’s where I live.”
A huge congratulations to John, his crew and the entire Force family!
Sick Video from the Event – and of the Win!