John Force always a welcome sight

March, 25, 2012

FONTANA, Calif. -- Maybe NASCAR can bring John Force in every weekend as the prerace entertainment. The NHRA legend never fails to spark things up whenever he attends a NASCAR race.

Sunday was another example, when he held court in the media center at Auto Club Speedway.

Force, a 15-time Funny Car champion, was asked whether he ever considered racing in NASCAR: "Well, they would need rest stops out there for me. I can't race that long at one time."

Force attended the event with drag racing daughters Courtney and Brittany Force, along with son-in-law Robert Hight, the 2009 NHRA Funny Car champion.

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John and Brittany Force
Mark J. Rebilas/US PresswireBrittany Force is the next of John Force's daughters gearing up for a career in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. She's hoping to run Top Fuel beginning next year.

Auto Club sponsors Hight's car at John Force Racing, so it made sense for the Force drivers to come to Auto Club Speedway for the Auto Club 400, especially since the team's headquarters is down the road in Yorba Linda, Calif.

As usual, Force didn't disappoint reporters trying to get him to say something funny, not a difficult thing for him to do.

A German reporter asked him: "Do you remember me?"

Force: "Yes. Do you know I'm German? I'm Oklahoma German."

Another reporter to Force:  "John, I have one quick question and I hope I get a short answer."

That brought a roar of laughter from the room. There are no short answers from Force.

"That's OK," Force said. "You can make fun of me. Even my family does that."

Force said he just returned from an event in Kentucky. Country singer Randy Travis was there, but Force called him Travis Tritt.

"I think I made him mad," Force said.

Hey, he just got his Travis references messed up. For those who don't know, Force is a constant whirlwind of energy, something his daughters have learned to live with.

"People don't believe it, but he's always like this," Brittany said. "After spending a day with him, you're exhausted."

Brittany's younger sister, Courtney, is a rookie this year in Funny Car. Brittany is spending this season testing in a Top Fuel dragster with hopes of running in Top Fuel in 2013.

She does test runs on Mondays and Tuesdays after each NHRA event with Jimmy Prock, Hight's crew chief. She loves her dad, but she's glad when she gets a break from his super-hyper ways.

"I don't know how Mom [Laurie Force] deals with it all the time," Brittany said.

Then she smiled and glanced over at John and said, "Sorry, Dad."

Terry Blount

ESPN Staff Writer



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