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Can Drag Racing Champion John Force Keep Up His Pace?

John ForceAt 64 years old, 16-time NHRA champion John Force continues to prove that old age doesn’t diminish a drag racer’s need for speed.

In 2013, Force won his 16th Funny Car season title, upping his number of career drag race wins to a record-breaking total of 138. Rather than retiring on that high note, Force has returned to the drag strip in 2014, showing no signs of slowing down.

As if to prove that point, Force competed in February’s Circle K Winternationals qualifying event held in Pomona, California, where he set new track records. In his opening pass, Force completed the 1,000-foot run in a record-breaking 3.983 seconds at 317.72 miles per hour. Then, in the second qualifying round, he bested his new record with a pass of 3.966 seconds at 324.12 miles per hour. Clearly, being a record-holder isn’t stopping Force from gunning for his 17th NHRA Championship in 2014.

John_Force_vs_Scotty_Cannon_
John Force vs Scotty Cannon

John Force has been hitting the drag strip since 1978 though it wasn’t until 1990 that he won his first NHRA Championship. He won again in 1991 and then went on to set a record with 10 straight wins from 1993 to 2002. He won again in 2004 and 2006, after which his racing career hit a rough patch.

Force started off 2007 poorly after the death of fellow John Force Racing driver Eric Medlen. It continued to be a difficult year for Force when he crashed at the O’Reilly Auto Parts Fall Nationals event in September, sustaining severe injuries that left him hospitalized for a month. Many fans thought that the wreck would spell the end of his long and fruitful career.

However, Force returned to the drag strip in 2008. After a few mediocre years, he proved that he was still at the top of his game when he took home his 15th NHRA Championship in 2010. Having won his 16th championship in 2013, John Force continues to prove that he’s a force to be reckoned with in the world of funny car drag racing.

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