John Force Racing is shutting down operations for the rest of the year, says the legendary NHRA champion
Hoping to “live to fight another day,” John Force Racing is not going to compete in the final dozen NHRA events this year. Like all forms of motorsports, sponsorship is the key to operating, and owner John Force is unable to find enough to keep his team afloat.
“We can’t fight now, we can’t race right now, but with what I have, with the help of my sponsors and my own personal money, I can maintain,” Force said in a statement. “I have to protect my family, my employees, my teams, and my sponsors. What I built was a team that could win. All I have to do is get to next year. It will look different.”
Force maintains that if he had continued to race this year, there would be nothing left for 2021. But until the coronavirus is under control and the sponsorship dollars begin to flow again, there is no guarantee of the future. How different things will look is anyone’s guess at this point.
“Suddenly, the virus hit, and it changed the world. Robert Hight, President of the company, and I got back from Gainesville, and we started working on a plan, we had to reset John Force Racing. Everyone was having to adapt. We had to make cuts everywhere. We ran numbers over and over. In our contracts with sponsors, we have guarantees. They get social media, certain number of races, certain number of race days, activation at races and other commitments. No matter how I looked at it I couldn’t deliver on those commitments. It just wasn’t fair to them.”
The 71-year old is one of four drivers in his racing stable: Robert Hight, Austin Prock, Force, and his daughter Brittany Force. Based in Yorba Linda, California, John Force Racing has amassed twenty Funny Car titles. Brittany won its lone Top Fuel championship. Hight has three, Tony Pedregon, one, and the rest by Force himself.
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