John Force mulling Top Fuel
NHRA legend John Force, an iconic, 15-time Funny Car champion, might end his career in a Top Fuel dragster because of sponsorship changes coming to his organization.
"With Ford leaving, if I don't find a new manufacturer, John Force Racing will have to evolve," Force said. "That could possibly mean moving another Funny Car to a dragster."
John Force and John Force Racing always has competed in the Funny Car class, winning 17 championships over the last 21 NHRA seasons. But JFR added a dragster this season for his daughter, Brittney Force, a rookie in Top Fuel.
Force might join her in a dragster in 2015, depending on future sponsorship.
"I don't want to do that," Force said. "Don Prudhomme and Kenny Bernstein both did it later in their careers. I want to stay in a Funny Car, but I may have to adjust my business to make it work. I have to address the future."
Ford announced last week it was leaving the professional sponsorship side of drag racing after the 2014 season. Ford has been with JFR for 16 years.
Jamie Allison, the director of Ford Racing, talked about the changes on the Ford Racing website.
"It was a very tough decision," Allison said. "We made a business decision, reviewing our investment. We review all our motorsports programs regularly to ensure they are relevant for the company and supporting our outreach to our fans and customers."
Force, 64, has no plans to retire. He still is completing at a championship level, ranking fourth in the 2013 Funny Car standings.
"Right now, JFR has taken a major hit," Force said. "The mistake I made is I kind of believe some things are forever. I felt we were perfect.
"So I've got to find another vendor or John Force Racing, as we know it, could change. I have my job cut out for me. JFR cannot survive in its present form with major budget cuts. I'm looking for new partners." ESPN.com