John Force Racing takes another punch to the gut
Last month, Ford Motor Co announced it was stepping away from the professional NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and concentrating on the Lucas Oil Sportsman side of the fence. That departure, scheduled for the end of 2014, will primarily affect John Force Racing, but also impacts Bob Tasca Racing, Tim Wilkerson Racing and Larry Morgan Racing. All but Morgan compete in the nitro-burning Funny Car class; Morgan drives in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock arena.
Today John Force Racing suffered another loss of a long-time partner when Castrol announced it, too, will depart the team it’s supported for 29 years at the close of 2014 NHRA competition. Currently both John Force and Brittany Force carry Castrol colors on their Funny Car and Top Fuel rail, respectively; that alignment continues through 2014.
Throughout the partnership, John Force and his organization have earned 17 NHRA Funny Car championships – 15 with John at the helm – including 10 consecutive.
“Castrol has been with me for so long now, they really are part of the JFR family,” said John Force. “They’ve been there as my daughters have grown up with the Castrol name on all those cars for all those years. It’s gonna be tough to part ways, but I want to thank them for being a great partner.
“All of us are going to stay focused on the rest of the 2013 season and on winning a final championship for Castrol in 2014. It’s far from over. We’ve had a great past but I believe we also have a great future. I’m just going to keep doing my job and we’ll see who’s ready to be part of our success going forward.”
“John Force has been the ultimate ambassador for the Castrol brand and we are grateful for his passion and dedication,” said Rich Pond, head of US marketing for Castrol, “but after twenty-nine successful years, we have decided to pursue new ways to engage with our consumers and customers, while still celebrating the superiority of Castrol motor oils.”
Pond noted that John Force is a major part of Castrol’s racing heritage; he said the company will work closely with John Force Racing to ensure a smooth transition.
Words and Photos by Anne Proffit