Monday it was reported that John Force and his three other team cars will miss racing at Indianapolis. The NHRA is set to return to action July 11-12 but will do so without the sport’s biggest name.
John Force Racing to Miss NHRA Return
When the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) makes the return to racing on Saturday and Sunday in Indianapolis, Force will not be on the property. He along with his three other John Force Racing team cars were not entered into the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals.
With Force to miss the event, questions loom as to why he decided to sit this one out. At age 71, Force is the oldest driver on tour. This means he is in the highest risk category for COVID-19.
Funny Car teammate, Robert Hight and John Force Racing Top Fuel drivers Brittany Force and Austin Prock are not entered for Sunday’s event. Force, nor the company has yet to release a statement regarding the decision.
Force is the winningest driver in NHRA history with 151 career victories and 16 Funny Car Championships in his illustrious career. As a team owner Force holds 20 championships. Hight owns three titles to his name and Brittany Force also having won a Top Fuel Championship.
Force has not completely missed an event since his accident back in 2007. His entire team has not missed a national event since 2007. But that came in March prior to Force’s crash. The late Eric Medlen was killed in a testing accident days before the national event in Houston. It marks the first time in John Force Racing history the entire team has missed an event.
Force Not Only Ones Out
The event at Indianapolis is the first of two straight weekends held by the NHRA at the fabled track. Force and his teams are not the only ones sitting this weekend out. Fellow Funny Car driver Bob Tasca III will be giving way to Jonnie Lindberg this weekend because Tasca has a case of COVID-19.
This will be the first race back since the COVID-19 shutdown for the NHRA. Their last race was held in Arizona clear back in February. The event this weekend will mark the first since the closure and will also have fans on the facility. There are, however, strict guidelines that are be followed by the fans and teams in attendance. It was reported that the NHRA was set to return to racing with fans in August. That was changed and the schedule will pick up in Indianapolis.
The E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals get underway on Saturday morning with the Pro Stock categories qualifying at 11:45am and the Nitro Funny Car and Top Fuel session starting approximately at 12:30pm. The Sunday Finals will begin at 9:00am from Indianapolis. The complete schedule can be found here.