John Force Racing announced in a release they will not be racing in 2020. After much speculation and the fact that JFR didn’t return to Indianapolis when the series returned at the beginning of July, it felt the writing on the wall.
John Force Racing to Not Race in 2020
The winningest driver in NHRA history will hold out its four car operation for the remainder of the 2020 season. In a press release, John Force said he and the team will be holding out the remainder of the season in hopes to return to a championship level of racing next season.
“At that point, I made the decision to ‘live to fight another day.’ 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,” he said. “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.”
Force owns a four car operation that fields his PEAK Chevrolet Funny Car, Robert Hight’s AAA Auto Club Chevrolet Funny Car and Brittany Force and Austin Prock’s two Top Fuel cars. It was a decision Force did not take lightly but felt it was the right thing to amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
NHRA to Race on Without Force
When the NHRA returned to racing in early July, fan favorite and legend, Force and teams were not on the property. The team was also not in attendance during the next weekend at Indianapolis. It was the first time since 2007 that John Force Racing had no cars competing at an NHRA national event.
It was a shock to the racing world when Force’s teams announced they were not coming to the two-race event to restart the season. Now, the news many didn’t want to see but expected to happen was released as the 16-time champion will look to return in 2021.
“What I’m saying is that I’m going to prepare to come back next year stronger than ever,” Force said. “Watching all the people that went racing, NHRA, the track, Safety Safari, TV, the media, all the winners, all the teams, thank you for racing and keeping the sport alive. I am really heartbroken I’m not out there. If I had stayed and raced, I couldn’t come back. If I step back now, I can. I want to be with all of you again and I want to be competitive. We will continue to support all our sponsors, doing their promotions as planned and stay relevant on social media for the fans; we are going to continue to build race cars, as we always have, build engines, mount bodies, parts and do everything we can because we are open for business in Indy and California.”
NHRA Adjusts Schedule Again
The NHRA season made some more adjustments to the 2020 calendar. After a two race stint at Indianapolis, the series had plans to head west to Denver and then to Northern Minnesota at Brainard. Those plans changed when the sanctioning body announced they are postponing those two events and will be holding the upcoming race weekend in Indianapolis August 8-9.
The schedule also adjusted further as NHRA announced that the event held in Topeka, Kansas is postponed. All postponed events are still looking for dates to fill out the schedule but doesn’t look like they will be leaving Indiana anytime soon.
On as scheduled is the traditional Labor Day race event at Indianapolis, the U.S. Nationals. It will go off as planned and run the full weekend with finals concluding on Monday as normal.