John Force, an NHRA drag racer, has built an impressive career for himself. In fact, he is one of the most dominant drag racers in the sport, boasting 154 career victories.
He has even continued his legacy with his three children who have all gone to be drag racers. His oldest daughter Adira is the CFO of John Force Racing, a company that he himself founded.
Known as the First Family of Drag Racing, many people want to know, what is he doing now?
What He’s Doing Today
John Force had been driving for the past 20 years and he was able to see the success of his work. However, as he looked at the 2020 schedule, he knew that he wouldn’t be able to provide what his fans expected.
He ended up taking off for the season but this has not been his last foray into a car race. He, along with his team John Ford Racing, returned to the NHRA for the start of the 2021 season, kicking off in Gainesville, Florida. After spending 10 months on the sideline, he returned with family members.
What made it challenging for him to return to racing was primarily the pandemic. Force reported that he lost about half of his staff at the beginning and they’ve only recently returned.
However, he’s still missing about 30 people from a normal staff of 100. They’ve been able to maintain three out of their four cars which are impressive with being in short stock.
During the pandemic, John was anything but idle though. He knew that he was interested in returning to the driver’s seat and used the season off to work on his own physical fitness.
He spend 2 1/2 hours in the gym daily and lost so much weight that his firesuit had to be refitted. He continued to watch racing but said that his time being a spectator simply wasn’t satisfying enough. Comparing his racing to a need, rather than a want, it’s unlikely that Force will be retiring anytime soon.
Today, Force continues to race with his time and is excited about upcoming races. He says that he has years of racing left and the 71-year-old may be on the tracks for the foreseeable future.
Fans of his are excited to hear about his ongoing career and will be able to catch him on the NHRA this season. It’s hard to miss his buoyant personality and infectious smile as he wins title after title yet again.
Force was born in the Los Angeles suburbs and experienced polio as a child. He played football when he reached high school and attended Cerritos College. As one of six children, all were older than John. While he could have pursued other areas, John was interested in racing from an early age.
In 1971, John got his start by driving the Night Stalker Mustang. He also drove a Corvette, Monza, and then switched to the Oldsmobile Cutlass. During the 80s and 90s, John began building his career.
He was 67 of 203 NHRA national events and six World Championships. His domination would continue throughout his career. In fact, John was so successful that he was accused of cheating although he hotly denied any allegations of misconduct that were never proven.
It was in the 2000s that Force’s career began to wane. After the death of Eric Medlin and John’s own crash at the 2007 O’Reilly NHRA fall nationals, he started the season poorly. He was able to rebound and went on to achieve additional wins.
However, in September of the same year, Force was injured in a crash as he finished the race, colliding with Kenny Bernstein. Force experienced significant injuries to his extremities and was airlifted to Baylor Medical Center. He was not able to race for the rest of the year.
Force was able to come back to racing in 2008 but this was a subpar season for him when he finished 7 out of the top five for the first time since his early career.
He went on to develop some of the safety precautions that were instrumental in preventing injuries for other drivers. His adaptations have made the sport safer for drivers today.