Ashley
Force
Hood

LATEST SNIPPET

Ashley Force Hood went on sabbatical in 2011 to give birth to her son. Looks like it's going to be a while before she gets back into her nitro funny car as reports have it that she's expecting number 2..

Direct access to this web page: http://bit.ly/cD7ipB

Bio
Latest News
Snippets
Results
Full Throttle Countdown begins with Big win for Ashley Force Hood!
Ashely Force Hood Takes #1 Spot in Atlanta - 5/19/10
Force Hood Heats Up in Bid for 2010 Title
Schedule:
2006, 2007 Points Standings
Like Father: Like Daughter
February 26, 2006 - Ashley adds a Second Runner-up Finish for the Force Family
February 23, 2006 - Force Hopes to Follow Dad's Lead in Top Alcohol Dragster Title Bid: Castrol Driver Among Favorites at Gainesville Raceway
February 13, 2006 - Force Girls Endure a So-So Opening Event at Pomona Winternationals
February 12, 2006 - Ashley onto Second Roung after Defeating Joe Windham in First Round
February 8, 2006 - Ashley's Bid for Top Alcohol Title Runs through Southeast Division: Castrol Driver to Compete in Regional Races in Florida, Georgia
February 8, 2006 - Difficult Season behind Her, Ashley Aims for Top Alcohol Title
January 29, 2006 - Ashley Testing new Dragster Today - Funny Can Tomorrow at Phoenix Time Trials
Ashley Loses by .005 of a second in Lucas Series Final
September 12, 2005 - Ashley Force Wins Lucas Oil Title at Englishtown
Ashley Force Repeats at Englishtown Points Meet: Castrol/Hot Wheels Driver Claims First Victory of 2005 Season
June 2, 2005 - Ashley gets a Lesson in Funny Cars
Next Race
Related Issue:
Brittany, Courtney, Driving Force , Related Issue: Women Racers Directory, Women in Racing, Women Racers, More Women in Racing, Race Schedules, Notable Women
Contact:
web site or E-Mail 

21:18
John Force: "Nothing could prepare me for having daughters."


Ortiz interview of Ashley Force-Hood

 

Bio


Date of birth:: Nov. 29, 1982
Hometown: Yorba Linda, Calif
Un-single.
Height/weight:
5´6´´, 125 lbs.
Hobbies:
Movies, video production, shopping, kickboxing and spending time with family and friends
Notable: Daughter of 14-time Full Throttle world champ John Force; Husband is crew member at John Force Racing; Was co-star of A&E reality series Driving Force; Graduated from Cal-State Fullerton (B.A. in Communications); Shared the winner’s circle with her father at the 2004 Auto Club Finals (she won in TAD, John in Funny Car); Earned fi rst career TAD win at prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals; Finished fourth in Lucas Oil Sportsman Series national driver points in 2004 while winning the South Central Division points championship for which she earned both Rookie of the Year and Driver of the Year recognition; Earned her Funny Car license with a 4.936-second pass at 315.86 on April 14, 2006 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Sponsor/Car: Castrol GTX Ford Mustang
Crew Chief: Dean Antonelli
Career Wins: 8 - TAD - 5
Career Final Rounds: 21 - TAD - 9
Career Best E.T.: 4.048
Career Best Speed: 317.85

 
Ashley and John Force made NHRA history in 2007 when they became the first father and daughter to race against each other. Ashley won with a top speed of 317.05 mph.


Courtney, Ashley, Brittany, the Force sisters

Snippets


Ashley Force Hood is on sabbatical from the series after giving birth to a son in 2011.

*     *     *

Ashley Force Hood took home the Wally at the prestigious 2010 Mac Tools U.S. Nationals!!

*     *     *

Ashley claimed her first Funny Car win of the season at Indy, second in a row in this event and fourth overall by outrunning her father, John Force, in the final round.

*     *     *

Force Hood may have seen her dreams of a first Funny Car championship end when her teammate, Hight, locked her out with a solid qualifying performance of his own, but she can have some solace in being the No. 1 qualifier at the season finale and leading a John Force Racing sweep of the first three spots after punching out a dramatic 4.059 on her final pass.

*     *     *

July 19, 2009 is a momentous day for the Force family. On the same weekend Courtney Force got her first Top Alcohol Dragster win, beating out sister Brittany in the finals. Ashley lost her number 1 standing in the Funny Car series in the finals.

*     *     *

In her second year in a Funny Car, Ashley finished in 6th with 2,385 points, 82 points ahead of her father. In her first year she finished 14th with a total of 647 points. Her father finished in 3rd with 2050 points.

*     *     *

While Ashley didn't qualify for the final chase in her first year in Funny Cars, she took top honors not only against women athletes but against men atheletes as well in AOLs first-ever Hottest Athlete Tournament

*     *     *

In her first year in Funny Car, Ashley finished the year in 14th with a total of 647 poins. Her father finished in 3rd with 2050 points. The first time they went head-to-head, guess who won. Not John.

*     *     *

Ashley ranks ist of 20 Top Alcohol Dragster competitors in the NHRA. Ashley had 381 points through 7 events.

Latest News


Full Throttle Countdown begins with Big win for Ashley Force Hood!


We are proud to announce that Ashley Force Hood took home the Wally at the prestigious 2010 Mac Tools U.S. Nationals!! This historic win was a great way to start the Full Throttle Countdown. The competition continues to heat up, and the John Force Racing team holds a strong lead with John Force in 1st place, Ashley Force Hood in 4th place, and Robert Hight in 6th (Following the O' Reilly Super Start Batteries Fall Nationals)!

Ashely Force Hood Takes #1 Spot in Atlanta (5/19/10)


Ashley Force Hood held onto the No. 1 qualifying spot, the 10th of her career, at Atlanta Dragway as temperatures soared today. While she will go into eliminations at the 30th annual Summit Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals as the performance leader it might be teammate and No. 2 qualifier Robert Hight who is considered the favorite. Hight made the second quickest run of the morning session and just missed a monster run in the final session according to the 2009 Full Throttle Funny Car champion.

“It was on a run on that last run. It could have run a mid-teen. It had the best split of anybody even Ashley’s 4.10. It was clean from the 60 ft. (timer) to 330 ft. (timer) shortly thereafter it disconnected. It was just right on the edge. (Crew chief) Jimmy Prock changed a few things even from St. Louis and it is making it better. We can make finer adjustments,” said Hight.

Hight recorded top two qualifying runs in three of the four qualifying sessions. For a driver who so far this season has been hit or miss by his own admission in qualifying the strong showing gave his team a much needed boost in confidence.

“It is exciting to see his confidence and our team’s confidence. We haven’t been that consistent in qualifying yet this year to go down in the top three on three of the four sessions. That last run was so close to going and it was fast. We were a little over two hundredths quicker than anybody to the 330. It was edgy though. I knew it was skating around a little bit. It was right on the edge. I was doing my best to keep it in the groove. When it is like that you just have to finesse this thing going down the track even though funny cars are hard to finesse. You can go fast in these conditions.”

The most recent national event winner knows that people will be watching to see what kind of number the Auto Club Mustang can put up tomorrow in the first round against Melanie Troxel. A solid effort could force the tuning hands of the rest of the drivers he will face as the day goes on.

“The other guys can look at what we are running and it is going to make them push. If that would have stuck there that would have been unbelievable for a mental advantage tomorrow. That thing could have gone out there and run a 4.17 or so and that would have crushed them. I think we do have a little advantage. Some of the other runs when it ran 4.17 this morning and both runs yesterday we left a lot on the table. Jimmy is just trying to see what he can get away with,” said the 15-time national event winner.

For Hight to have that much confidence does not bode well for the rest of the competition and on the other side of the qualifying ladder is the No. 1 qualifier and championship runner-up Ashley Force Hood. She is also brimming with confidence as a back-to-back finalist at Atlanta Dragway and the 2008 Southern Nationals winner.

“(Atlanta Dragway) is definitely one of the tracks that for whatever reason we have done really well. It is a tricky track. It is surprising based on all the events that this would be one that we would be so good at. My tuners (co-crew chiefs) Ron (Douglas) and Guido (Dean Antonelli) seem to have it figured out. We do well when we come here. Even when we struggle we manage to do well. I hope we can continue that this weekend I think even though we are no. 1 our other runs not making it down I don’t know how much they were testing. Hopefully we can get the car set up tomorrow to go A to B,” said Force Hood.

For her efforts Ashley Force Hood will race journeyman Jeff Diehl for the third time in four races in the opening round of eliminations. Just as important as round wins for the 2007 Rookie of the Year are the bonus points and qualifying points as the top positions from 2-5 are separated by only two points.

“We gained a few points and that is really what we are looking at this weekend. We haven’t run that great we only made it down that one pass but luckily it was that night session and we ran quick enough to get the no. 1 spot. We’ll see what tomorrow brings it should be interesting,” said Force Hood who sits in 5th place two points back from 2nd place.

JFR team leader and NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car points leader John Force struggled in qualifying for the first three session but the champ came out swinging in the final stanza. His Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang recorded the quickest time of the fourth qualifying session running 4.229 seconds. He picked up three valuable qualifying bonus points for his efforts and most importantly he jumped to the No. 9 qualifying position and will race Bob Bode in the first round. Force is 5-0 versus Bode and will race him for the third time in the first round this season.

Force will have extra motivation on race day considering his 25th anniversary Castrol GTX High Mileage Mustang will feature visible support from one of his strongest long distance fans. Force’s granddaughter Autumn Hight designed an “Autumn’s Papa Lives Here” yard sign but then realized that Force rarely spends time at his Yorba Linda condo. Force had the sign turned into a decal at Autumn’s request and it adorns his race car behind the side window.

“Autumn asked me to put the sign in my yard in Yorba Linda and of course I said I would do that for her. I’ll do anything for my granddaughter. Then she got kind of sad when she realized I am hardly ever there and she asked me if I could put it on my race car since that is really where I live. That kid is so smart. I just had to do it. Ashley helped get the decal made and we put it on my Mustang right before it left our Brownsburg shop,” said Force.

It was also a stellar qualifying performance for the John Force Racing developed BOSS 500 motor. In three of the four sessions it powered the quickest runs. In carried Hight to the quickest run of the first session, motor customer and fellow Ford racer Bob Tasca III to the quickest run of the third session and Force to the quickest run of the last session. Hight was also the second quickest in the second and third qualifying sessions.
Source: Female Racing News

Force Hood Heats Up in Bid for 2010 Title (5/20/10)


In 2nd Place in Points After 2nd Runner-up Finish

Ashley Force Hood has not yet put her Castrol GTX® Ford Mustang in the winners’ circle this season, but her current second place standing is reason enough to believe that the 27-year-old once again has what it takes to contest the NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car championship.

The daughter of drag racing icon John Force, one of the drivers against whom she will compete this week in the 22nd annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Summer Nationals at Heartland Park-Topeka, Force Hood knows that at this point in the season, it’s not as important to win races as it is to lay a foundation for the forthcoming playoffs.

“It’s great to be where we are,” said the graduate of Cal State Fullerton, “but the most important thing is that we have a car that is good in the cool (weather) and also good in the heat. That’s a credit to my tuners (crew chiefs Dean ‘Guido” Antonelli and Ron Douglas) and to my crew.

“We’re going to start running a lot of races back-to-back (seven races in eight weeks during June and July), which is good and bad,” said the reigning Mac Tools U.S. Nationals champion. “It’s bad because, if you have something happen to the car, there’s not a lot of time to figure it out. But it’s good because everyone gets in a routine. You’re racing every week and not having to go through your checklist every time. It all becomes second nature.”

The $500,000 Full Throttle championship, which just slipped through her fingers a year ago when she was caught up in teammate Robert “Top Gun” Hight’s spectacular worst-to-first stretch run, won’t be in play for another three months, but Ashley knows that the road to the title is all about position.

“The Top 10 drivers get into the Countdown and Robert won last year from 10th place,” said the NHRA world record holder for Funny Car speed (316.38 miles per hour), “but I don’t see that happening again, maybe ever. Our goal is to catch dad before we get to Indy (home of the Labor Day U.S. Nationals) and get that No. 1 spot.”

Force Hood was third in points entering last year’s Countdown to 1. That meant she started the 50 points down to pacesetting Tony Pedregon.

“Just being in the Top 10 is important,” she acknowledged, “but position is (important), too. The higher you start, the less ground you have to make up at the end.”

Coming off a season in which she started her 8,000 horsepower Ford from the No. 1 qualifying position a category-best six times and reached the finals in fully a third of the 24 races in the series, Force Hood isn’t at all intimidated by the hot weather that likely will impact the majority of the events leading up to the Countdown.

“For whatever reason, we kind of get into a groove this time of year,” she said, alluding to a 2009 summer stretch during which she went to the finals four times in five events including the Summer Nationals in which she was beaten in the final by Ron Capps after qualifying No. 1 and setting track records for 1,000 foot time and speed. .

“It's always exciting to return to a track (where) you've done well at in the past,” said the former high school cheerleader. “You do have those memories. You

remember that feeling (and) you feel like maybe you have a little bit of an advantage because you have done well (before).”

A three-time tour winner and 2007 Rookie-of-the-Year, Ashley will roll to the starting line Friday aware of the fact that the biggest threat to her Summer Nationals bid may come from those closest to her. She lost last week’s Atlanta final to Hight (to whom she finished second in last year’s Countdown) and, earlier this year, she was runner-up to her dad in the inaugural 4-Wide Nationals at Charlotte, N.C.

* * * *

Ashley at the O’Reilly Summer Nationals:

After qualifying No. 1 and setting track records for 1,000 foot time (4.107 seconds) and speed (295.59 mph), Ashley lost in the 2009 Funny Car final to Ron Capps Before turning pro and moving up to the Funny Car class in 2007, Ashley made three starts in the Top Alcohol Dragster division, never advancing beyond the second round In her first pro appearance (2007), Ashley beat Hall of Famer Kenny Bernstein before losing to Mike Ashley and husband-to-be Dan Hood, who at the time was a Mike Ashley crew member.

Force Hood may have seen her dreams of a first Funny Car championship end when her teammate, Hight, locked her out with a solid qualifying performance of his own, but she can have some solace in being the No. 1 qualifier at the season finale and leading a John Force Racing sweep of the first three spots after punching out a dramatic 4.059 on her final pass. Her father matched her e.t. a few seconds later, but her superior speed, 310.20 to 309.20, earned her the top spot, her sixth of the season.

“I told my team tonight, ‘This is so bittersweet, isn’t it? We just ran our best time and we’re No. 1 at the last race of the year and yet we missed [the championship],’ ” said Force Hood. “Who knows what will happen tomorrow? Robert could win the race and we could go out first round, but there’s a chance if we do well we could have missed it by that much. We’ve never been in this situation before where we’re right at the end fighting for it. We didn’t buckle under the pressure. We had a slump in Vegas, but it was all a mechanical thing. It wasn’t the guys messing up or me messing up. It just happened. It happened to us at the wrong time of the year. I told them, ‘We can do it. We can run with the big guys and stick with it right to the end.’

“Tonight, the conditions set up perfect. I’m sure a lot of people were going for it, trying to get a record or just see what they could push it to do. You can’t lose anything by trying. We were real excited that it actually went and that we got No. 1 and that, most important, we got our car back on track. It might have been a little too late for the championship, but at least we got it back, that’s all that matters. We’ll go into tomorrow and try to get in that winner’s circle.”
Source: www.nhra.com/story/2009/11/14/2009-pomona2-saturday/

Like Father: Like Daughter


Although she is the 23-year-old daughter of a drag racing icon, Ashley Force is leaving her own mark on the high speed landscape as the driver of the 275 mile-an-hour Castrol/Hot Wheels A/Fuel dragster owned by Californians Jerry Darien and Ken Meadows.

A 2003 graduate of California State University-Fullerton, Ms. Force earned her first career victory last year when she became just the third female winner of the sport's oldest, largest, richest and most prestigious single event, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis, Ind.

Beginning with that breakthrough, Labor Day weekend victory, the former high school cheerleader won three of the season's last five races and finished fourth in Lucas Oil Sportsman Series points, all in her very first season in the Top Alcohol Dragster division.


Ashley Force celebrates in the winners' circle with her dad, John, after winning the 2004 Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis.

She could not have burst into the racing spotlight in more dramatic fashion, delighting her father, 13-time and reigning NHRA POWERade Funny Car Champion John Force, with whom she shared the winners' circle at the 2004 season-ending Automobile Club of Southern California Finals at Pomona, Calif., and with whom she now also shares a common sponsor: Castrol motor oil.

Nevertheless, as proud as he has been of Ashley's on-track performance, the elder Force has been even more pleased with the way his daughter has connected with the racing public outside the cockpit where she has emerged as a fan favorite whose long autograph lines rival even those of her famous father.

Her growing popularity is reflected not only in the new affiliation with Castrol but also in the fact that Mattel has added an Ashley Force doll to its collectibles inventory.

Although she grew up around racing, it wasn't until she attended one of Frank Hawley's driving schools, a 16th birthday present from her father, that Ashley first entertained the thought of driving career.

The first step was a two-year apprenticeship at the wheel of a Super Comp dragster during which she split time between racing and earning a college degree in Communications.

Although she will be in the cockpit of the Castrol/Hot Wheels dragster for at least one more season, her ultimate goal is to drive one of her father's Ford Mustang Funny Cars. Actually, her goal is to race AGAINST her father - and she's looking forward to it.

"I'm going to mess with him on the starting line," she joked. "I think a lot of drivers are intimidated, but to me he's just dad. He'll be so worried about his little girl in the other lane that by the time he recovers, I'll be gone. At least that's how it is in my dreams."

Ashley knew things were going to be interesting the first time she expressed to her father a genuine interest in pursuing a driving career.

"Dad said as soon as I got my car, I needed to start sleeping in it," she recalled, "because I guess that's what he did when he started out. He said I should walk around with my helmet on - like people wouldn't think that was weird."

The biggest problem, she said, has been achieving a balance between the racing career her father envisions and the balance upon which her mother, Laurie, insists.

"My dad's whole life has revolved around racing," she said. "My mom wants me to have a balance. 'John,' she told him, 'she still needs to have friends away from racing. She can still do things during the week. That's the kind of the struggle we're having because dad is just racing, racing, racing."

Although she had no driving aspirations at the time, Ashley provided a clue to her drag racing future while she was attending Esperanza High School in Yorba Linda, Calif., where, as electives, she took auto shop and welding.

"You have to take an elective," she said. "I could have taken Home Eck (Home Economics), which my mom said I should have because I don't know how to cook at all, (but) I thought auto would be more fun."

If her interest in auto shop and welding weren't sufficient indication to her father that she might one day want to become involved in the family business, then certainly her performance last year convinced him.

In addition to her three national event victories, she won Lucas Oil Sportsman Series regional races at Rusk, Texas, Englishtown, N.J., and Belle Rose, La., en route to the South Central Division (Division 4) points championship. That performance earned her even more hardware as she was named both Rookie of the Year and Driver of the Year in the division while Darien earned Wrench of the Year honors.

Force could not be more proud, nor more surprised.

"I'm a typical father who always wanted his son to grow up and drive his race car," said the 114-time NHRA tour winner, "but I don't have any sons, so I always hoped one of my girls would have an interest. Ashley took auto mechanics in high school and I never even did that. It's great having her on the tour with me."

As for hobbies, Ashley admits she's a movie fanatic, just like her dad.

"I go (to the movie theater) at least once a week," she said. "Sometimes he goes a couple times a day. I went with him once and he went to the first half of the movie. Then he got up and left because he told me he had already seen the last half. I think he went to see the end of something else."

Nevertheless, Ashley has taken her love for the cinema one step further. She not only likes to watch movies, she has demonstrated a talent for producing them.

As a result, her father included a state-of-the-art production studio in the expansion of the team's principal shop facility in Yorba Linda.

Each year for the company Christmas party, she produces a movie that spoofs events and individuals in the sport, herself included.

Last year, the theme was the "50 Most Shocking Moments in John Force Racing History" and one of the highlights was an appearance by NHRA announcers Bob Frey and Alan Reinhart, both of whom were dressed in drag to pose as Ashley and her public relations representative, Mandie Yorio, a payback for the previous year's episode which featured Ms. Force and Ms. Yorio in the roles of Frey and Reinhart.

One thing is certain, whether she's making movies or starring in them, Ashley has her father's full attention and there's absolutely no chance he'll be sneaking out of this performance before it's over.
Source: www.johnforceracing.com/Crews/Ashley_Bio.cfm

February 23, 2006 - Force Hopes to Follow Dad's Lead in Top Alcohol Dragster Title Bid: Castrol Driver Among Favorites at Gainesville Raceway


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – On a racetrack on which her famous father has won seven times, Ashley Force this week launches her bid for the Division 2 (Southeast Division) Top Alcohol Dragster championship.

Ms. Force, 23-year-old daughter of drag racing icon John Force, will drive a Castrol- branded 275 mile-an-hour dragster starting Friday in a Lucas Sportsman Series race at Gainesville Raceway.

It's the first of four Lucas races in which she will compete in Division 2, a geographic region that encompasses the states of Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Those events are part of an ambitious schedule designed to deliver a national championship to Force and car owners Jerry Darien and Ken Meadows.

This week's race will be followed by Lucas Series stops in Bradenton, Fla., Atlanta and Reynolds, Ga. Ashley also will compete in 16 NHRA POWERade Series events as well as in additional Lucas Series races at Dallas, Texas, Englishtown, N.J., Sonoma, Calif., and Las Vegas, Nev.

A three-time NHRA national event winner, Ashley finished in the Top 10 in national points in each of her first two seasons in the Lucas Sportsman Series. She was the Division 4 (South Central Division) champion in 2004.

"This is the first time we've run a Division 2 points race," Ashley said, "but we've run the Gatornationals (the NHRA national event contested each March at Gainesville Raceway) a couple of times. It's a really good racetrack so we feel pretty good (about our chances)."

In fact, Ashley not only has "run" the Gatornationals, she's enjoyed considerable success, reaching the semifinals in 2004 and earning runner-up honors (to Aaron Olivarez) a year ago. Her father drove his Castrol GTX Funny Car to Gatornationals' victories in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999 and 2001.

A former high school cheerleader, Ashley began racing in Super Comp while attending California State University-Fullerton, from which she graduated in 2003 with a degree in communications.

The second oldest of Force's four daughters, she is one of the stars of Driving Force, a new real-life television series that will debut on A&E Network in June.

While Ashley's primary focus is on winning the Top Alcohol Dragster championship, she also will test this season in a Funny Car in hopes of moving up in classification next year to race against her dad.

In fact, she'll fly from Gainesville to Phoenix, Ariz., on Monday so that she can continue her Funny Car orientation in testing at Firebird International Raceway on Tuesday.

"Last year, I made a couple runs in dad's car," Ashley said, "but I was so scared that I'd mess it up because it wasn't like it was a show car, it was his real car and he was still racing for the championship.

"At Indy (during testing before the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the biggest race of the year), I brushed the wall and bent up the headers. I was just very uncomfortable. This year, I'm going to test in a car that was built for me and I'm really excited about it."

February 13, 2006 - Force Girls Endure a So-So Opening Event at Pomona Winternationals


As for the Force girls, stars of “Driving Force,” a real life TV series that will debut this June on A&E Network, they endured a so-so opening event.

Ashley Force, the 23-year-old former Mac Tools U.S. Nationals Champion, upset No. 6 qualifier Joe Windham in round one of Top Alcohol dragster before falling to Sean O’Bannon in round two. Brittany Force was a breakout victim in the first round of Super Comp and her younger sister, Courtney, driving an identical Brand Source-backed dragster, was ousted in round two.

February 12, 2006 - Ashley onto Second Roung after Defeating Joe Windham in First Round


ROUND 1 - 11. Ashley Force, Anaheim Hills, Calif., 5.425, 257.92 mph, def. 6. Joe Windham, Fairfield, Calif., 5.563, 257.04 mph.

February 8, 2006 - Ashley's Bid for Top Alcohol Title Runs through Southeast Division: Castrol Driver to Compete in Regional Races in Florida, Georgia


YORBA LINDA, Calif. – Ashley Force, the 23-year-old daughter of drag racing icon John Force, will contest the Southeast Division championship this season in a bid to win a national NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster title before moving up in classification to race against her dad in the Funny Car division.

Ms. Force, who finished fourth and seventh in national points in her first two seasons in the Top Alcohol class, will for the third year drive a 275 mile per hour, Castrol-backed dragster for California car owners Jerry Darien and Ken Meadows.

In pursuit of the championship, she will compete in the maximum number of events available to drivers in the Top Alcohol division eight NHRA national events and eight NHRA regional events. At season's end, each driver's five best results at the national and divisional levels will apply to the championship.

One of the stars of the upcoming real life TV series, Driving Force, debuting this June on A&E Network, Ashley will divide her time this year between the dragster in which she is pursuing the Lucas Series championship and a hybrid Castrol Ford Funny Car in which she will continue to test on Mondays at selected national event tracks.

She will begin her Southeast Division quest Feb. 24-26 at Gainesville Raceway, a track on which she also will compete March 16-19 in the 37th annual Mac Tools Gatornationals. She also will contest Southeast Division events at Bradenton (Fla.) Motorsports Park, March 24-26; Atlanta Dragway, Sept. 29-Oct. 1; and Silver Dollar Raceway (Reynolds, Ga.), Oct. 20-22.

In addition to the Gatornationals, a race in which she was runner-up a year ago, her national event schedule will include the 26th annual Summit Southern Nationals at Atlanta in which she was the Top Alcohol runner-up as a rookie in 2004.

The South Central Division champion in 2004, for which she was named both Rookie of the Year and Driver of the Year within the division, Ashley is a three-time winner on the national stage.

Her biggest victory came in 2004 at the 50th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis, Ind., the world's oldest, largest and richest drag race. However, her most memorable success came later the same year when she shared the winners' circle at the season-ending Automobile Club of Southern California Finals with her father as the first father-and-daughter winners of the same event.

Ashley is the seventh different driver to win at the national level for Darien and Meadows, whose alumni include many of today's professional stars including reigning Funny Car Champion Gary Scelzi and Top Fuel contenders Brandon Bernstein, Morgan Lucas and Melanie Troxel.

"We didn't win as much last year as we did the first year," Ashley said, "but I learned a lot more about driving. The first year, the car just seemed to go A to B every run. Last year, it shook, it smoked the tires, it did everything it shouldn't but it was a great learning experience and I think it will help this year."

In addition to the four Southeast Division events, Ashley will compete in points races at Dallas, Sonoma, Calif., Englishtown, N.J. and Las Vegas, Nev. Her national schedule begins this week with the 46th running of the season-opening CARQUEST Winternationals at Pomona, Calif.

Notable:

Ashley will divide her time this year between the Castrol dragster owned by Jerry Darien and Ken Meadows and a Castrol GTX Ford Funny Car in which she will test on Monday after selected NHRA national events.

February 8, 2006 - Difficult Season behind Her, Ashley Aims for Top Alcohol Title: Next Generation Driver Launches Bid at Winternationals


POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 9-12) – As a Top Alcohol division rookie in 2004, Ashley Force had a dream season, winning the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the Division 4 points championship and the season-ending Auto Club Finals, a race in which she shared the podium with her dad as the first father-and-daughter winners of the same NHRA event.

One might think it was that success that put the 23-year-old in position to mount a serious challenge for the series championship this season at the wheel of new and distinctively-painted Castrol dragster owned by Californians Jerry Darien and Ken Meadows.

One would be wrong.

If Ms. Force is able to end the one-year reign of current Top Alcohol Dragster champ Steve Torrence, it will be because of lessons learned, not in her rookie season, but in a less-than-stellar 2005 campaign in which she failed to win a single national event while falling from fourth to seventh in the national standings.

She'll try to apply those lessons for the first time this week when she competes, along with younger sisters Brittany and Courtney, in the season-opening, 46th annual CARQUEST Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway.

"I learned so much more last year than I did my first year," said the effervescent graduate of California State University-Fullerton. "In 2004, everything went right and I guess I thought 'this isn't so hard.' Then last year came along and everything changed.

"I was used to the car going A to B, every run," she explained, "but last year it never just went A to B. It shook the tires. It smoked the tires. It dropped cylinders. It ran to the center line. It ran to the wall.

"Dad told me that anyone can drive a car when everything's perfect. It's what you do when things aren't perfect that separates the drivers and things were far from perfect last year."

Nevertheless, based on pre-season test results those problems, the majority of which were related to NHRA's implementation of a new fuel rule, are behind her.

What's ahead, in addition to an anticipated championship run, is more Monday testing in a 7,000 horsepower Funny Car, but not her father's national record-holding Mustang.

"Last year, it was hard for her to get comfortable in my car," Force said of the second oldest of his four daughters. "We had to add padding and change the pedals every time she went out. It made more sense to build a car that fit her. So that's what we did.

"It's the car she'll drive when she moves up, whether that's next year or the year after that. It's whenever she's ready. Not whenever I'm ready."

Right now, the one-time high school cheerleader is content to race for the Top Alcohol title with a team that has come close, but never before worn the crown.

Darien and Meadows alumni include reigning NHRA Funny Car champ Gary Scelzi, former NHRA Rookie-of-the-Year Brandon Bernstein and current NHRA Top Fuel contenders Melanie Troxel and Morgan Lucas. Ashley is the seventh different driver to win for Darien and Meadows.

Notable::

*Ashley will divide her time this season between the Castrol dragster she drives for Darien and Meadows and a Castrol GTX Funny Car she will test on Mondays after selected NHRA national events with an eye toward moving up in classification in 2007.

*This week and throughout the remainder of the season, Ashley's development will come under the scrutiny of TV cameras filming DRIVING FORCE, a new real-life series debuting this June on A&E Network. Although John Force regularly will appear in the series, its focus is on his youngest daughters and their integration into the "family business."

January 29, 2006 - Ashley Testingf New Dragster Today: Funny Car Tomorrow at Phoenix Time Trials


In testing at the Phoenix National Time Trials, Ashley Force made a couple of test laps in her new McKinney Corporation Top Alcohol Dragster and recorded a best of 5.409 seconds at 249 mph for car owners Jerry Darien and Ken Meadows.. Ms. Force, 23, was to have stayed over on Monday in case there was an opportunity to make a lap or two in one of the team’s Funny Cars.

Ashley Force Repeats at Englishtown Points Meet: Castrol/Hot Wheels Driver Claims First Victory of 2005 Season


ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. – Ashley Force and crew chief Jerry Darien maintained their mastery of the Old Bridge Township Raceway Park quarter mile Sunday, repeating as Top Alcohol Dragster champions in the track’s annual Lucas Oil Sportsman Series event.

Ms. Force, the 22-year-old daughter of 13-time NHRA Funny Car Champion John Force, drove the Castrol/Hot Wheels A-Fuel dragster past the supercharged entry of Mark Albert of Baldwin, Pa., in the Top Alcohol final.

It was the second generation driver’s first victory of the 2005 season and it helped alleviate the frustration born of a poor performance in last week’s 51st annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis, Ind.

Although she had qualified No. 1 in each of her three previous appearances at Raceway Park, most recently in last June’s K&N Filters SuperNationals, part of the 23-race NHRA POWERade Series, Ashley had to settle for a No. 2 start Sunday behind Arthur Gallant, but it made little difference.

After posting a 5.391 second quarter mile time in qualifying, the graduate of Cal State-Fullerton was clocked in 5.403, 5.437 and 5.450 seconds during eliminations in an overpowering performance. In fact, her Castrol-backed dragster was the quickest in every round of competition.

A three-time NHRA national event winner, Ashley now has won four races in the Lucas Series in which she finished four in national points just a year ago. She and her team now move to Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., to compete in this week’s 21st annual Toyo Tires Nationals, a race in which she was runner-up last fall.

June 2, 2005 - Ashley gets a Lesson in Funny Cars


Topeka, Kan. – Twenty-two year old Ashley Force, daughter of legendary funny car driver John Force, was given the opportunity to warm up her father’s 8,000 horsepower Mustang funny car on Monday after the O’Reilly Auto Parts Summer Nationals.

The California girl, who currently is competing in the Top Alcohol dragster category, warmed up the Castrol GTX Start Up funny car twice in the pit before making a burnout and a 60-foot pass on the Heartland Park-Topeka drag strip.

“It wasn’t as scary as I thought it’d be,” said Ashley. “When I stood next to the car on Friday when dad warmed it up, that scared me a little, just because I had never stood that close to one of those cars before. But it sounds totally different when you are actually in the car.”

“As far as sitting in the two cockpits (the A/Fuel dragster in which she has raced for the last year-and-a-half and her father’s funny car), they are set up pretty much the same with a few differences. Instead of pulling the fuel lever, like in my car, you push it in the funny car.”

“Gary Scelzi told me to head to the gym and work on building some Popeye muscles. ‘You’re gonna need ‘em to steer on of these things,’ he told me. Like right now, I barley have Olive Oil muscles,” Ashley laughed.

“I just want to thank everybody on our team – Eric (Medlen, driver of the Castrol SYNTEC Ford), Robert (Hight, driver of the Auto Club Ford) and, of course, dad. They really helped me and always made me feel comfortable. And I especially want to thank (crew chief) Austin (Coil) for trusting me enough to test my Dad’s car,” continued Ashley.

The funny car experience could be considered the highlight of the Memorial Day weekend for Ashley.

After qualifying her Castrol and Hot Wheels sponsored A/Fuel dragster in the fourth position with a 5.424 second elapsed time, Ashley lost in the first round to number thirteen qualifier Gene Snow. The upset came when Force’s car slowed to a 6.059 second elapsed time. Snow ran a 5.691 e.t.

“The car is doing the same thing it did last weekend in Shreveport,” said Force. “It leaves weak and then drops cylinders. We were hoping to run a 5.30 that run.”

In addition to her Monday experience in the funny car, Ashley also tested her A/Fuel dragster twice to prepare for this weekend’s South Central Division’s event at Memphis Motorsports Park in Memphis, Tennessee.

Ashley adds a Second Runner-up Finish for the Force Family


PHOENIX, Ariz. – While John Force was losing to Tommy Johnson Jr. in the Funny Car final at the 22nd annual CSK Nationals at Firebird International Raceway Sunday, daughter Ashley was suffering a similar fate at a Lucas Oil Sportsman Series race 2,000 miles away in Gainesville, Fla.

Ms. Force, driving a Castrol-branded A/Fuel dragster for car owners Jerry Darien and Ken Meadows, was beaten by Aaron Olivarez of Sandy, Utah, in the Top Alcohol Dragster final by a mere .005 of a second

The 23-year-old forged a .031 of a second lead at the starting line but couldn’t hold on. Olivarez won in 5.507 seconds. Force trailed in 5.543. The No. 5 qualifier at Gainesville Raceway, Ashley beat John Finke in round one and upset No. 1 qualifier Bill Reichert in the semifinals.

Ashley will fly into Phoenix on Monday so that she can test one of the team’s Ford Funny Cars Tuesday at Firebird.

January 29, 2006 - Ashley Testing new Dragster Today - Funny Can Tomorrow at Phoenix Time Trials


In testing at the Phoenix National Time Trials, Ashley Force made a couple of test laps in her new McKinney Corporation Top Alcohol Dragster and recorded a best of 5.409 seconds at 249 mph for car owners Jerry Darien and Ken Meadows.. Ms. Force, 23, was to have stayed over on Monday in case there was an opportunity to make a lap or two in one of the team’s Funny Cars.

Ashley Loses by .005 of a second in Lucas Series Final


Ashley Force, 23-year-old daughter of drag racing icon John Force, fell just short of winning her first event of the 2006 season when she was beaten by .005 of a second (approximately two feet) in the final round of a Lucas Sportsman Series race at Gainesville Raceway.

Ms. Force gave herself a chance against favored Aaron Olivarez when she forged a .031 of a second advantage at the starting line. Unfortunately, that wasn’t quite enough to overcome Olivarez’ 5.507 second quarter mile. Ironically, it was a re-run of the final round from last year’s NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville – with the same result.

The number five qualifier in the Top Alcohol Dragster field, Ashley beat John Finke in round one and upset No. 1 qualifier Bill Reichert of Owosso, Mich., in the semifinals.

After the race, Ashley flew to Phoenix, Ariz., where on Tuesday she was to test in one of her dad’s Castrol Ford Funny Cars.

Ashley’s Next 2006 Events


March 16-19 ACDelco Gatornationals Gainesville, Fla.
March 24-26 Lucas Sports Series/Division 2 Bradenton, Fla.
March 31-April 2 O’Reilly Auto Parts Spring Nationals Houston, Texas
April 7-9 Summitracing.com Nationals Las Vegas, Nev.
May 5-7 Summit Southern Nationals Atlanta, Ga.

Results


  • 2008: Became the first female driver to win an NHRA Funny Car event; She beat her father, John Force, in the final round in Atlanta; Reached four final rounds; Earned three No. 1 qualifying awards
  • 2007: Won Auto Club Road to the Future award, given annually to top performing rookie; Advanced to first career final round at Las Vegas 2; Had a 1-1 record in head-to-head races with father, John Force; Earned Top 10 finish; Went to back-to-back semis (Atlanta and St. Louis) and was as high as seventh in the point standings
  • 2006: Obtained her Funny Car license during a test session in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 11; scored two wins in Alcohol Dragster
  • 2005: Scored two national events runner-ups in Alcohol Dragster
  • 2004: Moved up to the Top Alcohol Dragster division; won her first national event at the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals; won Division 4 Top Alcohol Dragster championship and named division's “Rookie of the Year.”
  • 2002: earned an NHRA competition drivers license after graduation from Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School and competed in Super Comp
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