10-13-09bobbyonforceGood for you!!  I am so tired of all this BS about JF throwing the race for Robert Hight.  And I'm tired of self-righteous Tony Pedregon whining about his million pesos.  Poor Tony and his little team only funded by Quaker State.  Oh wait a minute they're a pretty big company too.  Like you said Force has done more to keep the pro categories of this sport alive than anyone in the past 25 years.  I believe he did exactly what he needed to do for his team given the rules NHRA created for this increasingly stupid countdown.  NHRA has always prided itself as better than NASCAR because everyone has to qualify for every race.  Then they decide to mimic NASCAR and the countdown.  Like it or not there have always been teams in motorsports and teams sometimes act like teams.    And just to remind everyone - It ain't the middle east, it ain't health care- IT'S JUST A GAME!!! Get over it people. - David Thatcher


10-13-09bobbyonforceGood for you!!  I am so tired of all this BS about JF throwing the race for Robert Hight.  And I'm tired of self-righteous Tony Pedregon whining about his million pesos.  Poor Tony and his little team only funded by Quaker State.  Oh wait a minute they're a pretty big company too.  Like you said Force has done more to keep the pro categories of this sport alive than anyone in the past 25 years.  I believe he did exactly what he needed to do for his team given the rules NHRA created for this increasingly stupid countdown.  NHRA has always prided itself as better than NASCAR because everyone has to qualify for every race.  Then they decide to mimic NASCAR and the countdown.  Like it or not there have always been teams in motorsports and teams sometimes act like teams.    And just to remind everyone - It ain't the middle east, it ain't health care- IT'S JUST A GAME!!! Get over it people. - David Thatcher

I am not a big John Force fan but you guys need to get off his back. He did what he had to do to get his teammate in the countdown. If he hadn't you'd be all over him for not being a team player. If I were a gambling man I'd say he'd do it again this year if it helped one of his team win the championship and I would personally applaud him for it.

If he can't win it why should someone NOT on his team win it because the media and some fans think that beating your own car and taking it out of contention is honorable. His job is to bring a championship back to Force racing.

That is why they call it a team - Jim Croyle

Not that I'm defending Force's dive, but the media needs to beat another dog for a while. He's been throwing races for years, and everyone knows it. The "John Force Show" on Sunday ESPN has been on too long. Asking the same questions everytime the Force team lines up is not good reporting. - Barry Claus

I agree with your editorial. Before that run happened at Indy I had a lot of respect for Force although I must admit that I was almost always rooting for his adversary. But Force has always been quite a character and his interviews always amused me. It may be true that he took the dive as part of a "business" decission but he definitively gave the race to Robert on a silver platter. In Virginia he look ofended and hurt when ESPN asked the question, but what happened? Force lost again. Remember, this is a business and now Robert has a much better chance of winning the championship. True, ESPN should stop asking the same question all over again, but the end result is that Force is damaged and this will haunt him for the rest of his career. - Roberto E. Hidalgo

Its John's money, John's cars, John's world. In fact it's JFRA - John Force Racing Assoc. - Greg King

I've watched John Force from the Safety Safari trucks for years. I remember, like many, when he couldn't buy a round win. Still he stuck with it. clawing his way to the top.

I don't give a rats ass if he did or didn't let Robert win. By God he was the only one that had the power to help his team and he did it.

What I'm tired of is the dumb ass Pedregon's whining about what happened. If Tony hadn't got the big head and left Force he might be on top of the heap again. As far as I'm concerned he and Cruz are where they belong. The crying line for losers.

Yes, I hope ESPN will give it a rest and report on what's happening here and now. Without the speculation of what might happen in a Force vs Force team race.

And don't get me started on Tony winning a race when he was clearly underweight. I mean, that body coming of trick was very clever. - Fred Brown

I have been a John Force fan for over 15 years. I was buying his diecast when that sort of thing wasn't as popular as it is today. I'm not a fan of throwing races and I never will be but I'm also not a fan of cry babies (Tony P) who can't seem to win a big race when it counts so he uses John to get back into the spotlight by calling him a cheater. Tony owes a lot of his success to John for if it wasn't for Force's belief in Tony to hire him as a driver, Tony might not have been able to put the F/C deal together he has today. So stop the name calling Tony and get back to working hard and try to win some races after all that is what your sponsor is paying you to do. As for John every time he loses to Robert or Ashley some driver or stupid ESPN flunkee is going to call him on it and thats a shame. No one person besides Wally Parks has done more for NHRA then John and he has earned more respect then a lot of people have been showing him, thanks for your time. - Jerry Fascione

John Force has disgraced himself and his "legend" by his actions this year. Not only is it clear that there are team orders, but its also crystal clear that Ashley will always get preferential treatment from Pops. Rather than having her work for it from the bottom up (like he did), he is going to try and hand it to her. It is pathetic and almost laughable. She will quite possibly be the worst driver in NHRA history to ever win the championship. Thanks John! - Mike Parsons

Indy in my mind was a disgrace.  Dallas' one lane track was a disgrace, almost like once the field was qualified, NHRA decided to prep one lane to benefit team force.  Of course others benefited as well but that is beside the point.  But it is a damned good thing that Force and Hight are not in to theatrics.  They both suck as actors. First the facade about starting late for Hight, but both bodies are up at the same time. Then Farce goes deep to insure a better light, Hight's light sucks as normal (this is not a world champion). Then they run, Farce's car mixes a few cylinders and he shuts off.  I have never seen a competitive driver shut off just because he is mixing up cylinders. He flat shuts off.  Then the top end.  Interview Hight (Low in my opinion) as bla bla bla and when mentioned about Force turning off the top light he lamely states Yea, whats up with that.  Cough Cough BS.  Force sounds like something out of Charlie Brown and bla bla bla bla bla and states Oh, I didn't mean to go deep, or whatever.  I have seen Farce go deep so damned many times it is sickening to hear him lie like a fool.  Terrible acting.  A total disgrace for the sport so many of us love.  If not for lack of money (19K a year) I would be out there kicking their butts myself.  I was Multi time dragbike track champion at Famoso and the only thing more exciting is funny cars. I never gave quarter and I would never accept quarter. - Mark "Hog Wild" Elms

Let it go. I'm tired of ESPN re-hashing the same thing every race weekend. I don't care if John Force threw the race, but I wish he would throw some of these so called interviewers over the fence. - Susan Foley

Reporters have nothing better to do than make a story bigger than it is.

What this country and this sport need is fewer reporters and fewer attorneys. - Jim Minix

John has spent many years getting to this point and in my book has earned the right to do whatever works best for him, his sponsors, and his teams.  The media needs to find another story and the whinny Pedregons need to worry about their own race cars and stop worrying about Force. - Pat "Ma" Green

I think that everyone should shut-up about the run at Indy.  I think that Robert and Jimmy Prock have very much proven that they deserve to be there, or did all the other teams suddenly forget how to race.  If Robert was still in tenth place I would say that maybe Force needs to stand up and truly clear the air.  Robert may not have been the best car for a while, but what team hasn't had their slump?  Let the finish line do the talking and in the end, may the best car win. - Mark A. Eudy

Personally I think the "interviewers" are just looking for ratings. They should focus their questions else where. You don't keep beating a dead horse..If the other teams had done their jobs better up until that run there would be nothing to wine about and John would not have been in that situation. Team mates help one another. Force has given to much of his life to drag racing to deserve this. People forget way to easily. Ask anyone who has crashed since the safety changes Force's crew inovated and paid for, bet he is still on their Christmas card list... OK I feel better. - Brett VanBrocklin

Robert Hight?
Ron Capps?
Ashley Force?

Hey what about Tony Pedregon running for the championship,  It is obvious you are pro Force but who honestly has what it takes to win the title and has been there before and dealt with the pressure and won?


He should have come clean right off the bat. just like Warren & Kurt Johnson have done in the past. Business is business,but being truthful to the fans & media would have hurt his reputation for a short time,but people are quick to forgive if you are honest about making bad decision at at the time. Now there will always be that doubt every time he meets up with his drivers, from a fan who dislikes multi funny car teams. - Richard Arbiso

I think that he gave Robert the win. It's a team car, what did they think would happen? The problem as I see it was the way it was done. Taking the wrong lane, getting crossed up etc. This is a world class driver, not a casual spectator. He could have looked more competitive this way everybody is still guessing and Coil can say "I missed on the setup, shoot me". - Arthur Cimilluca

Spot-on Bobby.  I'm disappointed Force took a dive, but really tired of ESPN2 beating the dead horse.  Force has done an incredible amount for this sport and it's time to move on. - Bill Costain

I could not agree more, ESPN needs to put it to bed.  John F. IS DRAG RACING and if he messed up it's now in the past.

To keep bringing up the same question is just hurtful. It will not change anything other than to remind people of what has happened.  

What is done is done, and I have to agree with what Whit B. said a few weeks back, Tony P. should not throw stones, as he won a world championship thanks to John Force. - Randy S. Christian.


I was on the top end breaking up that argument in Indianapolis. I can honestly say that I didn't know that ESPN was working their magic to heighten that match up. Frankly I really don't care, but I'd like to add that I had a chance to talk to the champ after the race and he was just upset that he did what he did and apologized to me for doing what he did and how he reacted. The man is human and I wish that this story would just go away so we can all just enjoy this Funny Car battle which is rather intense. I'm a huge John Force fan and getting the opportunity to let him know that he's still the champ to a lot of people including myself was priceless. ESPN needs to stop running the video of that day and get on with the business at hand, drag racing, not soap operas. - David L. Humphrey

ESPN is trying to cause problems to increase viewership. What they don't realize or care about is that with out John Force and his cars Drag Racing as we know it for the last 20 yrs will die a not so slow death. The No Happy Racers Allowed.

(NHRA) should tell ESPN to shut up and quit causing trouble, but they don't have the balls to do anything that is good for racing. ESPN is not a partner to NHRA but rather an adversary. Look how they preempt  racing for some no name college game of some kind. Bad boys ESPN. - Larry Morrison

Actually, all this is old news. But apparently the media have become just an extension of The National Enquirer. As long as they can keep the smell going, they will continue to stir the pile of manure. When they can't milk a situation for a little more attention or air time, the subject becomes passe. Meanwhile, the rest of the world moves on into tomorrow while they wander around in yesterday. - Ted Smith

Leave him alone. He did what he had to do and any businessman would have done the same. There are millions of dollars on the line. To let your team mate sit out and the sponsor to sit out the chase is foolish. Everyone would have done the same but Force has 4 cars and the odds are the he might have to do it again. Let him alone and let's go racing. - Joe Rossman

Here here!! Great editorial finally someone with some balls to stand up to the big bad bully JF and all his cohorts! I've been in semi-retirement watching the races from the sidelines of course on my brothers side they are the only ones that have the balls to say it how it really is. They can say some jacked up things at times but the obivious facts remain JF has been doing this layin down bs for years its about time he is exposed the greedy b*******! - Frank Pedregon

Everyone needs to keep in mind that even though we're talking about one round, for Robert's competitors it is about a season of rounds lost. Any one round won and this isn't an issue. I don't condone "taking a dive" but as long as there are multi car teams it will be a factor. It is in other forms of racing and it will be in drag racing as well. Face it, with the economy we need multi-car teams to ensure full fields. There were only 15 Top Fuel cars at Richmond. No-one benefits from that. One of the things that makes the NHRA product unique is that it's different than the Nascar and the IRL fans
can get up close and personal. That interaction is essential to your success. While ESPN does a great job of coverage and goes out of the way to educate the fan they need to report and move on. I'm tired of re-hashing Indy every time Cruz, Tony, John and Robert come to the line whether qualifying or eliminations. Stop making it like Nascar and the IRL or the WWF. I don't think it benefits the NHRA brand or drag racing to focus on the negative. If it looks like the other sanctioning bodies what's the reason to follow drag racing. Not to give John a pass, but it's time to move on. - Gary Harkins

If the entertainment world ever had a more “talented” person than Michael Jackson, I am not sure who it would be.  It is a shame that I (and many others) will remember him more for his idiosyncrasies than for the amazing talent.

If the drag racing world ever had a more “fierce” competitor or a better ambassador for the sport than John Force, I am not sure who it would be.  It is a shame that I (and many others) will remember him more for selling his integrity, than for his many wins and championships.  That is not an exaggeration; I will never have respect for John Force again.  Maybe he was thinking with his dipstick like that stupid commercial from his sponsor.

Integrity is much like innocence, once you lose it, you never get it back.  I am also amazed at the Force fans who justify this lack of integrity my saying something like; “others have done the same thing,” or “anyone else would do the same thing in the same set of circumstances” or “business is business.”

The only reason I am offended more by this incident than by other sports, is my passion for drag racing.  NASCAR teams have done the same thing for years, but that does not make it ethical.  It reminds me of a story told by a former employer, about a man seeing an attractive woman and asking her if she would sleep with him for $5,000.  She was enthusiastic when she answered; “Sure!”  He then asked if she would sleep with him for $10.  The girl was offended and asked; “What kind of girl do you think I am?”  The man replied; “We have already established that; now we are just haggling over the price.”

Whether you are talking about drag racing, stock car racing, Indy car racing or even baseball, football or basketball; the big bucks of sponsorship, TV money, national exposure for the products; and team owners more interested in making a profit than racing or playing the game, has tainted the sports world.

I know this trend is irreversible, but I still miss the days when a driver, mechanic or even a player in another sport would work a normal job to support himself, just so he could participate in the sport he loved for virtually no compensation. - Gary Minty

John Force did cheat, as was obvious for all to see.  The past has often shown the Force teams manipulating results, but now, given the pressures of the Countdown, and the cameras focused on that, everyone got to see what other races have had to deal with regarding the Force teams for years.

John Force needs to own up to cheating in this instance, admit it openly, without any excuses or whining about responsibility to sponsors, etc. .  His greatest responsibility is to drag racing fans by providing honest competition, not manipulative business practices for his own gain.  If John Force would now man-up to cheating, the effects might be less pronounced on his reputation long-term.

Contrary to the obvious sentimentality of the Editor of Comp Plus, I feel John Force should NOT escape being labeled a cheater in his legacy, and if Hight does win the Funny Car Championship this year, it IS tainted.  Why should John Force be less accountable than other athletes who have cheated in some way in their sport, and forever after must carry on with that stigma attached?   So it goes for John Force from now on.

So John Force has risen from rags to riches?  Many have, in many different fields, some much tougher and less thankful than racing has provided him.  They do not carry on at any and every opportunity reminding people what a great person they are for overcoming their heritage.  No, true heroes maintain humility and let their eventual accomplishments speak.

While John Force provides good stories for the Press, print and other media, with his constant sideshow antics and hyperventilating about himself, etc., I have never felt and still do not feel he is a quality spokesman or representative for drag racing – quite the opposite.  He, in fact, brings notice to drag racing for the bumpkin aspects that many still believe is drag racing, which it isn’t any longer.  And that aspect surely does NOT appeal to many sponsors who might have come into to support our sport.

Saying that John Force is currently the only strong representative in the sport of drag racing, is to openly belittle those currently active, such as Larry Dixon, Greg Anderson, Jegs, Ron Capps, the Schumachers, the Bernsteins, Frank Manzo – the list is long for those who weekly, year in and year out, l bring the great assets of their talent with humility, instead of the constant self-promotional sideshow – and now this cheating - that John Force does. - Ken Tesoriere


While I appriciate your position with ESPN & JF, I also feel he and the NHRA have turned me away from the sport I love and have been directly involved with since the late '60's. There are far too many people that have drank from the John Force Kool-Aid. I'm sick & tired of seeing nothing but JF every few minutes while watching an event on TV. The sport is NOT just about him but about all the competitors that we never see during the broadcast. Even when one of these racers is being interviewed, a split screen is brought up showing ole Johnnie. Enough is enough! - Kevin LeBlond

Good editorial. Personally, I'm tired of multi-car teams. Ed McCulloch made a good point during his interview, stating that
Force basically shot himself in the foot, trying to please all of his sponsors, as each car is sponsored by ALL the sponsors Force has on board. He can't please them all. I believe there are team orders in the Force camp, and always have been.

Ever notice how Force always dodges a direct question? He won't say "yes" or "no". It's always "I did what my sponsors pay me to do"...Yadda Yadda.

I used to be a big Force fan. No more. - Allen Tucker

A couple of years ago Morgan Lucas beat his teammate, Melanie Troxel, and knocked her out of the countdown.  He wasn't in the countdown, so the team missed out on it.  Mike Dunn and everbody else threw Morgan under the bus for this. Doug Herbert threw a race to hand Joe Amato a championship in the early 90's and admitted it on TV.  This has happened for decades and now all of a sudden everybody has done a 180 and thrown Force under the bus. Drag racing is a business. There is no way to control it. It is part of auto racing in general. - Paul Rico

Why can't they leave JFR alone....they did not go this far overboard when DSR had unapproved nitro in their pit area, and DSR was fined for this infraction.  Nothing else has been said about that, but isn't it a fact that they ran some excellent numbers.  Which fuel was being used?

JFR is high profile, they are to the point of harassment.  John started out as a racer, now team owner and racer.  Conflict of interest?  Maybe...unpardonable...never. ESPN is keeping this alive....from what I hear (I am not a NASCAR fan), they are trying to rival the "spats of the NASCAR drivers. This is childish and definitely does not get my vote for enticing fans to watch.

I am personally tired of hearing every conversation start off with reference to the Indy race....It is done, it is over, John

Force has to live with what he did or did not do....but please enough from ESPN, Mike Dunn, Dave Reiff and Gary Gerould.  Enough is enough...

To Mr. Gerould.....go back and look at the interview you attempted with John Force...listen tothe tone of voice you used with was actually threatening....think about what you are doing.  

I will always continue to watch drag racing...but it is with deep regret, I will flip the station from now on when the reporters from ESPN walk up to John Force and ask about him and Robert racing....get on with the championship.....Leave them alone.

If any of you can live in a glass house safely, more power to you....I highly doubt it...but if you feel that you can okay.

John Force has done more for this sport than many others that have the and power.  He chose to give you as sportsman choose to take away. - Tami Robnett

Force blew it plain and simple,in this day and age when so much is wrong with wall street and washington, when we thought we had those to look up to in racing, even that is gone, enough with this political correctness bs. I am tired of Force, his long winded tiraids and his fake Ford hemi. Maybe he can paint this Indy blunder blue and call it something else. - Brian Dutton

Nice blog, but you failed to mention the fact the flames were fanned and continue to be fed by also rans like bazemore, whose sour grapes attude ended his career. And loud mouth Mike Dunn who should have reported on what he saw rather than trying to help his close friend T.P..By the way because of this incident is now on an unraveling shoe string. And of course the guys at espn who seem to want to become part of the FOX news team. Maybe turn the history pages back some years and check out who started these teams and manipulated the system then. If you are trying to take down NHRA Drag Racing you're doing a good job. - Rob Rogala

Business is business and they all know it. Thats the name of the game. I wonder how many of them would like to be in Force's place and what they would do if they were. NHRA drag racing is a show, if I want to watch real drag racing I watch Pinks all out. - Rick Fried

As soon as you understand this business and not a sport anymore.there isnot a person who wouldnot do the same thing. 40 percent is better than 30 percent, its all about the money so get off John's back and accept that John did what he had to do. - George Umfleet


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