The effervescent Force, who has 16 Funny Car titles on his resume and has won 141 races leading up to this 2015 season, made the announcement on a conference call. All three of the John Force Racing (JFR) Funny Car entries, for Force, Hight and daughter Courtney will be Chevrolet Camaro floppers. “This was an opportunity to go back to my roots,” bellowed Force, whose first 60 starts were behind the wheel of a Chevrolet product. From 1978-80 he raced a Corvette before switching to a Chevrolet Citation (1981-2), Camaro (1983-4), Corvette for 1985 and then a Cavalier the following year. He won the 1994 NHRA Funny Car title with a Chevrolet Lumina, posting a 50-8 record in 11 final rounds, with 10 victories and 12 No. 1 qualifiers.
Campbell, Chevrolet’s vice president for performance vehicles and motorsports said he’d been talking with the team for a while and interest grew within General Motors. He remarked that Force is “a a racer’s racer and a legend on and off the track. He’s a fierce competitor and we’re proud to welcome him back to Chevrolet.” Force had been working with Ford and Castrol for a long period of time but knew two years ago that the two long-time partners would be leaving. He announced the addition of Peak products at Las Vegas, the penultimate race on the schedule and revealed Lucas Oil as his lubricant partner during the Pomona finale. “These days you can’t race without a manufacturer,” Force stated. “We needed a major sponsor and people kept asking where we were going with a manufacturer. Everybody wanted me to stay with Detroit and GM was where I wanted to land,” he emphasized. “It’s a change and this change is good.”
The deal with Chevrolet was Force’s best holiday gift as the contract was signed just before Christmas. “My heart was with Detroit because John Force Racing is American-made. We build 90 percent of our cars here and this new relationship is right for us,” Force said. Despite rumors to the contrary, Force had no discussions with Dodge but he did talk with Toyota because he’s got friends in that company. “They have a big group of teams and drivers and we did have conversations but nothing was in writing or on the table. This is where I wanted to land,” he said. “The key is that we have Chevrolet to ourselves in Funny Car. The key is we’ve got an exclusive.”