The only differences this year for Force Hood, who will test in Phoenix later this month prior to the season opener in Pomona, where she was runner-up in November, will be a new '10 Mustang body, a new paint scheme commemorating John Force Racing's 25th anniversary with Castrol, and a couple of new crewmembers. A special paint scheme will commemorate Force's 25th anniversary with Castrol. 10 Mike Neff After two-plus seasons behind the wheel of John Force's fourth Mustang, former championship-winning crew chief Mike Neff isn't sure what his role will be in 2010.
FUNNY CAR ) ) ) )))) Robert Hight 1 Ashley Force Hood 2 A fter barely making the Countdown to 1 in 2009, there’s one thing that defending champ Robert Hight and his Jimmy Prock-led Auto Club team won’t do again in 2010. F rom start to finish, Ashley Force Hood’s Castrol GTX Mustang was arguably the class’ most consistent car in 2009. A two-time winner, she tied Tony Pedregon for the class lead in final- “We’re going to try a few things in testing, but we’re not going to round appearances with eight and made three of the five fastest get crazy this year; that’s what got us in trouble last year,” said Hight. 1,000-foot runs in Funny Car history, setting the national record at “There are other cars that can run right with ours, and you’re always 312.13 mph. With that, stands to reason that co-crew chiefs Dean looking for a little advantage, but we’ve learned that there’s a learning Antonelli and Ron Douglas haven’t changed much. curve with all that testing. We’re going to try to refine a few things, “I don’t think we’re making too many changes,” said Force but for the most part, we’re going to leave things alone. Our car ran Hood. “I think we might be using the car that we ran before I had well at the end of the year, and we believe there’s no reason that it my big explosion in Reading. That was our favorite car, and we were can’t start out like that.” really bummed when that happened and had to switch to our spare Hight struggled for much of 2009, clinching the 10th and final car. The nice thing is that our spare will now be the one that we ran playoff spot at the 18th and last regular-season race, then won three of at the end of the year, so we’ll be pretty comfortable with both.” the Countdown to 1’s six races to deliver John Force Racing its 16th The only differences this year for Force Hood, who will test in Funny Car championship. Phoenix later this month prior to the season opener in Pomona, “There are more good cars than there are spots in the Countdown, where she was runner-up in November, will be a new ’10 Mustang so we have to do a better job all year,” said Hight, who won two races body, a new paint scheme commemorating John Force Racing’s 25th and finished fifth as a rookie in 2005 and has won three races in each anniversary with Castrol, and a couple of new crewmembers. of the last three seasons, finishing second, second, fourth, and first, “The body is going to be a big part of testing because that’s respectively. “We just squeaked in last year, and we don’t want to do something new, but I don’t think it’s going to be a big difference” that again.” said Force Hood, who has finished 10th, sixth, and second, Fitted with a new ’10 Mustang body, which he tested earlier this respectively, in her first three seasons. “Other than that, we had two month in West Palm Beach, Fla., Hight will begin his title defense with guys leave, so we brought over two from my dad’s team. Every year the same chassis that he finished with in 2009. we’ve had one or two “We are going to run the new guys, but this is 2010 body, and we’re the first year that the hoping there’s some new guys aren’t new at performance advantage all, so I think that gives there that might help us,” us a little bit of an said Hight. “It’s not a lot advantage. Getting used different, just a little to someone new in more swoopy. The camp is not something coolest thing is the No. 1 we’re going to have to on the side.” deal with.” Ron Capps It will again carry a Charger body but with a slightly different paint scheme, featuring more yellow than red. 3 R on Capps equaled his career high for wins in a season with a class- best five victories in 2009. Unfortunately for him, none of them came during the Countdown to 1’s six-race playoff. Led again by crew “We have another in-house DSR car built that we’ll be running later, but we’re starting the season with the car we ended last year with,” said chief Ed “the Ace” McCulloch, Capps and his Don Schumacher Racing Capps, who tested earlier this month in West Palm Beach, Fla. “We ran NAPA Auto Parts team will try to reverse that trend in 2010. it until Denver, won the race, then went into test mode, testing different “We started off smoking last year, and if not for th
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