John Force and the BlueDEF PLATINUM Chevrolet Camaro SS team head to Bristol Dragway hoping for an upswing in their season. Looking for their first win, they could hoist two Wallys, one for this weekend’s regularly scheduled NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals and another for the postponed NHRA New England Nationals.
Force has made his way to the Thunder Valley Nationals final round a total of six times, with four victories in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013. His most recent final round appearance was in 2019, where he was also the event No. 1 qualifier. Force also secured the No. 1 spot in 2015. Last year, the BlueDEF Chevy advanced to the semifinals after qualifying No. 3.
“I love racing in Bristol, I’ve raced here a lot. I remember standing with Bruton breaking ground. It’s a special place,” John Force said. “Would be the perfect spot to really turn the corner on this season. Especially with two races to win. It’s disappointing weather stopped us from getting things done in Epping, NHRA, they tried, too wet and too cold. It does add some extra excitement for this weekend though. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens. Could be an important weekend.”
The NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals will carry more weight than usual this season. After rain postponed eliminations for the New England Nationals in Epping, N.H., Bristol Dragway will now play host to a doubleheader. Beginning with the second round of qualifying, teams will be competing not only to start race day from further up the ladder but for the New England Nationals Wally. Second session of qualifying will serve as round one, third session as round two, an additional run not counting towards qualifying will be the semifinals and the final qualifying session will also host the New England Nationals finals.
After qualifying ninth, Force is set to take on Tim Wilkerson in the first round of eliminations for the Epping event as he pursues his third New England Nationals victory.
The NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway starts with qualifying Friday at 5:00 p.m. followed by the second session and first round of New England Nationals eliminations at 8:00 p.m. Saturday will include the quarterfinals of the New England Nationals during the second qualifying session at 2:00 p.m. and then the New England Nationals semifinals for Epping at 4:15 p.m. The final qualifying session as well as the New England Nationals final round will be at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. Eliminations for the Thunder Valley Nationals are set to begin at noon on Sunday.
Television coverage this weekend will be aired on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and include a Friday 7 p.m. ET Thunder Valley Nationals qualifying show and New England Nationals first round show at 8:00 p.m. ET. Saturday at 10:30 p.m. ET will be the remaining New England Nationals coverage. Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET will be a second Thunder Valley Nationals qualifying show and at 7:00 p.m. ET will air the Thunder Valley Nationals eliminations.