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John Force, Peak Chevy Ready to Kick Off Countdown at Maple Grove Raceway

John Force and the PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevrolet Camaro SS team enter the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, the first race of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship, sitting No. 9 in the points standings after the points reset and Force’s five championship bonus points were added.

Sitting only 99 points back from the lead, Force’s No. 9 position is the lowest he’s ever begun the six-race playoffs, matching his start from 2018 when he eventually went on to finish fourth. Force is among only five Funny Car drivers who have qualified for every Countdown, teammate Robert Hight is among the group. Force enters the Countdown looking for his first win of the season after the regular season delivered a runner-up finish at the rain-delayed New England Nationals in New Hampshire and a No. 1 qualifying spot at the Northwest Nationals near Seattle.

“It’s Countdown time, it’s exciting, everything resets. It’s like a fresh start. I know we’ve got some work to do, but it’s coming around. These last six races, we could make it. Daniel Hood, Tim Fabrisi, all these PEAK guys, I’ve got faith in them,” Force said. “Maple Grove Raceway has history, and its new owners have really put their heart into the facility. I’m excited to get back there, excited to get this Countdown started. I’m going for 17, that’s why I’m out here.”

Force has had considerable success at Maple Grove Raceway winning seven times across three different decades (1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1997, 2001 and 2013). Most recently, Force and the PEAK Chevy finished runner-up in 2021 and 2019. The 16-time champion has earned eight No. 1 qualifying positions at the facility and picked up wins from the top spot in 1990, 1994,2001 and 2013.

Competition at the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway begins with qualifying Friday at 3 and 6 p.m. and Saturday at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Eliminations will be run Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Television coverage of the first of six NHRA Countdown to the Championship events begins with qualifying shows Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 (FS1). Eliminations will be covered by FOX Broadcasting Network with shows Sunday at either 4:30 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. ET, check your local listings.

This story was originally published on September 13, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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