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John Force, Peak Have A Lot To Celebrate At Heartland Motorsports Park

John Force’s PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car will have a special “Happy Birthday” message to PEAK’s parent company, Old World Industries, founder and Chairman Tom Hurvis at this weekend’s Menards NHRA Nationals at Heartland Motorsports Park, the final NHRA Camping World Series National event that will be held at the racetrack.

To commemorate his 85th birthday that just passed on Monday, August 7th, the hood of Force’s Funny Car will feature Hurvis’ photo and recognize him as the “Ultimate PEAK Performer” alongside a “Happy 85th Birthday” message.  

“I’m excited to have this tribute to Tom Hurvis on my car for his birthday. He’s an individual that built a great company with his partners. He’s unbelievable. I learn so much from him, I’m taking notes on how he’s building his legacy. The different foundations he works with to educate the youth. I read his book, which I’m glad I did because he quizzed me on it after,” Force said. “I have a lot of love and respect for him and his family. I want to make him proud with the way I drive this PEAK Camaro.”

This will be the final national event hosted at Heartland Motorsports Park with the track closing at the end of the year. Force will hope to close the track with a third consecutive trip to the finals. Force has taken his PEAK Chevy to the final round the last two years, finishing runner-up in 2022 but winning alongside daughter Brittany Force in 2021 to make it the first time a parent-child duo had won together in the professional categories.

“This has been a great racetrack for a lot of years. I know it’s not easy keeping a track going so I’m sad to see this one go,” Force said. “I have a lot of memories here, a lot of wins, but 2021 was special, to share the winner’s circle with my daughter, Brittany, that was something else, that was a dream. Maybe we can do it at Heartland Motorsports Park one more time. I have a fast race car, this PEAK Chevy, now it’s just about getting the job done.”

John Force’s 10 career wins in Topeka include three in the spring race only contested from 1993 through 1997. He won both the spring and fall races in 1996, the year he was named Driver of the Year for all of motorsports after winning 13 of 19 starts. In addition to 1996 and 2021, his wins at the Menards Nationals came in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2005, and 2008. Force has started from the No. 1 qualifying position seven times (1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, and 2013). He also was the No. 1 qualifier in four of five years in the spring race (1993, 1994, 1995, and 1996). 

The Menards NHRA Nationals at Heartland Motorsports Park begins with three rounds of qualifying Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 3 and 5:30 p.m. Eliminations will begin Sunday at 11 a.m. Television coverage of the event will be on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) with qualifying shows Saturday at 7 p.m. ET and Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. Eliminations will be air Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.

This story was originally published on August 9, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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