He feels ready to be a Force again
Dixon’s Miller Lite team will be working with a new crew chief, with Donnie Bender replacing the retired Dick LaHaie. “I’m looking forward to start testing and to see how we progress as we head into the Winternationals in a few weeks,” Dixon said. The NHRA Wally Parks Motorsports Museum will open its So-Cal Speed Shop exhibit today. The event will be run in conjunction with the Grand National Roadster Show, scheduled today through Sunday at Fairplex. Advance tickets for the show are available at the museum, which is located at 1101 W. McKinley Ave. in Pomona. Auto Club Dragway, located on the grounds of California Speedway in Fontana, will host a Summit Racing Series event this weekend. firstname.lastname@example.org (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2239 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! His quest begins this weekend when the NHRA’s preseason kicks off with the NHRA Nitro Blast-off at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It’s the first of three testing events for the Powerade Series tour. Practice sessions also are slated for Chandler, Ariz. on Jan 28-29 and Las Vegas again on Feb. 4-5. The season kicks off with the 46th annual Winternationals at Fairplex on Feb. 9-12. “We made a lot of progress over the winter, and now it’s time to see what progress we made,” said Force, winner of 13 titles since 1990. “We developed a new car and now the focus is winning and getting back on track. I’m ready.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded cardForce is hoping to rebound from what statistically was his worst season since winning his first title in 1990. He did win a class-best five events, but lost 10 times in the first round. That paved the way for Gary Scelzi, who won Top Fuel three times between 1997-2000, to score his first championship in Funny Car. Ron Capps, Scelzi’s teammate, also beat out Force for second. “I think I was guilty more than anyone (on the team) of believing I couldn’t lose,” Force said. “Bottom line, we had the car to win, I just didn’t do my job. “I have my focus back. We’ll see what happens. Last year, you have to ask yourself, `Did they win? Or did we lose?’ Bottom line, 10 first-round losses is ridiculous. We figured it out over the winter and now we’re ready.” The upcoming testing season also will be good training for two-time Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon, who finished second to Tony Schumacher last season. It’s been nearly three months since National Hot Rod Association icon John Force experienced what once seemed to be the unthinkable. But after the reality of failing to win the Powerade Series Funny Car title for just the third time since 1990, Force is ready to reclaim what most believed was practically his birthright.