Help me see John Force race!
May 22, 2007 8:02 AM   Subscribe

Help me see John Force race this summer.

Hi there, I know absolutely nothing about car races, the NHRA, or anything even remotely related, but I've been watching Driving Force on A&E and I think it'd be cool to go see John Force and/or his daughter race one day. Problem is, the NHRA seems like a confusing mess of various leagues, car styles, and other things making it hard to find out when and where I can see the Force family.

John Force's website schedule says they'll be in Bristol, TN at the O’Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals from July 6-8. This is probably the closest place to me, so I'd like to shoot for that one. Is it guaranteed that they will be there racing?

Tickets for each day are somewhat expensive (and I'm not really sure I'd want to go every day anyway), so if I were to go to either July 6th, 7th, or 8th, which day would be best to ensure I get to see a Force race? Is it even possible -- what with the nature of a race -- to be absolutely sure a particular team will be racing? Further, if it is possible, which day would maximize the number of times I would get to see them race?

Thanks in advance.... I need all the help I can get!
posted by nitsuj to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total)
It's been a LONG time since I followed the NHRA but I don't know of any reason why John Force wouldn't be there, especially if it's on his schedule on his website. Someone else can chime in that has been following recent seasons.

I can say for certain that you will love the Bristol facility. It's a really neat place. Also, NHRA tickets compared to NASCAR tickets are incredibly inexpensive, especially for Bristol! I think if you go, you will be glad you did. Have fun!
posted by bristolcat at 8:18 AM on May 22, 2007

John Force races what's known as a "funny car". Absent mischance or misdeed, he'd be expected to be at every major NHRA event. If that particular one is listed on his site then the odds are very good -- but there are no guarantees in this life.

If you want to be sure to see him race, you'd want to get a ticket for the first day. He usually qualifies but that's never certain, and if he didn't qualify he wouldn't race the other two days.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:20 AM on May 22, 2007

Steven is pretty dead-on, though I should mention that John has only failed to qualify once in the last twenty years (a few weeks ago).

The NHRA is not really that complicated once you learn it. There are a limited number of NHRA events and there are classes within NHRA (top fuel, funny car, pro stock, pro stock bike), but then it does muddle it up a bit that they throw other leagues/classes in at a lot of the events. Just know that you want to focus on the NHRA Powerade Series

I've been to about 10 of the races in Brainerd, MN, and several in Las Vegas and it's definitely an experience you will love. You really can't even appreciate nitro drag racing until you're there in person. If you have the chance, the one in Vegas is a lot of fun and a great excuse to go to Vegas.
posted by atomly at 8:26 AM on May 22, 2007

You're in for a real treat as a first-timer.

Be sure to take some kind of hearing protection.
posted by buggzzee23 at 10:22 AM on May 22, 2007

You can never prepare yourself for an up-close encounter with a Top Fuel car. It is positively insane. No TV broadcast can convey the experience. Enjoy!
posted by daveleck at 10:23 AM on May 22, 2007

Force is definitely a character, and a hell of a fine driver. But he's not the only one worth watching, by any means. If you go, keep your eyes out for motorcyclist Angelle Sampey. She's won more events than any other woman in the history of motor sports (41 and counting).
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 12:28 PM on May 22, 2007

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