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Maggie Smith

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From our friends at JOHN FORCE RACING - The road to Route 66 NHRA Nationals

Posted by Maggie Smith on Jul 8, 2016 1:25:58 PM

HOMETOWN PEAK RACE HAS JOHN FORCE EXCITED FOR WIN

CHICAGO, IL (July 5, 2016) --- John Force does not need extra motivation to get excited about coming to a race track. The 143-time Funny Car national event winner and record holder of almost every NHRA record just wants to entertain and put on a show for the fans. This weekend in Chicago, home of his primary sponsor PEAK Antifreeze & Coolant’s parent company Old World Industries, Force will be looking to being home one more trophy.

“This is a big race for me and for my PEAK team. We are in Chicago and that is where Old World Industries and PEAK have their headquarters. Bryan Emrich, the chief marketing officer and my boss, will be at the track with his people and we want to put on a good show for them. I’ll be ready in this PEAK Chevrolet Camaro Funny Car and I am excited,” exclaimed Force.

John Force has raced to six final rounds at Rt 66 Raceway and picked up three wins. In 2013 he lost a close final round to Matt Hagan but Force went on to win his 16th Funny Car championship that season. His last win in Chicago was 2006 when he took out teammate Robert Hight in the final.

“I love racing is Chicago. There is a lot of history here and my former crew chief the great Austin Coil raced the Chi-Town Hustler Funny Car. We have a lot of fans in Chicago and this is a great facility. So far this season my team has been doing OK but I don’t want to just be OK I want to keep going after those championships. I have the fire and I have a young team that keeps me motivated,” said Force.

Force’s PEAK Funny Car team is led by crew chief Jon Schaffer who is entering his second year at the helm of the winningest driver in NHRA’s history Funny Car. Schaffer was the ace assistant to Mike Neff for a number of seasons and took over the lead position for Force last year leading him to win in Las Vegas and Epping and a Top Ten finish. The youth surrounding Force has continued to keep Force focused on performance and entertainment.

“When I put on my firesuit I feel like I am 20 years old again. I see how all these young guys are working so hard on my race car and I want to make sure I perform. I am on my practice tree all the time. I am working out and watching what I eat. We got these new Camaros and they are awesome. I still love what I do and I will do it as long as I can,” said Force.

CHICAGO SUCCESS TOP PRIORITY FOR ROBERT HIGHT AND AUTO CLUB CAMARA

CHICAGO, IL (July 5, 2016) --- Robert Hight and the Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car team are taking the positive momentum from a semi-final finish at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals two weeks ago and focusing on winning for the second time in 2016. The 2009 Funny Car champion started 2016 with two semi-final finishes and a win at the historic Gatornationals. This weekend at the Rt 66 NHRA Nationals Hight will be looking for his second win of the season and 38th of his career.

“We had a good testing session and brought that momentum with us into the first part of the season. We were going rounds and picked up the win at the Gatornationals but we knew we were going to need more performance for the end of the season,” said Hight. “Mike Neff and this team went to work on a number of areas we thought we could improve. It has taken some time but we are seeing the progress.”

The progress Hight is referring to is performance numbers that are career defining for Hight. In Topeka Hight ran a career quickest elapsed time and speed and then he lowered his best elapsed time at each of the previous two races running 3.897 seconds and 3.886 seconds in Bristol and Norwalk respectively. Both of those races saw Hight qualify No. 3 and go rounds.

“Our performance numbers have been steadily getting better. Now we are working on consistency. This class is really competitive and all three of these John Force Racing Camaros are working together in qualifying. I am glad Courtney will get her 2016 Camaro this weekend in Chicago because then we will all have the same body and that will help across the board,” added Hight.

Hight got his 2016 Camaro in Epping and since then the former crew member turned Funny Car world champion has had nothing but positive comments. After eighteen months of design and fabrication from Chevrolet engineers and the John Force Racing fab shop team the finished product has delivered a great new look.

“So much time went into these new bodies that it will take some time to get the most out of them at the track. They are lighter and you can see out of the windshield so much better. I just want to start seeing more win lights and I know my team can start making that happen,” said Hight who has 57 career final round appearances. “I have been to the a couple final rounds in Chicago and I would love to get the first win in the new Camaro at Rt 66 Raceway.”

The Auto Club Funny Car reached the final round in 2006 and 2010. Hight also has two No. 1 qualifying efforts at Rt 66 Raceway, earning the top spot in 2005 and 2010. Over Hight’s career in Chicago he only has two first round loses and while he sits No. 8 in the Mello Yello point standings Hight knows how quickly a positive move can be made.

“We are 40 points out of fourth place right now and I think by the end of the summer we could be in the top three with good races. We just came off of four races in a row and after Chicago we’ll get the Western Swing. I am looking forward to this next month of racing. We have to stay focused on Chicgao first since this is the home of PEAK John’s primary sponsor and we want to perform well for them and of course Auto Club,” summed up Hight.

BRITTANY FORCE READY TO MAKE MOVE IN WINDY CITY

CHICAGO, IL (July 5, 2016) --- The Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster and driver Brittany Force have been making steady progress the past month and now heading into Chicago for the Rt 66 NHRA Nationals the two-time winning team is focused on getting another victory. In two of the past three races Force has recorded a semi-final finish and the 2013 Rookie of the Year knows this kind of consistency will be key later in the season.

“We have had two strong finishes in the past three races. We made it to the semi-finals in Englishtown and then two weeks ago in Norwalk. We closed the gap on third place in the points and I am excited with how well this team has been working together,” said Force.

The fourth tear pro won for the first time in her career at the historic Gatornationals. It was her 75th professional start and then two races later at the unique Four-Wide NHRA National Force picked up her second win. It was a wild experience for the second youngest daughter of legendary Funny Car racer John Force.

“When I won in Gainesville it was my 75th race and my dad won his first race at his 75th race. That was cool. We also doubled up in Gainesville since Robert (Hight) won in Funny Car so it was just the best da,” recounted Force. “My whole family was there plus a lot of family friends. It was perfect.”

Since those two wins Force has been on a meteoric rise both in performance and popularity. At the Kansas Nationals Force set the national elapsed time record running 3.676 seconds. The record added Force’s name to a family legacy that has seen every Force racer hold a national elapsed time or speed record at least once in their racing career.

“Getting that national record in Topeka was unbelievable. First just saying you ran 3.676 second doesn’t sound right. We ran in the 3.60s once in testing but to officially run that quick and to get the national record is just so cool. I have to thank my team led by crew chief Brian Husen and consultant Alan Johnson,” said Force.

The addition of Husen and Johnson to the Monster Energy team in the off-season has been a big boost to the John Force Racing Top Fuel program. JFR has a technical alliance with Steve Torrence Racing which Alan Johnson who Johnson also acts as a team consultant so both teams reap the benefits of Johnson’s expertise and the data from an additional dragster during the races.

“I am so proud to be working with Alan Johnson and Brian Husen. They have won world championships and that is what we want to do with this Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster team,” added Force. “I am working to get better as a driver and this whole team is focused on getting the best performance every weekend.”

It was two years ago that Force narrowly missed her first Top Fuel victory losing in the final round to Antron Brown at Rt 66 Raceway. Force had qualified No.4 and defeated Terry McMillen, Shawn Langdon and JR Todd before pulling up beside Brown in the final. It was a dramatic conclusion to the race on live TV that saw Force roll up late to the starting line already strapped into her dragster. It was a close race at the finish line but Brown got the win light. Force is hoping for one more win light this weekend.

NEW CAMARO WITH NEW PAINT SCHEME HIGHLIGHTS FOR COURTNEY FORCE IN CHICAGO

CHICAGO, IL (July 5, 2016) --- Courtney Force and her Traxxas team will not only debut their new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car this weekend at the 19th Annual K&N Filters Route 66 NHRA Nationals, but they will also unveil a new, wild and exciting paint scheme from The Fastest Name in Radio Control for one race only. The 28-year-old driver is the third and final John Force Racing pilot to race the 2016 Camaro SS Funny Car after her teammates John Force and Robert Hight made their first passes down the race track in the sporty design earlier this season.  

 “I can't wait to unveil the new Camaro SS Funny Car body with the new Traxxas paint scheme this weekend in Chicago. If the fans loved my last paint scheme they are sure to love this one too! I'm a little nervous going to something so different, but also very excited to get there and try it out. I can’t wait to see what our team can do with it this weekend.

“My dad and Robert have been driving their new Camaros for the past few races and it's finally our turn. Chevrolet has done a phenomenal job with the design of the new body and I'm eager to have that clear visual out the front, from the driver’s perspective. Dan Hood and Ronnie Thompson are so excited for us to run the new body and they have set the bar high for themselves with what we could possibly do. We can't wait for this weekend and although it may take some time to get it all figured out, I know this will be huge for our Traxxas Chevy Camaro team for the rest of the season,” said Force.

As we advance through the second half of the season, race fans and the media are in for a few surprises along the way. Leading up to the Countdown, the Traxxas Funny Car driven by the 2012 Rookie of the Year will feature several new paint schemes. Be sure to stay tuned to see what her Funny Car will look like at the next race.

“Traxxas has designed a brand new paint scheme that is full of color and expected to catch the eye of our fans when on the track, just like our last paint scheme. With all of the positive feedback from last years’ design I can't wait for the fans to see this one. This will be very special for the fans in Chicago this weekend because they will be the first to see the paint scheme on our new Chevy Camaro SS body, and on top of it, this will be the only race we run these colors before we switch it up again with Traxxas, The Fastest Name in Radio Control,” said Force.

In 2012 during Force’s rookie season she advanced to her first ever final and ended the weekend runner up of the event from the No. 12 spot. The last three years she has qualified in the top half of the field and started race day with lane choice over her opponent.

“I love coming back to Chicago because I think back to my rookie year where we almost took home the win. We have done well at this track in the past while qualifying in the top half nearly every year. This will be an intense weekend for our Traxxas team and so exciting with the new body and paint scheme so we are hoping to get into that winners circle before this paint scheme is retired.

“I will be at HobbyTown USA Thursday in Chicago to kick off the race weekend signing autographs and taking pictures from 6-7pm! I hope all the fans come out and check out HobbyTown USA and all of their Traxxas products. Pick up a Traxxas radio control car, truck, boat, etc. and I will sign it on the spot. Hope to see everyone there!” added Force. 

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Tags: racing

Happy Independence Day America!

Posted by Maggie Smith on Jul 4, 2016 6:00:00 AM

Happy Birthday America! Pledge to read The Declaration of Independence today.

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John Force to be inducted as a Legend of Thunder Valley

Posted by Maggie Smith on Jun 14, 2016 4:22:23 PM

THE FORCE IS FOREVER STRONG AT BRISTOL

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Tags: racing

From our friends at JOHN FORCE RACING - The Road to Bristol

Posted by Maggie Smith on Jun 14, 2016 4:14:37 PM

JOHN FORCE CONTINUES LEGENDARY CAREER THIS WEEKEND IN BRISTOL

BRISTOL, TN (June 14, 2016) --- John Force made his mark at Bristol Dragway when he drove the iconic Superman Funny Car to the winner’s circle as the winner of the Top Fuel vs. Funny Car Winston Showdown in 1999. That win coupled with Force’s four victories at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals contributed to Force being selected for induction to the Legends of Thunder Valley this weekend at Bristol Dragway.

“Bristol Dragway is a Bruton Smith track and I always want to do my best at any of Bruton’s tracks. I love racing at Thunder Valley and we have had some success there. It was big for me personally to beat the Top Fuel dragsters in that race and Bob Vandergriff Jr. is one of the best out there so I was proud of that,” said Force.

Over the years at Bristol Dragway Force has raced his Funny Car to the final round on five occasions picking up four wins most recently in 2013 when the 143-time Funny Car winner outran Cruz Pedregon. Surprisingly for all of Force’s race day success he only has one No. 1 qualifier which was last year with then rookie crew chief Jon Schaffer at the helm.  In fifteen seasons Force has never started the Thunder Valley Nationals from the bottom half of the field and only four occasions was he even No. 7 or lower.

“Jon Schaffer and these PEAK crew guys have been giving me a good racecar. We have the new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car and I love it. A lot of work went into getting it just right and I am excited to be driving this hot rod. Robert got his 2016 Camaro a couple races ago and Courtney should get hers in Chicago. All my teams have been doing well this season and we are up there in the points,” said Force.

This season Force has raced to one final round dropping a tough race to Tim Wilkerson in Phoenix and he has been to the semifinals at three other races. The winningest driver in NHRA history knows that seeing four win lights on Sunday is one of the toughest things to do in the Funny Car class these days. That challenge does not take away the enthusiasm the 16-time Funny Car champion has for getting into his racecar.

“When I put on my firesuit I feel like I am 20 years old again. I have all these young crew guys working on this PEAK Camaro and I can’t let them down. They give me energy and I hope I team them something about being champions. Last race I got them all together and we talked about what this team means to me and how much I love every one of those kids. You have to have a team to win out here and I think I have a pretty good team. I got my money back with PEAK, Auto Club, Traxxas, Monster Energy, Mac Tools and Lucas Oil so we’ll be alright,” said Force.

HIGHT READY TO GET BACK ON TRACK IN BRISTOL

BRISTOL, TN (June 14, 2016) --- Robert Hight knows that history can be made at any track. With performance numbers dropping from race to race these days in the NHRA Funny Car class the right conditions can lead to record setting times on any run. The Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS is ready to get into the performance battle and the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals is a prime target for the 2011 Thunder Valley Nationals winner.

“We tried a lot of new things on this Auto Club Camaro last weekend in Englishtown and I was really excited to see the performance numbers. We are making progress and even though we had a short day on Sunday that doesn’t take away from my confidence. My crew chief Mike Neff is a smart guy and my crew guys are some of the best guys out here,” said Hight from his pit in Englishtown.

Hight qualified No. 3 at the SummerNationals with a 3.915 second elapsed time but was upset by Jeff Diehl in the first round when Hight’s 10,000 hp racecar smoked the tires.  Diehl would race all the way to the semifinals but the first round loss stuck with Hight.

“We have been making good runs in qualifying since we got the new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car body but there is an adjustment period for sure. Plus we are trying a couple other things and getting everything to work together is a process. I am excited to be getting back to Bristol. I love the fans there and the track is awesome. I’ll be doing some trap shooting with the media on Thursday and that always gets your competitive juices flowing,” said Hight.

This season Hight has had some early success winning the historic Gatornationals for the third time and also posting semifinal finishes at the Winternationals and the Arizona Nationals in Phoenix. Since that strong three race start to the season Hight has not been able to get to the semifinals. In two of the last for races Hight’s biggest obstacle has been his teammate Courtney Force who was the Funny Car points leader.

In Atlanta and Epping Hight matched up with Force in the second round and first round, respectively and he  came up the losing side of both of those races. The only positive for Hight has been that for most of the season the Funny Car points leader has either been him or his Traxxas-backed teammate.

“This is a long season and where you start doesn’t have a lot of impact on where you will end up some times. It is nice to have the points lead and to get some race wins. Courtney and I are locked into the Traxxas Shootout at Indy and winning that $100,000 prize would be huge. The real deal is you want to try and be consistent and we are in the middle of four races in a row. My goal is to have a success race in Bristol and then go to the next race and do well there,” summed up Hight.

COURTNEY FORCE WOULD LIKE EARLY BIRTHDAY PRESENT WITH WIN IN BRISTOL

BRISTOL, TN (June 14, 2016) --- Courtney Force is preparing for the third stop along a four-race swing with her Traxxas Chevrolet Camaro SS team. The 16th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway is the 10th of 24 races in the NHRA Mello Yello Series and also Force’s birthday weekend. She will be turning 28 years old on Monday.

“Not only is Bristol one of my favorite tracks on the NHRA circuit because of the beautiful scenery and dedicated fans, but it will also be a race that I hope to win as a birthday gift to myself! My birthday is the Monday after the race so I'm really hoping for a successful weekend.

“I can't wait to be in my race car and wouldn't want to spend it anywhere else. I get to be with my family, friends and team and get to celebrate Father's Day with my dad within the same weekend! I definitely hope there is a JFR car in the Winner’s Circle and hope it's The Fastest Name in Radio Control,” said Force.

This will be the first time in the last four race events that Force has not sat atop the Funny Car points. The 27-year-old driver suffered an upset in the first round of eliminations last week at the NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park beside her father and 16-time Funny Car Champion John Force, which ultimately led to Force being bumped to the No. 3 spot in points.

“Our team has had a consistently strong performance so far this season, but lost our rhythm this past weekend. I'm excited to get right back at it, and I know my entire Traxxas team is as well,” said Force.

The first round exit was Force’s first opening round loss of the 2016 season a streak of nine consecutive races.

Last year at the Thunder Valley Nationals, Force qualified in the No. 7 position and went into race day with lane choice over Cruz Pedregon, but lost in a race day upset. It was the very next weekend in Norwalk that Force went to her 14th final round and was runner-up of the event.

“My Traxxas team is thrilled to get to Thunder Valley and thankful for the race being back to back so we can quickly put Englishtown behind us after an early first round exit. We are hoping for a better weekend in Bristol and will take what we gathered from this past weekend and hopefully get this car qualified better this weekend. We missed opportunities of gathering bonus points during qualifying and have lost our points lead but looking forward to hopefully making a comeback this weekend,” said Force.

BRITTANY FORCE BUILDING MOMENTUM HEADED TO THUNDER VALLEY

BRISTOL, TN (June 14, 2016) --- So far this season Brittany Force and the Monster Energy team have been checking items off of their racing bucket list at almost every event it seems. Force won for the first time in 75 races at the historic Gatornationals and then followed that up with a win at the Four-Wide Nationals. In Topeka at the Kansas Nationals the fourth year pro set the national elapsed time record of 3.676 seconds and etched her name in the history books as the quickest Top Fuel driver ever. With the historic Thunder Valley Nationals coming up this weekend Force is looking to continue to have success behind the wheel of her 10,000 hp racecar.

“Bristol is one of my favorite tracks on the circuit and I would love to bring home a win there,” said Force, who is currently fourth in the Top Fuel standings. “It would be pretty awesome to double-up on Father’s Day and end up in the winner’s circle with the Monster Energy team and the PEAK team with my dad.”

Force’s father, John Force, will be inducted into Bristol Dragway’s Legends of Thunder Valley on Sunday morning. The second youngest Force racing daughter has grown up watching her dad win, crash and talk across the country. Now she is seeing up close the competitive side of her 16-time championship father and she is using his wisdom to enhance her own racing career.

“On Sunday I was struggling with my reaction times and I was really starting to get down on myself. I went to my dad and he gave me a good pep talk. He said you have to race from the heart and just let everything else go. You have to love it. I really listened to that and it made a difference. In the semifinals I left first on the starting line and even though we didn’t get the win against Torrence I feel like I did a much better job driving,” explained Force.

The Monster Energy Top Fuel team was overhauled in the off-season with the addition of Top Fuel consultant Alan Johnson and crew chief Brian Husen. That combination along with Force’s continued experience behind the wheel has made the JFR Top Fuel dragster one of the most consistent on tour this season.

“I can’t say enough about Alan and Brian,” Force said. “They have been so great to work with and this whole Monster Energy team has really come together. This whole team works really well together and they are a great group of guys. I am proud of every one of them, and we all work so hard to try and get the win every race.”

This season the Monster Energy dragster has only lost in the first round three times and as advanced to at least the semifinals four times including last week at the SummerNationals. Force held the Top Fuel points lead for four races and now is comfortably in the No. 4 spot. Force continues to develop as a driver and knows that there is room for improvement at every race.

“It definitely feels good to be going rounds,” Force said. “It was a tough weekend for us (in Englishtown). We struggled a little bit in qualifying. As a driver, I was really struggling on the tree. I just couldn’t seem to find it so it felt good on that third round to finally have a decent tree. We didn’t get the win, but it feels good to leave on that note and overcome the struggle I was having this weekend.”

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Tags: racing

ECR Ready for Texas Speedway - 2016

Posted by Maggie Smith on Jun 11, 2016 4:16:50 PM

JOSEF NEWGARDEN WILL START 5TH UNDER THE LIGHTS AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Ed Carpenter Bounces Back After Tough Practice Session to Qualify 14th For The Firestone 600

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Tags: racing

Let's go fast! Hurco Partners with NHRA Legend John Force Racing

Posted by Maggie Smith on Jun 3, 2016 3:31:41 PM

It's finally official! We are thrilled to partner with the legendary NHRA team of John Force Racing (JFR), whose facility happens to be just down the road from Hurco's international headquarters here in Indianapolis. Below, is the official press release.

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Tags: racing

After the race: The Hurco car and the Indy 500

Posted by Maggie Smith on May 30, 2016 3:46:00 PM

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Tags: racing

Indianapolis is our home and we are psyched for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500!

Posted by Maggie Smith on May 26, 2016 4:35:28 PM

Before I moved to Indianapolis from my native Ohio, the Indianapolis 500 was the only thing I knew about the city. To be honest, I just didn’t get it. Cars driving around in a circle…around and around…people screaming as the cars drove around and around.

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The back story of our Take the Leap "model"

Posted by Maggie Smith on Apr 1, 2016 11:41:33 AM

Chris Bohn didn't intend to be a Hurco model. It was a total stroke of luck...for Hurco anyway. Chris has been a CNC programmer for 15 years and ran Hurco machines at Hallmark Tool and Gage in Michigan for five years (hence, the Hurco shirt he is wearing for the jump).

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Tags: Behind the scenes

Hurco in the West

Posted by Maggie Smith on Mar 30, 2016 11:35:45 AM

Throughout North America, Hurco partners with distributors to sell and service our CNC machines. We are proud these family-owned businesses have chosen to represent our products. Since Hurco is located in the heartland (Indianapolis, Indiana), our sales team travels a great deal to make sure all distributors have the information and tools they need to represent Hurco. We are so appreciative of our distributor in Colorado (Foothills Machinery) for hosting us and the Hurco distributors from the western United States this week. It was great to break bread with these professionals who do such a great job educating shops of all sizes in their respective territories about the benefits of Hurco CNC machines and explaining how Hurco CNC technology makes shops more productive and profitable.

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Tags: Distributor News

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