John Force, 69, Yorba Linda, Calif.
16-Time Funny Car World Champion
1996 American Driver of the Year
Birthday: May 4, 1949
Low E.T.: 3.832
Top Speed: 337.16
Final Rounds: 251
No. 1 qualifiers: 155
Entering his 43rd season, John Force, the Hall of Fame owner/driver of John Force Racing, will set a record every time he mashes the gas on the PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil Chevrolet Camaro Funny Car this season. He already has won more races, more rounds, more championships, more money and more awards than anyone else in professional drag racing history.
Just one-win shy of his monumental 150th NHRA tour victory, Force and his PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil team came one step closer in 2018 with a victory at the Mile-High Nationals in Denver to tally 149 and finished the 2018 season in far better shape than they started it. The 16-time champion began the year outside the Top 10 following car control problems, engine explosions and a crash. Despite the setbacks, the 69-year-old veteran’s season record was set at 25-22, the 32nd year he has won more racing rounds than he’s lost and the 36th year he has finished in the Top 10.
After beginning his career with 10 winless seasons on the NHRA tour, and nine runner-up finishes, Force finally broke through for his first win on June 28, 1987 when he beat Ed “the Ace” McCulloch to win the Grandnational at Montreal, Canada. He was 38 years old.
Since then, Force has claimed at least one tour victory in 31 of the last 32 NHRA seasons and secured an unprecedented 34 consecutive Top 10 finishes in the Funny Car driver standings.
He is not only the sport’s most prolific winner, he also is the oldest driver to win a tour event (69) and the oldest to win the championship (64). He has won the most rounds, owns the record for most consecutive starts (395), the record for final round appearances (251) and the record for No. 1 qualifying performances (154).
He was the first drag racer to earn American Driver of the Year honors in competition with the best from NASCAR and IndyCar (1996), was named to the Auto Racing All-America Team selected by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association 16 times and on a record five occasions accepted the Jerry Titus Memorial Award as the driver receiving the most overall votes.