Funny Car Icon John Force Eager to Wow Chicago Fans at Gerber Collision & Glass Route 66 NHRA Nationals

john force

CHICAGO, IL – May 15, 2024 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Legendary Funny Car racer John Force has enjoyed a terrific start to his 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season. The 16-time world champion has already posted one victory this season and a pair of final-round appearances, giving the team plenty of momentum heading into this weekend’s Gerber Collision & Glass Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK Performance at Route 66 Raceway.

It’s a meaningful race for the sport’s winningest driver in his 11,000-horsepower PEAK Antifreeze & Coolant Chevrolet Camaro SS, too, as Force knows the importance of doing well in his sponsor’s backyard.

Force has always found success in Chicago, winning three times at Route 66 Raceway, including the second-ever race at the famed facility in 2000. He’s eager to put on a show in front of another huge crowd this weekend, determined to keep his strong season going as the summer months approach.

“This is a very important race for us,” Force said. “It’s our home office, but Route 66 (Raceway), where NHRA puts on that national event, is unbelievable. It’s fun to race there, the access to it is great, the stands wrap around so that the fans can see everything. It’s just a great place to be. This is exciting. I love this race, the track and we’ve run good at it. We’re going in there with guns blazing.”

Clay Millican (Top Fuel), Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car), Dallas Glenn (Pro Stock), and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) won in Chicago last year, while Justin Ashley, Ron Capps and Gaige Herrera secured Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge titles. Camrie Caruso won the first-ever Callout in Pro Stock a season ago. It is the sixth of 20 races during the 2024 NHRA season and this weekend’s race will again be broadcast on FS1, showcasing a jam-packed weekend that includes four qualifying sessions, the GETTRX Pro Stock All-Star Callout and the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge on Saturday.

Force has enjoyed a rejuvenation of sorts in 2024, winning his first race in two years with his NHRA Winternationals triumph. After advancing to the final quad in Charlotte at the most recent race, Force currently sits fifth in points in a stacked Funny Car field that included JFR teammate and points leader Austin Prock, J.R. Todd, reigning champ Matt Hagan, Bob Tasca III and Ron Capps. There’s also been five different winners at the first five races (Todd, Force, Prock, Tasca and Hagan), showcasing the impressive depth in the category.

Force gets a chance to double-up in Chicago as well, taking part in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge on Saturday against a Funny Car field that also includes Hagan, Daniel Wilkerson and Todd. It adds up to a weekend filled with possibilities, and Force will look to take advantage at a facility that means a great deal to him and was thrilled to see it return to the NHRA schedule last year and in 2024.

“I love the concept of Route 66, from the old days of the highway (Route 66) that went from Chicago and across the country, all the way to California,” said Force, who has 156 career victories and 267 final-round appearances. “You never want to lose a race. But you especially don’t want to lose one that’s in a market that’s as huge as Chicago. We’re excited that we’re back in Chicago because that’s where my major sponsor is. That’s where we need to be.”

Top Fuel’s Millican will look to repeat his Chicago win against a loaded 22-car lineup that includes points leader Justin Ashley, Chicago native Tony Schumacher, Brittany Force, Antron Brown, four-time champ Steve Torrence and racing legend Tony Stewart, who is making his Chicago Top Fuel debut.

Pro Stock legend Greg Anderson has already won twice in 2024, taking the points lead into Chicago. He’s also participating in the Callout as he attempts for a double-up weekend taking on stars like defending world champ Erica Enders, who is the top seed in the GETTRX Pro Stock All-Star Callout, defending event winner Dallas Glenn and Jeg Coughlin Jr. The full Callout fields features Enders, Anderson, Glenn, Troy Coughlin Jr., Aaron Stanfield, Matt Hartford, Cristian Cuadra and Deric Kramer.

Herrera dominated Chicago a year ago in Pro Stock Motorcycle, setting a host of track records. He’s won twice in 2024 and has seven straight wins dating back to last season. To continue that historic streak, he’ll have to topple six-time champion Matt Smith, former champ LE Tonglet, Angie Smith, Hector Arana Jr. and Steve Johnson.

Also slated in Chicago is the special Drag and Drive exhibition event. With star drivers like Alex Taylor and Tom Bailey, the standout street cars run in the 6-second range and quicker at speeds of more than 200 mph. The weekend also includes competition in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, the Congruity NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by LearnEV+, Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown division, the new Holley EFI Factory X category and the season debut of the Pingel Top Fuel Motorcycle class.

Fans will also be invited all weekend long to the Nitro Alley Stage, which is the main entertainment hub in the pits, hosting Nitro School, meet and greets, music and much more. Race fans at Route 66 Raceway can enjoy the special pre-race ceremonies that introduce and celebrate each of the drivers racing for the prestigious Wally on Sunday and includes the fan favorite SealMaster Track Walk. The final can’t-miss experience of any NHRA event is the winner’s circle celebration on Sunday after racing concludes, where fans are invited to congratulate the event winners.

As always, fans get an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet in Chicago. Fans get a unique chance to see teams in action and service their hot rods between rounds, get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers, and more. They can also visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, an exciting atmosphere that includes interactive displays, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.

Qualifying sessions take place at 2:30 and 5 p.m. CT on Friday, and 11:40 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday. Eliminations begin at 11 a.m. CT on Sunday

The first round of the GETTRX Pro Stock All-Star Callout starts at 11:30 a.m. CT on Saturday, with the semifinals to follow at 1:45 p.m. and the finals at 2:55 p.m. Television coverage includes qualifying action at 7:00 p.m. ET on Friday and 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, leading into eliminations coverage at 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET on Sunday on FS1. A special Callout broadcast airs at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday on FS1.

To purchase tickets to the Gerber Collision & Glass NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by PEAK Performance on May 17-19 at Route 66 Raceway, fans can visit All children 12 and under will be admitted free in the general admission area with a paid adult.

About Mission Foods

MISSION®, owned by GRUMA, S.A.B. de C.V., is the world’s leading brand for tortillas and wraps. MISSION® is also globally renowned for flatbreads, dips, salsas and Mexican food products. With presence in over 112 countries, MISSION® products are suited to the lifestyles and the local tastes of each country. With innovation and customer needs in mind, MISSION® focuses on the highest quality, authentic flavors, and providing healthy options that families and friends can enjoy together. For more information, please visit

About NHRA

Headquartered in San Dimas, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 20 national events featuring the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series and NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, as well as the Congruity NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by LearnEV+, NHRA Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown™, NHRA Holley EFI Factory X and Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage NHRA Mountain Motor Pro Stock at select national events. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and NHRA Street Legal™. NHRA also offers the NHRA Jr. Street® program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League® for youth ages 5 to 17. With 110 Member Tracks, NHRA allows racers to compete at a variety of locations nationally and internationally. NHRA’s Youth and Education Services® (YES) Program reaches over 30,000 students annually to ignite their interest in automotive and racing related careers. NHRA’s streaming service,®, allows fans to view all NHRA national events as well as exclusive features of the sport. In addition, NHRA owns and operates three racing facilities: Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park; and In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip in Southern California. For more information, log on to, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Source: National Hot Rod Association

NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series


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