Ford Announces Departure from NHRA Drag Racing
In the current world of professional motorsports, no automaker is more successful than Ford and in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, Ford Racing sponsors the most famous and most successful name in drag racing history – Mr. John Force. Since switching from Oldsmobile to Ford in 1997, Force has won 9 Funny Car championships in 17 years while the John Force Racing team has also won almost half of the races during that same period of time. John Force is joined by an impressive list of other very competitive drivers who have driven a Mustang Funny Car over the past 17 years including former champion (2009) Robert Hight. Tony Pedregon, while driving a Ford for John Force Racing, also won a championship in 2003 so in the 17 years since Ford Racing joined the NHRA, they have taken home a total of 11 championships.
However, we know all too well that true “success” for an automaker in the world of motorsports has far more with making money than it does winning championships and over the past few years, the NHRA has become less and less of a money making venture. Jamie Allison, Director of Ford Racing, had this to say to Autoweek:
“We made a business decision as we evaluated the Pro/Nitro level in the sport this past year, reviewing our investment, the returns from activation, television ratings and overall product/technology relevancy. It is vital that we align our motorsports at Ford to closely match our global products, technologies and customer outreach, especially in this ever-changing automotive world.”