• John Force is an American NHRA drag racer born in 1949.
• He is the owner and driver of John Force Racing and has won the NHRA Championship 16 times and the AHRA Championship once.
• He has three daughters, Ashley, Brittany and Courtney, with his wife Laurie.
• He was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2008.
• He has an estimated net worth of over $20 million.
Who is John Force?
American National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) drag racer Jon Harold Force was born in Bell Gardens, California USA, on 4 May 1949, so his zodiac sign’s Taurus. He’s won the NHRA Championship 16 times and American Hot Rod Association (AHRA) Championship once, and is the owner and driver of the team John Force Racing.
Education and early life
John was raised in Bell Gardens alongside his five siblings, by their father Harold Force and mother Betty Ruth; the family was poor, and lived in trailer parks, migrant farms and Indian reservations.
John suffered from polio as a child, and survived it with the help of therapy and his family’s perseverance. He studied at Bell Gardens High School, and was mostly into football during his four years there, playing for the school team; he was interested in a couple of other sports during his teenage years, including soccer and basketball.
Upon matriculating in 1967, John enrolled at Cerritos College, from which he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1971.
Career as a racer
John drove his first funny car Night Stalker Mustang in 1971, built by the late American drag racer Jack Chrisman; he went on to drive a Monza, a Corvette and an Oldsmobile Cutlass, the latter for nearly an entire decade up to 1993.
The year 1994 saw him drive a Chevrolet, and the following two years a Pontiac; from 1987 through 1996, he won 67 NHRA National events of the 203 which he raced, and was World Champion six times.
From 1997 through 2014, John drove a Ford and was a team owner, and from 1997 through 2002 won the NHRA Funny Car World Championship every year, leading to other racers accusing him of cheating; John proved that he wasn’t by stripping off his firesuit. He lost in 2003, but only because his teammate Tony Pedregon became the champion for the first time; John won the Championship for the 13th time in 2004, and in the same year, voiced a supporting character in an episode of the animated comedy series “King of the Hill”.
John won five events in the 2005 NHRA Championship, and finished the season 3rd, 24 points behind Ron Capps and 32 behind Gary Scelzi. He won the NHRA World Funny Car Championship in 2006, but was then involved in a serious crash on 23 September 2007, which left him with a broken ankle, mangled fingers and toes, a dislocated wrist and abrasion of right knee. John was taken to Baylor University’s Medical Center and didn’t race for the remainder of the season.
Following the death of American drag racer Scott D. Kalitta on 21 June 2008, John helped develop a safety system which would automatically shut down the fuel pipe and deploy the parachutes if the car engine was to backfire at any time; the safety system was proven to be extremely effective, and became mandatory for all cars to have, starting from the 2009 season. John finished the 2008 season 7th and the 2009 season 9th (his daughter Ashley 2nd), and became popular amongst the racers for his innovations.
He won the NHRA Championship in 2010, and finished 7th in the 2011 season; his daughter Courtney began racing in the year 2012, and won an NHRA Road to the Future Rookie of the Year Award after having finished the season 2nd.
At the beginning of the 2013 season, John announced that he would be retiring from full-time racing, but in the same year still won his 16th NHRA Championship, and completed the season 2014 ranking 2nd, and raced several times in the 2015 season.
The year 2017 saw John’s daughter Brittany win the Top Fuel Championship, and 2018 saw him win at the Denver event, which was his only win of the season.
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John had lost 25 races in a row when he broke the bad strike, and defeated Ron Capps on 4 August 2019; the year also saw his team win the US Nationals, and his daughter Courtney retire.
Many races were cancelled in the 2020 season because of the outbreak of the coronavirus, and John then won three events in 2021: the Topeka, Epping and Charlotte 4 Wide.
In 2022, he won the 4-Wide Nationals race.
Love life and marriage
John and his second wife, non-celebrity American Laurie married on 26 September 1981, in a private ceremony attended by many of their friends and family members. They have three daughters together: Ashley, Brittany and Courtney.
Ashley raced her father in the 2008 NHRA Southern Nationals, defeating him; since 13 December 2008, Ashley’s been married to Daniel Hood, and Courtney’s been married to Graham Rahal since 21 November 2015.
John’s first wife was Lana Bonee, whom he married on 22 November 1968 and divorced in 1972; they have a daughter Adria Height together; she was once married to NHRA drag racer Robert Hight.
John has three granddaughters and two grandsons.
Interesting facts and hobbies
In 2008, John was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
He launched his own crypto currency on 7 October 2022 – the NHRA Coin John Force Edition NFT.
John and his family were featured in the 2006 reality show “Driving Force”, aired on A&E.
He’s followed by close to 150,000 people on Instagram, and there are nearly 6,000 pictures and videos uploaded onto his account, with most of these being related to NHRA.
John’s travelled all around the world, mostly to attend various car events.
Some of the actors whom he enjoys watching the most are Tom Hanks, Anthony Hopkins and Tom Cruise, and some of his favorite movies include “Saving Private Ryan”, “Cast Away” and “Sleepless in Seattle”.
Height, eyes and wealth
John’s age is 73. He has brown eyes and white and grey hair, is 5ft 11ins (1.81m) tall and weighs about 175lbs (79kgs).
John’s net worth’s been estimated at over $20 million, as of February 2023.