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Ashley Force, now Ashley Force Hood since her marriage to Daniel Hood last December, is drag racing royalty. The daughter of icon John Force, she has literally grown up in drag racing. As soon as she was old enough she was racing a dragster and soon graduated to driving an A/FD for three years. All of that time she was under a spotlight and microscope like no other young driver in drag racing. Besides driving a series of race cars with her dad’s sponsors plastered all over them, she was also involved in a TV reality show and the general circus that is the world of John Force Racing.
Despite all of that exposure and pressure, she has become an accomplished driver and member of John Force Racing’s team. We thought it was way past due to sit down and spend some time with the woman who will in all probability be the face of John Force Racing in the years to come. We sent DRO West Coast Editor Darr Hawthorne armed with question posed by DRO Editor Jeff Burk to the Winternationals and Ashley kindly gave him the time for this interview. Enjoy.
Let’s begin by asking what your goals are for the 2009 season and what you have to do, short of winning a championship, to consider this season successful.
AFH: Well, one of the top goals we have is qualifying for all of the events. I think that if we could have a season where we accomplish that, in and of itself, that would be a great accomplishment, just because of how competitive the Funny Car class is. Nobody’s been able to pull that off. It seems like such a simple thing, but it’s not simple anymore. You know, there are all these cars and teams that are just so close in performance that you never know who’s going to be competing on raceday. So definitely qualifying for all the events.
We have one win; we’d like to get more under our belts. To be consistent, to go rounds at every race and not have, you know, three races in a row where we lose first round or anything like that. And that can happen to anyone. You know last season we had three races in a row where we went to finals, and those were followed by two or three disastrous races. For how great the high is, the low is terrible. Just ruins your points, your confidence. We’d just like to have more of an even keel year, and I think we definitely have the car and team to do it. So maybe this will be our year, get to the end of the year with a really good amount of points.