On January 10th in Yorba Linda, Calif., John Force Racing will announce their 2013 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season line-up but for now the focus is on exploring tune-up combinations and new parts during a test session at Florida’s Palm Beach International Raceway.

“We really aren’t looking at numbers on the scoreboard. We want to get good information for my crew chief brain trust to work on leading up to the PRO Winter Warm-Ups, January 18-19 back here. All the Funny Cars have gotten down the track and Brittany is getting good experience in the Top Fuel dragster. We will be making some exciting announcements in January,” said John Force, 15-time Funny Car champion.

So far 2012 Automobile Club Road to the Future Award winner Courtney Force has been the most consistent Funny Car. Her Traxxas Ford Mustang has posted elapsed times in the 4.08 and 4.06 second range at speeds over 317 mph. (photo courtesy JFR)

Right behind her is father and team owner John Force whose Castrol backed Ford Mustang has also run in the 4.14, 4.09 and 4.06 seconds. Robert Hight, the 2009 NHRA Funny Car champion, has been battling flu like symptoms the past two days while his team works on a number of different combinations for his Auto Club Ford Mustang. His Funny Car did post an impressive 4.11 second run in the afternoon on Wednesday.

Finally, rookie to be Brittany Force has made consistent progress behind the wheel of her Top Fuel dragster making four passes each day and getting the feel of dipping into the 3-second range on a number of occasions. Her quickest runs of 3.86 seconds and 3.89 seconds at speed over 318 mph would have been quick enough to qualify at most NHRA national events.

In addition to John Force Racing, Bob Tasca III in his Shelby Mustang Funny Car, Bob Vandergriff in the C&J Energy Top Fuel Dragster, the US Army dragster of Tony Schumacher, Tommy Johnson Jr. behind the wheel of a DSR backed Top Fuel dragster, and Al-Anabi’s Shawn Langdon all tested.

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After negotiations that took over 16 months, Atco Raceway in Atco, New Jersey, has been sold in its entirety to Len Capone Jr. of Berlin, NJ.

The Capone families are very familiar with the racing scene and have a great passion for the sport of drag racing. Len Capone Sr., a racer himself who was present for the 1960 opening day of Atco Raceway worked in the tech department on Memorial Day weekend. Capone Jr. started as a sportsman racer and is very well known for his Top Alcohol Funny Car “The Bear” that raced the strip in the late 1980s and ’90s.

Joe Sway has been retained as Director of Operations and is under exclusive contract for 2013 and 2014 with three one-year options to follow.

The 2013 tentative schedule will be posted on the web site in mid January. There are no major changes to the race schedule for 2013~a couple of new races will be added but for the most part you will see our lineup has not changed.