It’s a fail-safe mechanism for the man who already has been inducted into the two major U.S.-based motor racing Halls of Fame – the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in Detroit (2008) and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladeaga (2012).
“I just want to keep my nose clean, keep working the gym and stay focused,” said the 64-year-old racing icon who now has won three or more NHRA tour events in a record 21 different seasons. “(Crew chief) Jimmy Prock’s given me a good car, the ‘Prock Rocket, but there are a lot of good cars out there including two in my own camp (the Fords of youngest daughter Courtney and son-in-law Robert Hight). With all these young kids, I just have to stay up for the fight.”
If the developments of 2010 aren’t enough to keep the former big rig truck driver humble, there always is the memory of what happened to him in 1992 after winning his first two Funny Car titles.
“We had a lead and we thought we couldn’t be caught,” Force recalled. “So we went into test mode. Cruz Pedregon had to win almost every race to catch us. Well, he won five-in-a-row and he beat us. I thought my career was over right there and I told myself I’d never make that mistake again.”
It’s a philosophy that’s worked pretty well so far.