John Force and Jeff Gordon have enjoyed two legendary careers in motorsports. They’ve been in completely different styles of racing, but both have changed the face of their sport while winning championships along the way.
This weekend at the NHRA Carolina Nationals, Force plans to pay tribute to the career Gordon has put together. John Force Racing revealed the Funny Car on Twitter that he will drive in Charlotte.
— John Force Racing (@JFR_Racing) September 15, 2015
“I got the idea for the flames from Jeff telling me years ago he was a fan because I was always on fire,” Force told NHRA.com. “He was right; when I got started, we were on fire from here to Australia. I always enjoyed seeing Jeff at races and award banquets. The guy was just so polite and professional, but you knew he had the eye of the tiger, too. You don’t win all those championships on your good looks.
“This special Funny Car is just a way for me, my family, my team, my sponsors, NHRA, and the fans to say thank you for being a great champion and being such a great driver in NASCAR. I put as many flames as my designer Brandon [Baker] could fit on my hot rod in Jeff’s honor.”
Not only does the car have flames running across the hood and side panels, it also features the No. 24 across the doors. The 16-time Funny Car champion driver and 18-time champion car owner has more than mirrored Gordon’s success in NHRA racing.
Force has been a long-time fan of Gordon, but also has a love for NASCAR in general.
“I loved being around the NASCAR guys. Dale Earnhardt Sr. was my hero, and I learned a lot from him,” Force said. “Getting to know Gordon over the years has been a lot of fun. We see each other at NASCAR races, and I know his kids love coming to the drag races at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte. He is just a great guy, and I am proud to run this Chevrolet Camaro to thank him for everything he has done for motorsports.”
With Gordon’s first win coming in Charlotte, it’s only right that Force races his tribute car directly next to Charlotte Motor Speedway. Now that both are winding down on their historic careers, this is a fitting way for Force to show just what Gordon has meant to the racing community—not just NASCAR.