“AutoClub signed a contract last night, extended with Robert Hight for five years,” he said. “We go into next year with Traxxas with four years on the contract. A lot of our contracts like Mac Tools are for five years.
“I love Castrol. The hardest thing for me will be not to wear that hat,” Force continued. “People won’t know me without that hat. The point is that we have to move and we have to move fast. I want to thank Ford and I want to thank Castrol. They could have chosen to make the announcement next year, but they didn’t. They said, ‘He needs a year and a half to make a run at this.’ We have to go chasing corporate America.”
Force knows the job of finding sponsors in today’s economy won’t be easy, but he also knows what his team and his sport have to offer.
“At the end of the day, look at the investment of the team owners. Schumacher, big money. Kalittas, big money. John Force, am I financially stable, yes, but my money comes from the sponsors and appearances,” he said. “I have a fight on my hands because we have a big investment. I have to protect that. I have to protect my children and we have to deliver to the fans.
“We have the stadiums. We have a sanctioning body. We have great race teams and we have a great product. I’m proud to be a part of that. The Prudhommes and the Bernsteins — not the young Bernstein — they have moved on for whatever reason. They have retired. I can’t.
“I love what I do,” Force continued. “If I was in NASCAR, I would have retired 10 years ago. I am in drag racing where it is a four-second job and I can do that job at my age because I love doing it. I sat down on the corner and said where do I go from here — new partners.”
Surrounded by his new team of marketers and sponsorship hunters and with his driving daughters Courtney and Brittany, wife Laurie and son-in-law Robert Hight seated in the front row, Force vowed to fight for his team, his children and the sport he loves.
“We will fight in 2013 and 2014, but we have to fight for 2015. That’s why I am here today to ask you to put the word out on the street that for the first time in 25 years John Force and my daughter, Brittany, we are on the market,” Force said. “I’ve never had to say that to my children. My daughter cried the other day, and I don’t want to get too emotional, but if it works, I will do it.
“She asked me what I was going to do. I said if someone has to stay behind, it will be me. I have set her on fire. I have put her into guardrails. I have pushed her at four in the morning to do media and I am not going to tell her that she can’t race.
“But I won’t stay behind because I am going to fight.”