By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
TCSR: Last year when we talked, you were considering going into teaching. Now, the plan is for you to run in the Top Fuel dragster, as early as next year. What changed?
BF: “I never planned to go right into teaching. I just wanted to get my credential, and in order for me to get my credential, I had to teach part-time at a middle school. My plan was to finish that out and get my credential and after that, I wanted to get back into the seat with my sights on Top Fuel. I love my Top Fuel dragster, but it is difficult to do it without sponsors and the money to make us run the entire year, as it costs several million dollars just to keep these cars out here. I have been testing in Top Fuel this year and I really like it.”
TCSR: With your dad already having the limit with 4 Funny Cars in the Funny Car division, you kind of had to go in the Top Fuel category, as it doesn’t look like Mike Neff, Robert Hight, Courtney, or your dad are coming out of those Funny Cars any time soon. Did it make it easier for you to go into Top Fuel?
BF: “Like you said, my dad has four Funny Cars, but I’ve always liked the Top Fuel dragster. I love it, and I want to stay with it. Going to Top Fuel is what I want, because that’s something that I like.”
TCSR: You had tested several times this season in the Top Fuel. What was that like?
BF: “I ran a 319 (mph) in Kansas, which was really exciting. I would like to feel more comfortable in the car, and I still have a lot to learn. There have been things that have been happening in the car and I am not sure what I am supposed to do when those things happen. I have to get more familiar with it.”
TCSR: As I mentioned earlier, there is a chance that you could be out here next year. Is that the plan, or is your John (Force), your dad being secretive about it like he was with Courtney’s plans?
BF: “I really don’t know. I need to get more runs in the Top Fuel dragster and then talk to my dad. I also have to talk to my dad about sponsors when we do sit down and talk about my future out here. I would love to run a few races at the end of this season and run a full season next year, but we have to wait on the sponsors. With the economy not good right now, it is harder to get sponsors than in the past.”
TCSR: You have Brand Source on your Top Alcohol dragster. Could they potentially stay with you as you move up?
BF: “I’m hoping, but I honestly don’t know what the plan is right now.”
TCSR: You have been driving your Top Alcohol dragster for several years and you are moving to the Top Fuel dragster. Was there any drastically changes that you had to face in the two cars?
BF: “Actually, there are quite a few. Everything is completely in reverse, as all the levers are in a different direction than I’m used to. When we got the car, that’s the way they were set up. When I first got into the car, I freaked out, because everything is backwards. I was scared that I would hit the wrong button for the shouts and they wouldn’t come out and I couldn’t stop at all. I had to put pieces of tape with arrows, as I had to get used to hitting everything the right way. I like to get in the car, before I run, and go through a routine and sometimes, I go back on my old routine in the Top Alcohol dragster, which I can’t do in the Top Fuel dragster.”
TCSR: If you are not out here full-time next year, could you go back teaching?
BF: “I wanted to get school done and get that behind me. I also wanted to get my credential behind me, as well. I love working with kids, and down the road, I would like to get into teaching, but I also love being out here. It is really hard to decide, because I really want to do both. If I’m out here and I’m successful, I might not get to be a teacher down the road, as I could be out here as long as my dad has been. I think I want to do teaching later on when I get older, but things can change.”
TCSR: Does that mean you want to be in racing right now?
BF: “Yes, I’m having a lot of fun with the Top Fuel dragster. I get really anxious when I’m out here. I can’t wait to get in the car and when I’m out here, I go to the line and watch all the Top Fuel dragsters run. When they go off the line, I wish I was in one of those.”
TCSR: Is your father John really supportive of you in driving Top Fuel and not following in the Funny Car footsteps?
BF: “Yes, he really is. He is excited for me, and as I mentioned before, I am excited to be in it.”
TCSR: If there were changes down the road, could you eventually drive a Funny Car?
BF: “I like the Top Fuel dragster, so that’s what I want to do. I don’t think I’ll drive a Funny Car at a national event, but things can change, so I wouldn’t totally say never. But right now, I’m saying Top Fuel is for me. Sure, Ashley (Ashley Force Hood, who hasn’t raced since 2010) and Courtney has followed dad’s footsteps into Funny Car, but I guess I’m different than them. A lot of people say that there’s going to be pressure on me when I come out here, as there was with Ashley and Courtney, but I don’t look at it like that. I want to get in the Top Fuel dragster and do my own thing. I have to take little steps to get where I want to be.”
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