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Thu, 16 Dec 2004, 03:33 PM

Force Featured at M.P.G. Banquet at Petersen Automotive Museum
Courtesy of Dave Densmore
Photo copyright 2004 NHRA

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. –-

John Force
John Force, the most prolific winner in drag racing history, was the special guest of honor and featured speaker at the annual Motor Press Guild banquet at the Petersen Automotive Museum.

Force, who last season won an unprecedented 13th NHRA POWERade Championship and extended to 346 the number of consecutive events for which he has qualified a Castrol GTX Funny Car, shared center stage with former Formula 1 driving champion Phil Hill, who was presented the 2004 Dean Batchelor Award as author of a book on his historic season with Ferrari.

The Los Angeles-based MPG is a non-profit professional association dedicated to promoting education and information exchange within the motoring press. Members include staff and freelance journalists, photographers, broadcasters and similar media professionals, as well as public-relations representatives from vehicle manufacturers, industry suppliers, aftermarket companies, consumer groups, governmental bodies and other motoring-related firms and organizations.

The Dean Batchelor Awards are given annually by the MPG in recognition of outstanding current achievements by automotive writers, photographers, and broadcasters. They recognize the late Dean Batchelor, a prominent writer and race car designer.

In addition to the annual award, the Dean Batchelor Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded on a case-by-case basis by the MPG Board of Directors for outstanding contributions to the automotive industry. NHRA founder Wally Parks was a Lifetime Achievement Award winner in 2003.

MPG membership is open to active journalists, editors, photographers, illustrators, broadcasters, producers, public relations practitioners and other professionals working in the greater automotive industry. An application is required, along with documentation of activity within the last 12 months.

Designed by Gene Garfinkle and John Pyle with sponsorship by Ford Motor Company, the resin-cast award symbolizes the “So-Cal Streamliner” that Batchelor designed and helped build in 1949.

Two John Force Racing Funny Cars were displayed in conjunction with awards banquet including the Castrol GTX Start Up Ford Mustang in which Force won the 2004 series championship and set the current NHRA national records for quarter mile Funny Car time (4.665 seconds) and speed (333.58 miles per hour).

The other car in the Force display was the special edition “Popeye” version of the Automobile Club of Southern California Ford Mustang driven last season by U.S. Nationals Champion Gary Densham.

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