Force loses crew chief, not momentum


Within 48 hours of John Force’s remarkable comeback from debilitating injuries in a 2008 crash to another championship, the most popular drag racer ever took an unexpected hit.

Force rallied to overcome a 38-point deficit heading to Sunday’s championship eliminations in Pomona, Calif., to win his 15th NHRA Funny Car world championship.

He won each with crew chief Austin Coil. If Force wins another one he won’t have Coil on his team.

Coil surprised everyone including Force on Tuesday when he handed in his resignation after working with Force for 26 years. It was unexpected.

Coil is 65 and deserves to retire on top and spend, as he says, time fulfilling his “bucket list” with his wife.

What is perplexing, however, is that in interviews Coil did this week with NHRA.com and RacinToday.com he spoke of bad feelings he’s had this year after he was among those at John Force Racing who had to take cuts in pay this year.

Those comments shouldn’t have been made. More loyalty and respect should have been shown toward Force.

They were a great team together. Too bad Coil had to sully that relationship by bringing up money issues.

Bottom line is that last year was the first season that Force didn’t win an NHRA event title since 1986.

Force could have dumped Coil then instead of keeping him on board while adding Mike Neff to the brain trust.

Coil and Force credit the younger Neff’s contributions for turning the team around.

Force will be at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend for the NASCAR finale because he and the race weekend are sponsored by Ford.

Media will want to talk to him about his latest championship and the dramatic way in which he captured the title.

It’s too bad they’ll likely want to get Force’s comments about Coil’s comments.

I hope Force is able to maintain the higher road and perhaps announce that a “Thanks for 26 years, Coil” decal will adorn his car next year.

Divorces rarely are pretty, especially when one casts aspersions at the other.