The last few weeks I've been watching the new reality TV show Driving Force. O.K., I'm hooked, not because of all the hype around the show and John Force's good looking daughters (they're too young for me, and I'm not Ray Evernham) but because that is John Force! I used to be really heavy into NHRA about 15 years ago and you could always count on a good intense interview with John, win, lose, or blow-up! His intensity and drive to win at all costs hasn't really changed over the years.
I remember seeing him on some QVC show or something back when Speed TV used to be called Speedvision and he was talking about this heated battle for the championship between himself and Cruz Pedregon. It was so intense and close between them that one time when he went through a McDonald's drive thru with his daughter (I assume his youngest, Courtney is her name I think) and got her a happy meal he was aghast when she proudly told him that she got a McDonald's Funny Car with her meal (McDonald's was Cruz's sponsor at the time. In fact, he was so taken back by her enthusiasm that he stopped the car got out, went in the back, took the toy car away from her, threw it on the ground and jumped on it until it was flat as a pancake. He then took his tearful and somewhat frightened little girl to Wal-Mart and bought her a John Force toy car.
Since I've been watching this show my passing interest in NHRA has subsided and I am now becoming more interested in the sport again. John Force's intensity and drive to win is unquestionable - it is understood by everyone even remotely familiar with NHRA and it is a character like him that NASCAR is missing. Dale Earnhardt was the closest thing to a NASCAR version of John Force as there ever was and nobody, and I mean nobody, has stepped up to fill the void left by his death. There is no one in NASCAR with that kind of intensity or drive to win that I can see. Am I wrong?