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Ashley Out; Neff In; Big Changes in the John Force Racing squad…

Ashley Force HoodPRESS RELEASE

Yorba Linda, Calif. — Because maternity and muscle cars don’t mix, one of drag racing’s brightest young stars at least temporarily is climbing out of the cockpit of the world’s fastest Ford to focus instead on family.

Ashley Force Hood, the 28-year-old daughter of reigning NHRA Funny Car Champion John Force, confirmed during a Tuesday press conference convened to announce sweeping changes at John Force Racing Inc., that she and husband Dan are expecting their first child in August.

As a result, the driver of the 316.38 mile per hour Castrol GTX Ford Mustang will not compete for the 2011 Full Throttle Championship, concentrating instead on her family and on her duties as the new president of John Force Entertainment, a JFR subsidiary that will develop television, film and book projects.

Although on numerous occasions she had said that she and her husband were anxious to start a family, Force Hood’s announcement was nevertheless unexpected.

The graduate of Cal State-Fullerton is coming off back-to-back seasons in which she finished second and third in points and won consecutive Funny Car titles in the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Clermont, Ind., the NHRA most prestigious single event.

“This past November, Dan and I decided we would try to start a family,” Force Hood saud. “We knew it was unlikely to happen in such a short amount of time and, if it didn’t, I could still race the 2011 season and we’d try again next winter.

“We felt that if God wanted it to happen, it would happen. Well, God didn’t waste any time and I am pregnant and due at the end of the summer,” she said.

“Dan and I know there is always a risk at the beginning of a pregnancy so we waited as long as possible to say anything to make sure everything was all right and there were no problems.

“I will be taking off this season,” she said, “but I will still represent Castrol, Ford, Auto Club, BrandSource and Mac Tools; will still be involved in media, commercials and interviews; and will definitely still be rooting on my teammates to go after that 2011 Championship.”

Working with Brent Travers, the former director of Driving Force, the Force family reality series that aired on A&E Network in 2006 and ‘07, Force Hood hopes to complete a variety of projects in her first year as president of John Force Entertainment including a biography of her father, an interactive “day at the races” pop-up book she authored for children, the first installments of a graphic novel featuring a superhero version of her dad fighting evil in a parallel universe, a John Force documentary and a new television series focusing on youngest sister Courtney’s development as a driver.

Continue reading Ashley Out; Neff In; Big Changes in the John Force Racing squad…