John Force Racing opens new shop in Brownsburg
BROWNSBURG, Ind. -- A 40,000 square foot shop facility built for California- based John Force Racing, Inc., is the newest addition to the Eaglepoint Business Park complex developed in Brownsburg by The Lauth Group. Built on 2.55 acres ...
BROWNSBURG, Ind. -- A 40,000 square foot shop facility built for California- based John Force Racing, Inc., is the newest addition to the Eaglepoint Business Park complex developed in Brownsburg by The Lauth Group.
Built on 2.55 acres fronting Southpoint Circle, the Force shop is the latest in a series of facilities constructed in what is being loosely promoted as a drag racing version of Gasoline Alley.
In addition to Force, a 12-time NHRA Funny Car Champion, several other prominent racers have built in the Brownsburg area over the past three years. They include Don "the Snake" Prudhomme, the Pedregon brothers (Cruz and Tony) and (Terry) Vance and (Byron) Hines.
Located seven-and-a-half miles west of I-465, within easy driving distance of Indianapolis Raceway Park, site of this week's 50th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the Force shop is state of the art.
It features drive-through overhead doors on either side of the building which provide ease of access for the team's six 18-wheel transporters and other vehicles.
In addition to 15 permanent offices, the building includes a machine shop, space for the eventual inclusion of an on-site apparel store, two conference rooms and mezzanines for storage at either end.
The design of the facility is u ique in that it mimics the layout of the JFR compound at each of the racetracks in the NHRA POWERade series.
In essence, the five tractor-trailers that house the team's three Ford Funny Cars, their back-ups and all the equipment, parts and pieces necessary to keep them on a 325 mile-an-hour pace will pull into the shop exactly as they would at the track.
There also is space to accommodate the Darien and Meadows A/Fuel Dragster team for which Force's 21-year-old daughter, Ashley, drives in the Lucas Oil Sportsman Series.
"The layout is unique to anyone else's (with regard) to the bay placement for the rigs," acknowledged Dean Antonelli, a Brownsburg resident who is Chief Mechanic on Force's Castrol GTX Start Up Ford Funny Car and was project liaison for the team.
"The trailers pull in 25 feet apart from one another (with) the two center trailers side-by-side (comprising the Castrol Technology Center, from which all of the team's Crew Chiefs operate during competition). That way, we didn't have to go through the expense (of installing) benches and tooling. We work exactly like we do at the races.
"With new guys, it's easier to train them as to how things work at the racetrack because you're working in the same environment," Antonelli continued. "It's also good for the guys who've been here awhile because they can stay in their same routine, using the same tools they do at the race on the same tables attached to the same trailers.
"In all the of the other shops I've ever seen, you have the trailers in one area, race cars in another (and, as a result) you spend a lot of time running back and forth," Antonelli said. "Ours should be a little more efficient."
Eventually, the crew will be able to do everything at the Brownsburg shop that it now does in California.
"It has a 6,000 square foot machine shop, a dyno room and, next to the dyno room, a blower (supercharger) assembly room, just like we have in California," Antonelli said.
"(Working out of the new shop) will save us a lot in freight because we won't have to ship (superchargers) back to California when we're in, say, Chicago or St. Louis or Englishtown (N.J.) or Topeka, Kansas."
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