FADAL HOSTS ASHLEY FORCE, ROBERT HIGHT AT WESTEC ‘08
-Drag Racing Stars Meet Fans, Speak to Nat’l Machine Tool Assoc.-
YORBA LINDA — On April 1st while most of the general public was concerned about having pranks pulled on them John Force Racing drivers Ashley Force and Robert Hight were pressing the flesh as guests of FADAL at the 2008 WESTEC Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The drag racing tandem met with fans, posed for pictures and talked about the previous weekends NHRA O’Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park.
“It was surprising actually because almost every single person that came up (to us) had watched the race. Sometimes at other shows people will walk by and they know you are in auto racing or you do something with cars but, they don’t follow the circuit or they don’t know when you have raced recently,” said the 2007 Rookie of the Year and driver of the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang. “All these people knew I went to the finals and they knew everything with our team.”
In addition to the traditional meet and greet responsibilities Ashley and Robert were pressed into service as luncheon speakers for the National Machine Tool Association. John Medlen, Old Spice Crew Chief and leader of The Eric Medlen Project, was originally scheduled to speak about the relationship John Force Racing shares with FADAL but weather issues in Texas forced him to return to Indianapolis rather than make the trip to the West Coast.
Ashley elaborated on how she and Hight, her brother-in-law and driver of the Auto Club Ford Mustang, covered all the bases in front of a very interested audience.
“A couple of people spoke before us. We showed a video of our JFR team and our racing as well as the safety changes that we have made. Robert talked about all the different things we make with FADAL and the mechanical side of our relationship. I talked about bringing people to the races, meet-n-greets, and more of the marketing side.”
After speaking with the luncheon guests as well as the crowds at the FADAL booth, Ashley and Robert visited with other sponsors and even some students from an area technical school. This group was of particular interest to the former Esperanza High School Cheerleader and auto shop student.
“One of the people at the luncheon worked at a school that was a machining school and he had all his female students at the show working in the school’s booth. We went and met with them and took some pictures. It was neat.”
Ashley and Robert were familiar with the many different types of fabrication machines FADAL has it their disposal but they were both impressed by the variety of products that could be crafted right in front of the WESTEC visitors eyes. Visitors to the exhibit were able to witness two MAG Fadal 4020 FX vertical machining centers, each with a different control package: the new Infimatic Freedom NC200™ control, and the Fadal GE Fanuc 0i. In addition, two VMC 3016 FX machines and a VMC 4525 were cutting various materials.
“They had a machine actually making a guitar. It was awesome. They even made a mold of my face. They were showing all their customers what the machines could do and how many different ways you could program them.”
Force was particularly enamored with the facial reproduction and presented it to her fiancé Danny Hood as an early wedding gift. Thinking it would be laughed about and then tucked away or tossed out all together Ashley was surprised to see it immediately put into use.
“I gave it to Danny as a joke for a paper-weight but now he is really using it on his desk in the shop,” said Force. “It looks kind of scary because the detail didn’t do my eyes or my hair. It is just the shape of my face. It looks like a piston. The top isn’t smooth though, it is bumpy and that is my face.”
About John Force Racing:
John Force Racing, Inc., based in Yorba Linda, Calif., is a professional sports dynasty, one that has earned 15 POWERade championships and claimed 175 professional tour victories. Led by team owner and driver John Force, a 14-time Auto Racing All-America selection and 1996 Driver of the Year for all of American motor racing, JFR is additionally comprised of Robert Hight, driver of the Auto Club Ford Mustang and 2005 NHRA Rookie of the Year; Ashley Force, driver of the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang and 2007 Rookie of the Year; and rookie Mike Neff, driver of the Old Spice Ford Mustang. Brittany and Courtney Force also represent JFR in the Top Alcohol Dragster division.
About MAG Industrial Automation Systems
MAG Industrial Automation Systems (MAG), Sterling Heights, Michigan, is a group of leading machine tool and systems companies serving the durable-goods industry. Combining diverse process knowledge with a comprehensive line of equipment, including some of the world’s most well-known and respected brands, MAG provides tailored manufacturing solutions to customers in automotive, aerospace, heavy equipment, energy and general machining sectors. MAG ranks as a leader in the global metalworking capital equipment market with operations on five continents serving customers in more than 40 countries. For additional information visit www.mag-ias.com.