Throughout the season, Brittany Force has been testing in her John Force Racing Top Fuel dragster.
Monday at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan., she made her most measurable progress to date.
Brittany made five laps, and she clocked a personal-best 3.85-second elapsed time at 319 mph on her second run.
“Getting five runs was really good and that second run was pretty exciting because I have never run that fast,” said Brittany, 25, in an interview with Competition Plus. “The quickest ET before that one was 3.95, so to go that 85 was a lot faster. They were all good runs because I’m learning how everything feels and figuring it all out.”
Robert Hight, who competes in a Funny Car for John Force Racing, said Jimmy Prock and Eric Lane served as tuners for Brittany at Topeka’s test session. Prock is Hight’s crew chief and Lane is Hight’s assistant crew chief.
“Jimmy Prock has run dragsters before and for he and Eric Lane this is kind of challenge to them to get this thing (Brittany’s dragster) running,” said Hight, who also is the president of John Force Racing. “That 3.85 time Brittany had was on a pretty warm track and that would have qualified her at the (Topeka) race, so she did really well.”
Prock spent time as a Top Fuel crew chief with Cory McClenathan and Joe Amato during his career.
According to Brittany, she has tested six or seven times this season. Brittany’s first test session was at Palm Beach (Fla.) International Raceway in January.
“West Palm, I was so nervous,” Brittany said. “Anybody could tell by just looking at my face, I was so nervous to get in the car and make that first run. I’m definitely more comfortable in the car, but I still have a lot to learn. I’m slowly getting more used to the car, the more passes I get.”
Up next for Brittany are scheduled test sessions at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway (June 18), Route 66 Raceway in Joilet, Ill., (July 2).
Although Brittany is doing extensive testing, there is no timetable on when she might make her NHRA Top Fuel debut.
“I’m just trying to get used to the car, and learning how to drive it,” Brittany said. “I’m definitely not ready to compete. I’m still not completely comfortable in the car. I definitely want to get in it (the dragster) and compete. I’m really excited. I do not know if it will be next year, and I would love to race this year, but I do not know what my dad (John Force) is thinking. I do not know what our plan is. I will have to talk to him and figure it out.”
Brittany said she doesn’t feel any pressure to succeed, at least right now.
“I do not really worry about it (the pressure),” Brittany said. “It is just testing. We test on Mondays and there is not too many people out there. It is pretty laid back and I’m just focused on doing my job and running the car and getting down the track. I’m also listening to the car and talking to the team and the crew chiefs and trying to figure out like what went wrong on the run, and how I can make improvements.”
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