One event on the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing series tour stands between Rookie Funny Car driver Courtney Force and her first ever Funny Car attempt at “The Big Go” that is the Mac Tools US Nationals in Indianapolis Labor Day weekend. Before Force can look ahead to such an event, she is faced with the pressure of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd and all the pressure surrounding it.
“I’m so excited going into the Brainerd race, especially coming in fresh off a win in Seattle. I’m looking forward to hopefully doing well enough at the race to get my Traxxas Ford Mustang locked into the Countdown to the Championship, going into The Big Go,” said Force.
This weekend in Brainerd, several drivers have the opportunity to clinch spots in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing series Countdown to the Championship. The 24-year-old out of Yorba Linda, Calif., can clinch by winning the first round of eliminations depending on qualifying position and qualifying bonus points, or will clinch by making it through the second round of eliminations.
“We’ve got a great race car and a pretty consistent one at that. As a driver I just want to do my job right by keeping this Mustang straight in the groove, leaving good, get it in the show and go rounds on Sunday,” said Force.
This past week Force launched her campaign for the 8th and final spot into the “Traxxas Nitro Shootout,” the race within a race that will be held during the Mac Tools US Nationals in Indianapolis.
“I had so much fun filming the campaign video for the Traxxas Nitro Shootout and hope that fans can see another side of me. I really wanted to show how much I want to be competing in that Traxxas Nitro Shootout against my teammates. I need the fans’ support and their votes on NHRA’s Facebook page following this weekend’s race in Brainerd. My Traxxas team has put together a great race car for me all season long, so I really want to get into that Traxxas Shootout and show everyone what we’ve got,” said Force.
Two weeks ago at the NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle, Force wrapped up the Western Swing by taking home her very first Funny Car Wally. There was a little bit of struggle during qualifying on the Traxxas team’s end, but the youngest Force daughter swept past previous World Funny Car Champions Cruz Pedregon, John Force and Matt Hagan as well as Bob Tasca III in eliminations on her way to victory, and did it all the way from the no. 14 qualifying spot.
Force’s win put her back into the No. 6 spot in the points standings and placed her about two and a half rounds in front of Cruz Pedregon in the No. 7 spot.
“Getting my first win in Funny Car was such a huge accomplishment for our Traxxas team, but I really owe all the credit to the guys working on my car, as well as everyone at John Force Racing. This was a dream come true; seeing that win light in the final round against defending champ Matt Hagan, and getting to hold that Wally in the Winner’s Circle was so surreal.
“Making it to three final rounds and getting that victory in only our 15th race of my Rookie Season was huge! I’m so proud of my team, and hope to continue having a great season while hopefully clinching into the top 10 for the Countdown to the Championship,” said Force.
The rookie driver has been busy the last four weeks. She and father, 15-time Champion John Force attended Summit Motorsports Park’s annual “Night Under Fire” in Norwalk, Ohio the weekend after Seattle, where Courtney took home the trophy. Fellow Funny Car drivers including Alexis DeJoria, Jeff Arend, Jim Head and Dan Wilkerson were also in attendance along with over 850 sportsman racers.
“It’s always exciting getting to go to Night Under Fire and just race without any pressure. Racing is what I love to do and am passionate about so it was exciting for me to get out there and race against some of the best while putting on another great show for the fans! Bill Bader puts on a great show every year so it was really cool to be apart of it for the first time in a Fuel Funny Car,” said Force.
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