BRITTANY FORCE MAKES STATEMENT IN TEXAS
There was no need for Brittany Force to search for her championship challengers Sunday at the FallNationals.
All she had to do was glance over in the next lane.
“We had Doug Kalitta and Steve Torrence, the two people in front of us in the standings,” Force said. “Everyone has been struggling trying to take them down. They’ve been killing it.”
Force was not only able to slay those Top Fuel titans in her Monster Energy dragster, she came home with a Wally by winning the event.
With a Texas Motorplex elapsed-time record of 3.681-seconds at 326.87-mph in the finals, Force bettered the 3.693 at 326.56 pass of Shawn Langdon. Force also moved post Kalitta in the points and into second place behind Torrence with her third victory of the season.
“When we pulled up there I felt confident that we were going to turn those win-lights on,” Force said.
There was serious drama before the final, as the second round featured one of the most chilling sequences of the NHRA Mello Yello season. As fans rose to their feet in horror, Torrence’s machine slammed into the concrete guard wall when the left rear tire on his dragster exploded at a speed in excess of 320 mph.
“The Lord was looking out for us,” Torrence said. “I felt the tire go. The car went left and then right. After that first hit, when it knocked the front end off, I was just along for the ride.”
Torrence not only emerged from his dragster unscathed, he grabbed the win over Richie Crampton with a holeshot and was able to return for his semifinal battle against Force with a new Morgan Lucas Racing chassis.
Force ended that inspiring comeback story, executing a pass of 3.685 at 327.43 to the 3.728 at 323.35 of Torrence.
“I’ve said it all year long,” Torrence said. “I wouldn’t trade these Capco guys for anyone. To get the back-up car assembled and to have it run 3.72, you don’t know how incredible that is. The only thing better would be if we’d won the round. But give credit to Brittany, she did her job.”
Force watched the Torrence crash on the replay screen at the top end.
“It was scary looking,” she said. “The fact that (Torrence) jumped out of that car and put his hands up was pretty impressive. And to see that team pull out that spare car and make a run, that was a lot of work. They battled.”
But Force won this war, chopping her deficit to Torrence to 37 points.
“It’s been quite a day,” Force said. “A lot needed to happen and it seemed to work in our favor.”
While Robert Hight also took the Funny Car win to complete a John Force Racing sweep, Brittany Force said she had no secret to her success.
“Really, it was all about us going rounds,” Force said. “That’s what we needed to do, and then we were able to take down Langdon and win the thing. This is huge. It’s a Countdown race. And we’re still climbing that ladder.”
The Countdown resumes Oct. 27-29 with the Toyota Nationals at Las Vegas. Torrence is the defending event champion.
“We’re exactly where we needed to be – standing here in the winner’s circle,” Force said. ”We have two more races left and we’re going after it.”