RACER Magazine announced Courtney Force as their
2012 Rookie of the Year. 1st time an NHRA driver
has ever won this award.
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John Force: "Nothing could prepare me for
Related Issues: Ashley,
Body type: 5' 8"
DOB: June 20, 1988
Home: Yorba Linda, CA
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
Occupation: Student/Winning Drag racer
Marital status: Single
Height/weight: 5'8", 118 lbs.
Hobbies: Going to the beach, hanging out
with friends, working out at the gym
Attended Cal State Fullerton and majored in
Courtney Force was a former cheerleader at
Esperanza High School. She trained at the Frank
Hawley's Drag Racing School and subsequently earned
her driver's license after graduation. In addition,
her current interests revolve around shopping,
hanging out with friends and going to the
Ultimately, Courtney stars on the reality
television show Driving Force. As John Force 's
youngest daughter, she is expected to most likely
follow his footsteps. But although she enjoys
racing, she is not too fanatic about it.
Courtney Force - "I have grown up my whole life
involved in the sport of drag racing ever since I
was a baby. I loved being in the atmosphere and
being able to be with my family and watch my dad
race, dreaming of the day I would be able to get
into a race car. I am currently attending Rancho
Santiago College and hope to transfer to Cal State
Fullerton, next semester. I have been racing my
Brand Source Super Comp Dragster for 2 years now,
and am planning on moving up to Top Alcohol
Dragster next season with my older sister Brittany.
We have been out testing these cars and are
learning so much about them from good teachers,
especially my older sister Ashley. I have always
looked up to her, and have always wanted to follow
in her path, because she has shown me that I am
also capable of anything and can reach my goals
I love drag racing of course, and just being at
the races with friends and family. When Im
not at the track, Im usually at school or
studying for my classes. However, when I do get
time off, I love being in CA hanging out with my
close friends and boyfriend. Also, I love being at
the beach as much as possible, especially for
bonfires. My other favorite things to do would have
to be going to the gym, running, going to Lake
Tahoe with my family, and eating. Music Rock and
pop (but not so much a country fan)
Courtney, Ashley, Brittany, the
Courtney Force picks up her second career win,
defeating Ron Capps at the NHRA Winternationals.
* * *
Courtney wins her first Wally at Seattle.
* * *
Rookie Funny Car driver, Courtney Force,
youngest daughter of 15-time national Funny Car
championn John Force, not only had a first-round
win against her Dad at the Arizona Nationals, she
surpassed her older sister Ashley by beating him in
her second NHRA start while Ashley didn't beat him
until her fifth start in 2007. When will third
daughter Brittany get her shot?
* * *
Courtney Force (http://bit.ly/xUTjie)
replaces sister Ashley Force Hood (http://bit.ly/cD7ipB)
in the a Funny Car to run the full NHRA Full
Throttle Series in 2012
* * *
A/Fuel dragster racer Courtney Force spent a lot
of her time at Sonoma sitting in one of her dads
Funny Cars getting used to the potential experience
of becoming the third Force to race Funny Cars
after Dad and sister Ashley. Follow her experience
* * *
July 19, 2009 is a momentous day for the Force
family. On the same weekend Ashley Force Hood lost
her number 1 standing in the Funny Car series,
Courtney Force got her first Top Alcohol Dragster
win. She beat out her sister Brittany in the
semi-final heat where one of them was bound to
2012 Auto Club Rookie of
In this age of uncertainty, when few people know
what they want to do with their lives and fewer
still seem happy with their choices, 24-year-old
Courtney Force is a welcome anomaly.
When she first realized what she wanted to do
for a living, the graduate of Cal State-Fullerton
couldnt even spell race car
driver. Now, 19 years later, she is one
and a very good one.
The 2012 recipient of the Automobile Club of
Southern Californias Road to the Future Award
as the NHRA Rookie of the Year, the driver of the
Traxxas Ford Mustang approaches her second season
with the same enthusiasm she did her first.
I learned a lot in my rookie season and I
know I have a strong team behind me especially with
my crew chiefs Ron Douglas and Dan Hood. Plus, I
have great teammates to lean on and provide insight
so Im just going to keep learning all I can
and see where it takes me.
A national spokesperson for Ford Motor
Companys Driving Skills for Life initiative,
the youngest of drag racing icon John Forces
four daughters wasted little time last year showing
off her competitive skills.
I always dreamed of racing against my
dad, she said, and its just
awesome to finally be out here and be part of the
JFR team. I'm so thankful for the opportunity and
the support of Traxxas and all my other
A semifinalist in just her second race, the
former high school cheerleader started from the
front of the Funny Car field two times, took her
black-and-red Mustang to four final rounds and
claimed a breakthrough victory in the OReilly
Northwest Nationals at Seattle, Wash., beating 2011
series champ Matt Hagan in the final.
Ultimately, she finished fifth in the driver
standings, equaling the best ever showing for a
Funny Car rookie.
Driving a Mustang capable of zero-to-320 mile
per hour acceleration in little more than four
seconds, she added a bit of surrealism to her
season when she secured the Funny Car championship
for Jack Beckman by beating Ron Capps in the
semifinal round of the season finale at Pomona,
It was a nice payback to Beckman, the Dodge
driver who, as an instructor at Frank Hawleys
Drag Racing School, taught Courtney, her sisters
and her mother Laurie the basics of drag racing
while signing off on their Super Comp licenses.
Having earned the college degree upon which her
mothers blessing was contingent, Courtney now
is making the most of her opportunity to compete at
drag racings highest level.
Her preparation for a pro career included a
six-year apprenticeship in Super Comp and Top
Alcohol dragsters followed by private tutoring in
sister Ashley Force Hoods informal Drag
Racing 101" class and a full season of testing in a
Nevertheless, there never was a question in her
mind that she eventually would be in her present
I grew up knowing I wanted to be a race
car driver, she said. I just knew
thats what I wanted to do. I always loved
traveling to the races to watch my dad. We have
pictures of me at the races in the winners
circle with a pacifier in my mouth.
Id draw pictures when I was a little
girl of my dad, Don Prudhomme and their race
cars, she said. Id draw them
with all the sponsors logos and make them
look as real as possible. Id always draw
myself in the other lane racing my dad.
It was probably when I was around five
(that I knew what I wanted to do), said the
former high school cheerleader. Ever since
kindergarten, my dad would bring his Funny Car and
trailer to my school and all the kids in my class
would sit in his Castrol Funny Car and see what it
was like. I knew I wanted to be just like my
Obviously, she is on her way.
I was somewhat of a tomboy when I was
young and my best friend was a guy who was always
taking things apart and putting them back
together, Courtney said. I hung around
with him a lot because I thought that was really
interesting. I actually wanted to race Jr.
Dragsters, but my mom said she didnt want me
racing at the expense of paying attention to
I grew up going out to the racetrack
whenever I could, she said. I would
help dad get into his driving suit and gloves and
that helped me to learn what drag racing was all
Her racing aspirations began to fast track when
she attended Frank Hawleys Drag Racing
What was funny is that I was driving 160
mile-per-hour Super Comp Dragsters, but back home
my folks wouldnt let me drive on the
freeway, she laughed.
Like Ashley, who first leapt to prominence
outside the race car when she won AOL Sports
inaugural Worlds Hottest Athlete
contest (2007), Courtney similarly sped into the
spotlight after being named Top Agent
in the Fiesta Movement, a 2010 Ford marketing
program in which 100 agents drove Ford
Fiestas and then shared their experiences on
various national social media platforms.
On the track, she also mimicked her
sisters success by driving one of veteran
Jerry Dariens race cars to a Top Alcohol
Dragster victory in 2009 at Seattle, Wash., the
site, ironically, of her first pro win, as
The similarities between her career path and her
sisters are not coincidental.
Ashley was a big influence on me wanting
to race. I went to Cal State-Fullerton, which is
where she went, and I got a degree similar to hers.
She has a degree in Radio and Television; mine is
in Communications. When I heard Ashley was going
to start racing, I knew thats what I had
always wanted to do so I said, Ill just
copy everything she does. Ive really
tried to follow in her footsteps.
Statuesque like her mother, Courtney was one of
the stars of Driving Force, the real-life TV series
that tracked Ashleys development as a Funny
Car driver and aired for two seasons on A&E
My first full pass in a fuel Funny Car was
the best feeling ever, Courtney enthused.
I knew at that point that I could do it. I
felt the accomplishment of getting past the finish
line. It didnt matter what my reaction time
was or my elapsed time or speed. I got to the
other end and I knew, I can build on
Its been a little
overwhelming, she said of all the fan and
media attention that began even before her debut.
Im just excited to finally be able to
race a Funny Car. I always dreamed of going 300
miles per hour and its just awesome to
finally be out here racing.
Like her dad, she has no interest in trying to
master oval track or road racing.
One cylinder on the BOSS 500 in my Traxxas
Mustang equals the power in a whole NASCAR
engine, she said. The fact that
Im racing one of the fastest cars on the
planet is something I wouldnt want to trade
for another series.
I dont want to miss out on the power
of these 8,000 horsepower race cars. They go
straight, but dont be fooled. Sometimes they
do turn and my dad says thats when you learn
Courtney Force wins Funny
Car at Winternationals
Courtney Force raced to victory in Funny Car at the
NHRA Winternationals. Force powered her Ford
Mustang past Ron Capps' Dodge Charger with a pass
of 4.025 seconds at 317.12 mph to claim her second
Courtney Force leads JFR at
Courtney Force and her Traxxas Ford Mustang team
were one of the top Funny Cars today in the first
session of qualifying at the OReilly Auto
Parts Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway.
In the eighth pair of Funny Cars, Force ran
alongside Cruz Pedregon; both drivers with equally
clean and straight passes to the finish line. The
24-year-old from Yorba Linda, Calif. posted a 4.071
ET at 311.49 mph, taking her to the No. 2 spot and
pushing her hotrod to top speed of the day in the
Funny Car category.
Going to the No. 2 spot with a run like
that and getting top speed is a great way to start
the weekend. Were looking forward to tomorrow
and seeing if we can push it a little
further, said Force.
This is Forces sophomore year after a
strong rookie season in 2012, winning Auto
Clubs Road to the Future Award for
NHRAs top Rookie of the Year and achieving
Full Throttles Hardest Working Crew Award for
the Funny Car category alongside her Traxxas Ford
It was very nerve-racking going up there
for the first race of my second season. I think I
was more nervous this year starting out at Pomona
than I was last year for my rookie season. I
dont know how, but I was just so nervous
getting up to the starting line. Weve got a
great team. I have great crew chiefs in Ron Douglas
and Dan Hood. We showed in testing in West Palm
that we have a good, fast race car, said
Force had the quickest as well as the fastest
Funny Car pass at pre-season testing in West Palm
Beach, Fla., giving the team a feeling of
confidence for 2013. Forces best pass of a
4.012 ET at 322 mph was also a personal career-best
time and speed.
I was eager. I felt like this off season
took way too long. I was just ready to get back in
the seat of my funny car. Getting that first lap
out of the way felt amazing. I mean, its such
a load off your chest and its always a plus
to go to the top half of the field, so Im
It started to pull me to the outside a
little bit so I even turned it off just a click
early; it was just a hair, but it ended up being a
great run. That shows us that we really have a good
car and a great starting point to work with for the
rest of the weekend, said Force.
Courtney Forces performance was the
highlight of the day for John Force Racing. Prior
to Forces run both John Force and Robert
Hight smoked the tires in the left lane. Force
ended the day with the 14th quickest pass, 6.626,
behind the wheel of his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang
and Hights Auto Club Ford Mustang posted the
16th quickest run at 8.083 seconds. Neither of
these times will carry over into the second day of
qualifying on Friday.
The first foray into Top Fuel was derailed by a
systemic failure of some kind in the brakes of the
Castrol EDGE Top Fuel dragster. Rookie Brittany
Force performed a textbook burnout but as she was
applying the brakes she knew immediately that there
was an issue.
I have had a problem before with the
brakes before. There have been times when I have
been pulling on the brakes and the car hasnt
stopped. That time was the worst instance. I was
pulling on the brakes harder than I was in testing
and I couldnt get the car stopped. That was
the reason I did a longer burn out was because I
was pulling on it and it kept pulling down track
until I got it stopped. Rolling into stage I had a
feeling I was going to roll the lights, said
Force, an Automobile Club Road to the Future
The dragster rolled through the staging lights
effectively ending her run before it began due to
an automatic disqualification.
I really just wanted to get that first run
out of the way and now I have to want a little
In the Force family,
relationships are tricky
Courtney Force had just lost in the second round of
Funny Car eliminations last Sunday at the National
Hot Rod Associations Mac Tools U.S. Nationals
Force was furious with herself: A rookie who had
won her first career race earlier in the season,
she was the No. 1 qualifier at Indianapolis. But
she but came up short in her race with Johnny Gray,
spinning her tires toward the end of the run.
Afterward, she walked to her mobile home on pit
road, closed the door and stewed.
Soon, the door to the mobile home opened. In
walked her father, NHRA legend John Force, who also
happens to be her coach and team owner.
John Force immediately began to critique
Courtneys performance, also reminding her
there were perhaps 100 fans outside who wanted her
Courtney didnt want to hear any of it,
especially not from her dad, a 15-time Funny Car
champion who is also a mile-a-minute talker and the
very definition of a Type A personality.
He was having a hard time giving me a few
minutes to relax, said Courtney. I was
mad at myself, but he wanted me to suck it up and
get out there with the fans.
We couldnt agree about anything at
Such are the vagaries of the complicated
relationship that can sometimes exist between a
father and daughter. Mix in the dynamics between
teacher and pupil and employer and employee, and it
really gets interesting.
Multiply all that by four as Force does
with his three other daughters, all of whom are
also involved in the noisy, raucous sport of drag
racing and youve got one big, loving,
happy (most of the time) family.
John and Courtney are both racing in this
weekends OReilly Nationals at zMax
Dragway. Both are in the NHRAs Countdown to
the Championship, Courtney the sixth seed and John
at No. 8.
Add another element to the Force-Force
relationship: Opponents. John and Courtney will
face each other in Sundays first round of
Funny Car eliminations.
Sometimes she doesnt listen to
me, said John Force, 62. If I ran it as
a boss, wed be fighting all the time. But as
good as she is, I want perfection. Im a pain
to her. But its more father-daughter: I want
to make sure she doesnt fail.
Each of Forces four daughters plays an
integral role in one of the dominant teams in drag
racing. Adria Hight, 43, is the daughter of
Forces first wife and chief financial officer
of John Force Racing Inc. Ashley Force Hood, 29, is
taking time off from her successful Funny Car
career after the birth of her son Jacob in 2011.
Brittany, 26, hopes to begin a Top Fuel Dragster
career next in 2013.
At 24, Courtney is the youngest. Shes the
favorite to be the NHRAs rookie of the year
(as Ashley was in 2007). Courtney has one victory
at Seattle and has continued to
perform well. Thats why her second-round loss
at Indianapolis was so disappointing to her.
And its also why her demanding dad just
wanted to help, however misguided his methods might
John can only see his side and hes
like a bull in a china shop anyway, said his
wife Laurie, who is Ashley, Brittany and
Courtneys mom. At Indianapolis,
Courtney said, I dont want to talk
about it, I just want to be by myself. But he
doesnt get that concept. He wants to dive
right in and solve the problem and move
Although John Force understands hes
dealing with his daughter, he thinks the clashes
are mostly a matter of two competitors who are
Thats why Ashley, whom Force said is more
introverted, can seem to handle his coaching and
cajoling better than Courtney.
Or maybe it just looks that way. Laurie Force
said Ashley, who had four Funny Car victories
before stepping away to have her baby, would
sometimes cry after hearing from her father. But
she kept her helmet on so he wouldnt see.
Ashley is like her mother, said John
Force. She kills me with silence, which I
hate because I cant get a rebuttal.
(Courtney) stops and turns right to me and the ---
hits the fan. I like that. At that moment we can
John Force, sitting next to Courtney in the
media room at zMax, turns to his daughter.
Its really working between us,
isnt it? he asked.
Courtney indulges her father with a noncommittal
Women have long been established in drag racing.
Shirley Muldowney, for instance, is one of the
sports pioneers and all-time greats. Pro
Stock car driver Erica Enders has won three times
this season and Alexis DeJoria joined Courtney
Force as a Funny Car rookie.
So John Force is happy his daughters
havent had to face scrutiny comparable to
what, say, Danica Patrick has in NASCAR.
But boys will be boys, John Force said, and
thats a major reason why hes so tough
on his girls.
If you can handle me, you can handle
them, he said to Courtney on Friday. If
one of those guys gets out of his car and gets in
your face, he cant break you down mentally. I
cant either, anymore.
And things will only get tougher as the
Countdown, which Courtney is experiencing as a
Theyve all been nice to her until
the Countdown starts, John Force said of his
daughter, first-round opponent Sunday (Courtney is
2-0 against her dad this season). But now
youll find out who your real friends are.
And itll be Pop.
Ready and waiting for
my shot at Nationals
A lot of stress comes along with the U.S.
Nationals, but also a ton of excitement. We had a
really crazy week leading up to the race, but I
really enjoy promoting our sport, especially for
this race. The U.S. Nationals event at Indy is the
Super Bowl of NHRA drag racing, so there is a lot
of media to kick off the event.
I had the opportunity to throw out the first
pitch at the Indianapolis Indians game the Monday
before the race weekend. I've never thrown out the
first pitch at any game before so it was really
cool, especially since it was for the Indians --
John Force Racing is based in the area.
On Wednesday, I did a full day of media in
downtown Indianapolis. I was on the local show
"Indy Style" with fellow female Funny Car driver
Alexis DeJoria. I also chatted with some pretty
cool radio hosts on different radio stations.
We had our annual John Force Racing summer car
show at our shop in Brownsburg, Ind., on Thursday.
This is always a blast for us because it's such a
big event for John Force Racing. Many in the local
and racing communities look forward to it every
year because it's like a vacation for them. All the
JFR drivers, including my sisters and Bob Tasca
III, attended, signed autographs and took pictures
with the fans. I look forward to this every year
because it really gets the fans excited for the
upcoming race, and it gives them a chance to see
the shop where our race teams work, which is rarely
open to the public. They get a chance to walk
through our machine shop, museum and merchandise
store and check out our Funny Cars, old and new, as
well as a mixture of all makes and models of show
U.S. Nationals is not just the biggest race of
the season, it is also the final race before the
top-10 drivers are locked into their positions to
battle it out in the Countdown to the Championship.
I'm currently sitting sixth in points in the Funny
Car category and really need to do well at Indy to
lock myself into the top 10 to fight for the title
along with "the boys" of the sport!
Besides the fact that the race alone is a big
deal, this year my sponsor has added a specialty
"race within a race" called the Traxxas Nitro
Shootout. Only eight drivers in both Funny Car and
Top Fuel get to compete for the $100,000 and a shot
at doubling up on wins for the weekend. The final
spot for the Traxxas Nitro Shootout was left to a
fan vote and lottery. They drew a winner downtown
at the NHRA Fan Fest the Wednesday before the race
and I was the lucky winner!
It's so exciting that Traxxas has brought back
this specialty race for the Top Fuel Dragsters and
Funny Car categories, and even better that they
give any driver a shot at that last open spot. I'm
so excited to be racing it.
We had a lot of rain over the race weekend and
it ended up delaying qualifying and eliminations.
We got through only three of the five qualifying
runs and I managed to grab the No. 1 qualifying
spot Saturday, when I ran my career-best elapsed
time of 4.04 seconds and set the track speed record
at 317 mph! It was even better because I was a
guest on "Wind Tunnel" on SPEED the very next day
and I got to talk about being No. 1 qualifier.
I'm so excited to have run such great numbers
and I was ready to go into eliminations, but
because of the rain we won't be able to finish
qualifying until next weekend. I have so many mixed
emotions because I had my energy up and was excited
and confident, feeling like I had a great car going
into the biggest race of the season, but now my No.
1 spot has the potential of being taken away from
me next weekend. It's definitely a bummer to have
to stick it out for a week, but I'll be ready to go
when they let us fire up our Funny Cars on Saturday
and hope to give everyone a run for their
Courtney Forcer on track
to clinch Countdown spot in Brainerd
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
Im so excited going into the
Brainerd race, especially coming in fresh off a win
in Seattle. Im 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
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.
Weve 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
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
NHRAs Facebook page following this
weekends 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 weve
got, said Force.
With the fan vote/lottery style drawing, Force
has a chance to join her fellow John Force Racing
teammates in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout. You can
view Forces comical campaign video youtu.be/YLvT9FL6qbw
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 teams 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
Forces 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 Winners
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! Im 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
The rookie driver has been busy the last four
weeks. She and father, 15-time Champion John Force
attended Summit Motorsports Parks 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
Its 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.
Courtney wins her first
Wally at Seattle.
Courtney Force won in just her third final round
appearance of her rookie year today at the 25th
annual OReilly Auto Parts Northwest NHRA
Nationals. The rookie driver defeated three Funny
Car world champions Cruz Pedregon, john
Force and Matt Hagan as well as veteran
driver Bob Tasca III en route to her first win.
As Force took the stage in the winners
circle NHRA announcer Alan Reinhart introduced
Force, she quickly explained why her Traxxas fire
suit was completely soaked.
They dumped a lot of Full Throttle on me
at the other end. A cooler of it! she
She is the eighth different John Force Racing
Funny Car driver to win a Full Throttle Funny Car
national event after John Force, Tony Pedregon,
Eric Medlen, Gary Densham, Robert Hight, Ashley
Force Hood, and Mike Neff. She is the thirteenth
different woman to win an NHRA National event in
the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
Force struggled through qualifying throughout
the weekend, making her victory on race day even
more rewarding for John Force Racing and the
Traxxas Ford Mustang Funny Car team.
We struggled a little bit in qualifying,
but we got in and thats all that mattered and
just to keep our car consistent and get this
Traxxas Ford Mustang to the other end, thats
all we needed to do and we did it for all four
rounds, said Force.
Coming from the No. 14 qualifying position, her
worst start of the season, the 24-year-old got her
first round win over Cruz Pedregon.
That was definitely a big run for me. Cruz
Pedregon is a tough competitor. I grew up watching
him race my dad. It is always exciting racing him.
Getting that win light was huge for us. We want to
get that No. 6 (points) spot back for this Traxxas
Ford Mustang. We needed that run. We are trying to
stay consistent, said Force following her
first round victory.
She moved closer to her third final in five
races with wins over Bob Tasca III, her father and
15-time Funny Car World Champion, John Force, and
Matt Hagan in the final round.
Every guy worries about losing to a girl,
but I dont at all, Hagan said after the
Shes a great driver and doing a
heckuva job. Shes driving the wheels off that
thing, added last years Full Throttle
Funny Car Champion.
Force got her first national event win at
Seattle in 2009 and suffered her most challenging
race of her career here in 2010 when she managed to
avoid an accident while racing Mike Austin.
Forces right rear tire exploded destroying a
portion of her Ford Racing Top Alcohol
Dragsters rear wing.
Today Force is the national spokesperson for
Ford Motor Companys Driving Skills for Life
initiative and Rookie of the Year
frontrunner for Auto Clubs Road to the Future
Award, a prestigious award handed over to
NHRAs top rookie for 2012.
I honestly am still in shock. I think
Im still shaking. I mean, coming back out
here to Seattle, there are some good memories and
some bad. I had my first win out here in Top
Alcohol Dragster which was such a huge
accomplishment for me just to even have a Wally in
my house. At the moment I was telling my dad,
I cant wait to have a Funny Car Wally
in my house, because you know what, dad has
way more than enough so he cant be mad at me
for taking him out in the semis. Its been an
Force and her sister Ashley Force Hood have
similar skills, but the reason people believe
Courtney is more like their father is obvious
beyond her driving abilities and her gift for gab.
Force Hood got her first Funny Car win in April of
2008 during her 27th national event, her 23rd start
in the Funny Car class. Courtney has accomplished
the same in just 15 races.
Im definitely on a learning curve
this whole season. Ive been learning
something new at every race track. This one was a
little bit more familiar to me, but its
tough. Theres a narrow groove and this car
was trying to pull me over to the left in both
lanes and (I was) just trying to keep it
My crew chief was telling me, well,
you kinda cost us a couple of the qualifying runs;
you kinda drove it over to the left, and you
gotta fix that as a driver. They gotta be brutally
honest with you and you have to go back out there
and do better and thats exactly what I did
and Im glad. I need them to be honest with
me, but I have a great team and great crew chief
and my dad being an amazing teacher with me, being
so patient with me; everyone this past season
helping me learn about the Funny Car all last year
so I really couldnt ask for a better team
with Robert (Hight), Mike Neff and my dad and
Ashleys been teaching me too. I wish she was
here this weekend, she added.
After the first NHRA event of the season Force
was sitting in the No. 6 spot in the points
standing. After a roller coaster of event finishes
qualifying for all 15 in 2012 to date, and
appearing in 6 semi-finals and 3 finals, Force
moves around Cruz Pedregon and reclaims the No. 6
Theres still a little bit of
pressure there. Youre trying to stay in that
top ten and I know I didnt help my dad out
when I took him out in the semis; hes
fighting to get in. I felt so bad, but I told him
hes the one who taught me how to race so I
guess its his own fault. I told him Im
going to do my best to take Hagan out for him and
help him gain those 20 points back.
I have an amazing team. This whole group
of new guys that came on board with me this season,
Im sure they were hoping for a different John
Force car when they joined our team, but they ended
up with me; a rookie driver and a girl, but hey, I
mean I got them a win and I wouldnt have been
able to do it without them, said Force.
A big congratulations to Courtney, the
TRAXXAS Ford Mustang Funny Car team and everyone at
John Force Racing who has helped in Courtneys
development, said Jamie Allison, Director of
Ford Racing. That apple did not fall far from
the tree. With her talent and experience, we knew
shed celebrate her first win sooner rather
than later. We and all Ford fans are delighted to
see her win the Wally as a rookie.
John Force kept a number of his pursuers at bay
racing to the semi-finals before falling to his
youngest daughter. Force opened up the day with a
tough match-up against Alexis DeJoria. Force had a
superior reaction time to the rookie and that
proved to be the difference as his slower elapsed
time, 4.254 to 4.185 seconds, still got him to the
finish line first when it was combined with his
stellar .035 second reaction time.
When you go up against these kids like my
own daughter Courtney or DeJoria. She has big money
out there. That is a dog fight. I have Hagan
breathing down my neck and Wilkerson is coming.
This old man is trying to stay in the fight. I have
a good race car right now. There is a lot of good
stuff happening with our team it is called
teamwork. If anybody fails at this it is probably
me. My boys are doing good, said Force.
In the second round Force faced his nemesis Jack
Beckman from Don Schumacher Racing. He had dropped
the last eight meetings to the former drag racing
instructor and he was giving up lane choice. The
wily veteran Force once again had a superior
reaction time .051 to .111 and he took his second
round win of the day and secured his position in
the Top Ten for another event.
Going up against his daughter in the semi-finals
was tough for Force but at the end of the day in
the press room after she won the event the proud
father and team owner was beaming.
She really did it herself out there today.
What amazes me the most about her is she really
does talk. She is kind of wired up like me but she
has that coolness like her mom. Before the final
she said dad my helmet has a big old scratch down
the middle of the visor. I went into full panic
mode on the starting line. She said it was OK
because she could see the tree to the right of the
scratch. Me I would have been pulling my helmet
off. I am just proud of her today. It is funny it
took me 10 or 12 years to win my first race. It
took Ashley two years and Courtney said at the top
end it was the first time she beat Ashley to
anything in the Funny Car. I finally did something
ahead of her. We wont even tell her. She is
calling her mom but we are making her watch the
ESPN TV show, added Force, a seven-time
Northwest Nationals winner.
I was wired up and on the PA. I am yelling
at her and I dont even know if she can hear
me. I stuck my head in her car and said he is the
champion over there but you took the other champion
out in the semi-finals. I told her she took me out
she can take Hagan out. I was just trying to give
her positive vibe. She doesnt need it. The
women know their drill. I am also really proud of
Erica Enders to go out there and do what she did.
Shirley started all this with a number of other
women. These are the young kids they are our
future. It is awesome where they are going to be in
10 years. I am really excited. It is a sport for
the women. It has always been a sport for the men
but the rules are changing.
For Force, unbelievable
feeling in posting first NHRA victory
I got my first win at the NHRA Northwest Nationals
this past weekend in Seattle. I beat Chris Demke
and it was unbelievable. When I saw my win light, I
didn't believe it at first. I was hoping I'd won
and when I went around the corner, I saw Kelly
Antonelli, our marketing person, and all our
friends standing at the top end clapping.
I thought maybe I did get the win but I still
didn't want to get my hopes up. I was just so
excited I can't even believe we won in Top Alcohol
Dragster with our Sanyo car for BrandSource,
Castrol, Ford and Auto Club.
I had to race my sister Brittany in the
semifinals. You would think that would be a lot
tougher but it was a lot of fun. You don't have to
worry about someone messing with you on the
starting line. We both went in there and did our
same routine. We just had fun with it. I got the
win over her but she'll probably wind up kicking my
butt the next time we race.
The best part about that race was that Brittany
was really happy for me. She ran over and hugged
me. She congratulated me for going to the final. We
knew one of us was going to the final and either
way it would be our first official final. I
definitely didn't expect to get a win out of it. I
would have just as happy if she would have beaten
There was a lot of pressure for that final. I
was walking around after my dad, John Force, went
out in the semis of the funny car class and I heard
the announcers say it is all up to Courtney Force
now. I thought, 'Man, I wish I hadn't heard that.'
I wish I would have been wearing my headphones.
That is too much pressure. Jack Beckman, the Funny
Car driver, came up to me told me to just have fun.
He told me to not think about it as a final. I just
went out there and had fun and happened to get a
My dad didn't really give me any new words of
wisdom. His famous words for us are "amber, step,
amber, step" so I can just leave on the guy. I had
a good light in the final and left first. I am
really excited about that. My crew guys have been
out here working really hard.
Other people asked me if my older sister Ashley
gave me any tips but I didn't even see Ashley much
on Sunday. She was excited that both Brittany and I
were going rounds, I know that. I saw her drive up
on the scooter with her husband, Danny. It is
always fun having my whole family there on the
In that final race I saw Demke right ahead of me
as we were racing down track. I was just holding on
and driving as fast as I could. I was just hoping
this Sanyo dragster would cross the finish line
first. I saw him right ahead of me and then his car
fell back. It went back a little bit and I barely
caught up to him to get the win.
My goal this year was to get round wins. My guys
have been working so hard and we have been
progressing at every single race. We have been
winning first round a lot and then winning second
round. This was my third semi and my first
I think the biggest key to my success and
Brittany's success has been that since last day of
school this year we have been on the road the whole
summer. I love being at the races. I almost hate
sitting around at home so I am happy that we are
back out at the track. I think us being so
consistent really helped us figure out the car more
and helped me get more seat time. I am still
We did also have some fun this weekend off the
track. Before the eliminations started we Feng
Shui-ed Mike Neff's lounge. I didn't even know one
thing about Feng Shui but I looked it up to figure
We did it for the Ford Fiesta Movement and we
picked the mission to Feng Shui a house or a
trailer. My dad was like, "don't do my lounge; go
do Mike Neff's." I can't believe my dad didn't
trust me to decorate his trailer. He had us do
Neff's trailer and Neff got through first round.
After that I think I took the Feng Shui luck over
into my trailer. We ended up getting the win.
The weirdest part is we are used to having dad
or Ashley or Robert Hight, my brother-in-law take
home the trophy for our team. It is weird that I am
actually taking it home this weekend. I really want
to dedicate this trophy to my dad. He has helped me
through all this. He has done everything for me. He
has never stopped, never given up on us. I just
want him to know that I really appreciate
everything that he has done. I hope he is proud
that I finally got him a win.
Courtney Force has won more successive racing
rounds in one event than even her famous father,
14time NHRA Funny Car Champion John
In fact, had she been driving a fuel Funny Car
like her dad's Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford
Mustang when she won five rounds of racing at
Houston, Texas, she would have landed on the podium
as a race winner.
Unfortunately, competing in Super Comp, the
category in which she learned her high performance
ABC's in a BrandSourcesponsored dragster,
five wins merely constitutes a good start.
As a result, the 19yearold still
will be seeking her first major victory this season
as a rookie in a Top Alcohol Dragster division in
which she will split cockpit time with older sister
Brittany in an A/Fuel dragster maintained by
veteran Jerry Darien.
Along with her mother Laurie and Brittany,
Courtney earned her NHRA competition drivers
license in 2005 after graduating from Frank
Hawley's Drag Racing School. Ironically, she was
the one daughter her father always believed would
follow him into the family business and she
A second year student at Santiago Canyon
College, Courtney followed sister Ashley's lead
while attending Esperanza High School in Yorba
Linda, Calif., and took an auto shop class along
with more traditional courses.
"Their mother has tried to give them balance in
their lives," Force said of his daughters. "She
tells them that there's more to life than just
racing. I tell them that if they want to be
champions, they have to live racing, night and day
but, bottom line, I want them to do whatever they
want even if it's not racing."
Statuesque like her mother, Courtney is
undecided on a fulltime career in racing but
has learned the family business in the glare of the
spotlight as one of the stars of Driving Force, a
reallife TV series that last aired on A&E
Network in 2007.
Following in Their
When your dad and your older sister
spend most of their time setting records and
re-writing history books following in their
footsteps or tire tracks for that matter could seem
to be an intimidating prospect.
Not so for 20-year-old Courtney Force, the
youngest of 14-time Funny Car Champion John
Forces daughter, who will be entering her
second season behind the wheel of a BrandSource
sponsored, Jerry Darien tuned A-Fuel Dragster.
After a solid test session to open the 2009 season
the youngest Force is ready to get back on the
I am excited. I got through my rookie
season and I am still learning. I am ready to get
the season started in Pomona and do better this
season. I would really like to go some more rounds.
I think now that I have gone through one season I
have a better idea what racing Top Alcohol Dragster
is all about and I know what to expect, said
Force. I feel like I am better prepared for a
new season. It is not about remembering and trying
to focus on everything. Now that comes more
naturally to me and I can focus on working on my
lights, staging and racing other people.
The former high school cheerleader and current
communications major at Cal State Fullerton will be
seeking her first major victory this season. Last
season as a rookie in a Top Alcohol Dragster
division she started the year splitting cockpit
time with older sister Brittany but moved into her
own ride at the storied Mac Tools U.S.
She qualified at five events including the
prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals and picked up
her first round win at the OReilly Fall
Nationals in Dallas.
As she spends more time in the cockpit getting
racing experience and learning from here teammates
including older sister and NHRA super star Ashley
Force Courtney knows she is on the right career
path for her passion.
Courtney picked up her A-Fuel license during the
pre-season testing season at Firebird Raceway in
2008. At the time it had been nearly five months
since the youngest Force had been behind the wheel
of the 250 mph dragster but she showed no signs of
rust as she powered down the track to clinch her
license on a designed shakedown run.
It went good. I wasnt really
planning on making a full pass because it has been
about five months since I have been in the car. I
had to get used to the whole routine again. I was
only planning on making a launch or maybe driving
to half track but it felt good so I thought
Ill just stay in it. I made that decision
while I was going down the track. It felt good so I
just kept it straight and finished it off.
Along with her mother Laurie and Brittany,
Courtney earned her NHRA competition drivers
license in 2005 after graduating from Frank
Hawleys Drag Racing School. Ironically, she
was the one daughter her father always believed
would follow him into the family business
and she hasnt disappointed.
Statuesque like her mother, Courtney is
undecided on a full-time career in racing but has
learned the family business in the glare of the
spotlight as one of the stars of Driving Force, a
real-life TV series that last aired on A&E
Network in 2007.
Saturday June 4, 2005 -
In the 64 car Super Comp field that showed up at
California Dragway, Megan McKernan was able to
claim the No. 1 Qualifying spot. After several
rounds of racing Megan made it to the 5th round out
of 6 rounds. This was quite an accomplishment after
her first competitive day of racing.
Brittany took her Super Comp dragster into the
2nd round before losing with a malfunction in the
car. Courtney is racing the dragster that her older
sister Ashley got her racing start with. A new
Victory Race Cars dragster is being built for
Brittany and Courtney will take over driving
this car in about a month.
With day one behind them, both Brittany
and Megan prepared themselves for day two race on
John Force was very impressed with how well
California Dragway - track manager, Dave Danish and
his crew prepared the racetrack and ran the races
both days. Force commented, these guys do a
great job and the really make it fun to race at
this local hometown track. It gives a lot of racers
a great place to race and pit at a first-class
Sunday June 5, 2005 -
Raceday # 2
Sundays race was a big Force family reunion,
as Ashley and her mom Laurie flew in from Memphis
where Ashley had been racing her Castrol/Hot Wheels
dragster to see the Next Generation
girls go a few rounds; along with their other
sister Adria and the newest Hight/Force newborn
Everyone took the day in stride as Megan lost in
the first round and Brittany was able to take her
car into the 3rd round before being eliminated. The
high point of the day was Brittanys
perfect reaction time in the 2nd round of .000.
John Force commented, thats why
were training these girls early so
theyll be perfect on the tree when they take
on the funny car boys someday in the
Not only were the girls racing that weekend,
they were also the main attraction of a new
reality TV show featuring the Force
Family that is being pitched to several networks at
the present time. Brent Travers was on hand with a
small film crew to capture the day of racing with
the two youngest Force daughters.
June 8, 2005 - Super Comp
The John Force Racings Next
Generation racing program continues to take
shape with the youngest Force daughters
Brittany & Courtney, and Megan the
daughter of Auto Club of Southern California
president - Tom McKernan. These three young,
talented and beautiful girls were testing and
racing their Super Comp dragsters last week at the
California Dragway in Fontana, CA.
John Force rented the dragstrip on Thursday to
give all the girls plenty of seat time and practice
before the weekends Lucas Oil Super Comp
Association points race. Brittany, Megan and
Courtney all logged in about 12 runs each
that day and showed great promise. They were able
to get individual runs, as well as plenty of
side-by-side runs to prepare Megan and Brittany for
the Saturday and Sunday races.
Roger Conley is the head crew chief and tuner
for all three cars with Jack Beckman as assistant
crew chief. Jack is not only racing himself in the
NHRA events this year, but hes also a Frank
Hawley Drag Racing School instructor that taught
all three girls to drive their Super Comp racecars.
Also part of the race crew was the Force
girls uncle Robert Hight along with
Shane Whaling and Eric Boutchyard from the CNC
Machine Shop at the Force Racing facility in Yorba
Linda. John Force watched on with fellow
proud father Tom McKernan as each of
the girls took instructions, and listened intently
before and after each pass down the quarter mile.
All three had great reaction times, and ran very
close to the 8.90 second index for this class.
2012: Will make Professional racing debut,
competing alongside her father, John, in the Funny
2011: Tested and licensed in nitro Funny
2008-10: Competed in Top Alcohol Dragster
category in NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
Scored first national event win in Seattle in
2005-07: Competed in Super Comp category in
NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series
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