Career-best speed propels Advance Auto Parts driver Courtney Force to No. 4 spot in Gainesville
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 18) – Even with John Force Racing teammates qualifying 1-2 in Funny Car, Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro SS driver Courtney Force was able to make her mark on qualifying for the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.
Force snared the No. 4 qualifying spot with a pass of 3.860 seconds at 333.25 mph. The speed was a Gainesville Raceway record and a career-best for the 28-year-old from Yorba Linda, Calif.
“To be able to lay down a 333-mph speed is pretty amazing for our Advance Auto Parts team because it is the track speed record here and it is the fastest that I have gone in my career,” Force said. “This is one of those tracks where the atmosphere is so great, the fans are great, and it feels even better when you have a fast car running down the track.
“Really looking forward to the fact that we are qualified in the No. 4 spot and my teammates qualified one and two, so I feel like it’s been a great start for JFR so far this weekend.”
John Force, Courtney’s father, qualified No. 1 with the PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil Chevrolet, while JFR teammate Robert Hight qualified No. 2 with the Auto Club of Southern California Chevy.
JFR is also the defending champion of the Gatornationals, as Hight won in Funny Car and Brittany Force won in Top Fuel in 2016.
“It’s great to be back here in Florida and here at Gainesville,” Courtney Force said. “It’s obviously been a great track for John Force Racing. My teammates, Robert Hight and my sister Brittany, were able to win at this track last year. I definitely feel like I am pushing myself at this track because I would like to be in the winner’s circle here in Gainesville.”
Courtney Force has qualified fourth or better in all three races of 2017, reaching the final in the season-opener.
She’ll again face Jim Campbell in the first round, marking the fourth race in a row. She beat Campbell in the 2016 season-finale in Pomona and in the 2017 season-opener in Pomona before falling in Phoenix. Campbell qualified No. 13 with a top pass of 4.152 seconds at 295.72 mph.
“I am really excited about race day and it’s kind of ironic because I will be running Jim Campbell in the first round, and this is the fourth time in a row that I will have faced him in the first round,” Force said. “Hopefully we will have a little more luck than we did in Phoenix.”