Monster Energy driver Brittany Force happy with No. 5 qualifying effort for NHRA SpringNationals

Monster Energy driver Brittany Force happy with No. 5 qualifying effort for NHRA SpringNationals

Photo Credit: Gary Nastase and Auto Imagery
BAYTOWN, Texas (April 22) – Brittany Force heads into Sunday’s NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway – the fifth stop on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule – the No. 5 qualifier in the Top Fuel category.

Force turned in a time of 3.743 seconds at 327.27 mph – both best-career runs at the track – in her Monster Energy dragster, in one of two complete qualifying runs she made. She also made a pass of 3.808 at 323.27 mph in her final run, though she was relegated from fourth to fifth by Steve Torrence.

All this in a car that is only in its second race; the initial event for the new car came earlier this month at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“We’re still trying to get in sync with the new car that we built, and we’re still trying to find the right tuneup,” said Force, tied with Torrence for fifth in Top Fuel points standings. “We’re still trying to figure things out, get in the right groove, but we had two decent runs down the track, and that’s all we need going into tomorrow. We would have liked to run all four well, but we’re still playing with things in order to get it to run.”

Force faces No. 12 qualifier Troy Coughlin Jr. in the first round. Coughlin’s best run was 3.862 at 316.82 mph. The matchup will be the first between the two.

One key event in Sunday’s race will be the weather. While Saturday’s attempts were held in the heat of the day, Sunday’s conditions will be cooler. That means Sunday’s elimination rounds could be toss-ups and setups will be determined shortly before the runs.

“(No.) 5 is a great position to be in; we’re totally good with that,” said Force, still seeking her first victory of 2017. “Houston is definitely a tough event, with it being the first hot race of the season. The heat’s tough on everybody. But either way, I feel good.”

Elimination rounds for Sunday’s NHRA Spring Nationals begin at noon Eastern/11 a.m. Central, with television coverage on Fox Sports 1 starting at 6 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Central.