Courtney Force, Advance Auto Parts team continue to make progress in Atlanta

Courtney Force, Advance Auto Parts team
continue to make progress in Atlanta

COMMERCE, Ga. (May 7) – Courtney Force and her Advance Auto Parts team had a successful weekend with a backup Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car, earning her fourth consecutive No. 1 qualifier and racing to the second round of the NHRA Southern Nationals on Sunday at Atlanta Dragway.

“I think our Advance team has done a phenomenal job, considering we were forced to run a spare car this weekend,” Force said. “To be able to make a few solid passes and then get that No. 1 spot – at the time setting a track record ET – it’s a great feeling. The fact that my team and my crew chiefs, Dan Hood and Ronnie Thompson, have been able to get this thing put together and ready to go and to be out-running the field in qualifying definitely shows what kind of a team I have.”

Force hit the wall in the first round at Charlotte last weekend, prompting the team to bring a second Advance Auto Camaro from the John Force Racing shop in Brownsburg, Ind., to Atlanta. She drove that car to the No. 1 spot on Saturday and then took out No. 16 qualifier Jeff Diehl with ease in the first round of eliminations. Force’s pass of 3.967 seconds at 273.94 mph outran Diehl’s 5.657-second run at 125.58 mph.

That matched her against JFR teammate Robert Hight in the second round, with Hight having lane choice. Force, though, smoked the tires and slowed to a run of 5.508 seconds at 118.26 mph while Hight lowered his track record with a pass of 3.880 at 320.81 mph.

“We were able to get that first-round win, and then we had a tough matchup in the second round against Robert Hight, my teammate,” Force said. “We saw that he actually stole that track record from us in the first round, so we knew we had to give it our all. We didn’t have lane choice over him; we were stuck over in that left lane. If we wanted to run better than his .88, we had to really give it our all and unfortunately in that left lane, our car spun the tires when we hit that bump down track, and it was game over for us.”

Force remains seventh in the Funny Car standings heading to the NHRA Heartland Nationals on May 19-21 at Heartland Park Topeka in Kansas.

“I’m really feeling good about my car and my team,” Force said. “I’m looking forward to Kansas. I’m really excited with what we’ve got right now. We’ve got a great car and I think we’re finding that consistency that we’ve been needing. I’m really happy with the way things have gone this weekend with only two qualifying passes, and I’m really proud of my team for this Advance Auto Parts Chevy Camaro.”

“For all of our sponsors, it was a great job for the Auto Club team and the PEAK team. For the Monster team and my sister Brittany, there’s a lot of changes over there, but they’re going to get back on our feet. I’m really excited for all of us to head to Kansas.”

4-Second Reads:
Elimination Run No. 1: 3.967 sec./273.94 mph; def. No. 16 Jeff Diehl, 5.657 sec./125.58 mph
Elimination Run No. 2: 5.508 sec./118.26 mph; lost to No. 9 Robert Hight, 3.880 sec./320.81 mph
Force is now 6-7 this season in elimination rounds.
Force is now 8-6 at Atlanta Dragway in elimination rounds.
Force is now 137-118 in all-time elimination rounds.