Monster Energy driver Brittany Force
battles for Dallas victory from No. 5 spot
ENNIS, Texas (Oct. 14) – Qualifying for the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex didn’t exactly go as planned for Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster driver Brittany Force.
Yet, here she is sitting in the No. 5 spot heading into race day, ready to fight for her third victory of the season.
“We’ve been struggling a little bit, but we ended up qualifying No. 5, and that’s a pretty solid place to be,” Force said. “We run Terry McMillen tomorrow, and the conditions are going to be completely different than all weekend, so it’d really going to be a throw-down for everyone, and we’re hoping to go all day tomorrow.”
Force’s best pass of the weekend was 3.747 seconds at 282.95 mph, the lower speed indicative of what could’ve been an even better pass. And her run of 3.801 seconds at 324.90 mph in Saturday’s first qualifying session was perhaps Force’s best, as it was run in the Texas heat and was the third-quickest of the session – earning her one bonus point.
But while temperatures were in the 90s for Friday and Saturday, NHRA teams will face much different weather on race day. The forecast high for Sunday is only 70 degrees, meaning elapsed times and speeds could reach national-record levels.
And it could be a benefit for Force.
“We run better in cooler conditions,” Force said. “I think it should be good for us. We do better in the cooler weather.”
Force races No. 12 qualifier Terry McMillen in the first round Sunday. His best pass was 3.813 seconds at 311.85 mph.
Fox Sports 1 will televise three hours of live qualifying at 1 p.m. Central on Sunday.
Qualifying Round 1 (Right Lane): 3.775 seconds/321.42 mph; strong pass until the end when engine let go and flames came out momentarily (No. 4 of session and No. 4 overall; no bonus points in session)
Qualifying Round 2 (Left Lane): 3.747 seconds/282.95 mph; another good pass until the end, again with the engine blowing up at the finish (No. 5 of session and No. 5 overall; no bonus points in session and no bonus points overall)
Qualifying Round 3 (Right Lane): 3.801 seconds/324.90 mph; straight down the middle for second quickest of session through her pairing and fastest run – all in hot conditions (No. 3 of session and No. 5 overall; one bonus point in session and one bonus point overall)
Qualifying Round 4 (Left Lane): 4.326 seconds/194.94 mph; lost a cylinder at the start, and coasted to slowest run of qualifying (No. 11 of session and No. 5 overall; one bonus point in session and one bonus point overall)
This is the second time this season (both in succession) and 11th time in her career Force has qualified No. 5. She also qualified No. 5 for the race earlier this month at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill.
This is the second consecutive season Force has qualified No. 5 at Dallas. She also qualified No. 5 in 2016, when she made it to the quarterfinals.
Force is looking for her second career victory from the No. 5 position. Her only other victory from No. 5 came in 2016 at Gainesville, Fla.
Force’s first-round matchup against Terry McMillen marks the 16th time the two will compete against each other. Force owns a 14-1 advantage all-time (all wins in succession), and 4-0 this season. Of the previous 15 contests, 11 have come in the first round.