Monster Energy driver Brittany Force ready to follow in father’s footsteps as NHRA champion

Monster Energy driver Brittany Force ready
to follow in father’s footsteps as NHRA champion

POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 6) – Monster Energy driver Brittany Force has seen her father compete and win championships her entire life.

Now, in her fifth season as a Top Fuel driver, Brittany has a realistic chance at the 2017 Top Fuel world championship. With only the Auto Club Finals this weekend at Auto Club Raceway remaining, Force sits second in the points standings, less than a round out of first place.

“It seems unreal to be here,” Force said. “I’ve watched my dad win 16 championships, and coming into my fifth year, I’m still trying to wrap my head around winning a single race. That’s so huge for me, so exciting. That’s something I’m so proud of. And now to be thinking that we’re in the hunt for a championship, it just seems unreal.

“But looking at this team and this car, I know we’re totally capable of winning it.”

Force has stormed to title contention with a stellar performance in the Countdown to the Championship, the segment of the season that determines title-winners in each NHRA professional class. In five Countdown races, Force has two victories, one runner-up finish and one semifinal effort. She has been to the final in each of the last two races, winning in Dallas and finishing in the runner-up spot in Las Vegas.

The points battle in Pomona could come down to whichever driver, Force or points leader Steve Torrence, goes farther on race day. Twenty points are usually rewarded for winning a round, but 30 will be given at the Auto Club Finals. Plus, extra qualifying points are rewarded, making each pass important.

Force, though, will simply try to focus on the task at hand and believes her John Force Racing team will do the same.

“I don’t try to focus on the big picture of the Countdown and how many points you need,” Force said. “I try to look at it at the end of the day. Obviously, I hear things and how many rounds out we are, but my main focus is one round at a time. That’s the way I approach it.

“Some drivers feed off how many points they are behind and how far they are back, but for me, I do it one round at a time. It’s too much pressure, too much on my plate if I look at it another way, and then my focus is lost, it’s not in the right place. It’s not in the car, it’s a distraction. For me, less distraction is better when I’m in the car.”

Two qualifying sessions are slated for Friday and Saturday (12:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Pacific both days), with final eliminations slated for 11 a.m. Sunday.

Fox Sports 1 will provide one hour of live qualifying coverage Friday at 3:30 p.m. Pacific and Saturday at 3 p.m. Pacific. FS1 will have three hours of live eliminations coverage at 1 p.m. Pacific.

4-Second Reads:
Brittany Force has competed in nine races at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona and every race since the 2013 Winternationals, when she debuted in the Top Fuel class. She has qualified for eight races.
Force is still looking for her first victory at Pomona. Her best effort came in the 2013 Finals, when she made it to the semifinals.
Force is 3-8 in 11 elimination-round races (.273) at Pomona, and 2-6 in first-round matchups.
Force’s best qualifying effort at Pomona is No. 4, which she earned in the 2017 Winternationals.
Force is currently second in the Top Fuel points standings, the highest she has been this season. She entered the Countdown to the Championship sixth in the standings.
Force is looking to become the second female driver to win the Top Fuel championship. Shirley Muldowney is a three-time titlist, with her last crown coming in 1982.
In 2017, Force has three victories, a 37-20 elimination-round record, and one No. 1 qualifier. Her 57 rounds mark a career-best, topping the previous mark set in 2016 with 55. She has set the event quick elapsed time three times, and event top speed six times.
In her career, Force has six victories, 124 elimination-round wins and seven No. 1 qualifiers.
Most recent NHRA victory – 2017 AAA Texas FallNationals in Ennis, Texas
Most recent No. 1 qualifying effort – 2017 NHRA Route 66 Nationals in Joliet, Ill.
Best time/speed at Pomona – 3.706 seconds (2017 #1); 326.24 mph (2014 #1 Q3)
Best time/speed of career – 3.644 seconds (2017 St. Louis E1); 333.66 mph (2017 Topeka E1)