Joliet, IL – The Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster came to life under the lights tonight at Route 66 Raceway blasting to the provisional No. 2 qualifying spot. Brittany Force, the 2013 rookie of the year, had her hands full on the top end and was pleasantly surprised by the quick outcome which was quickest of the session until the last pair of Top Fuel dragsters went down the track.
“I am very happy and very proud of this Monster Energy Top Fuel team. (Crew chiefs) Todd Smith and Ronnie Thompson told me before the run they were going to push it. We got a good number and we were worried about weather conditions tomorrow,” said Brittany Force, the runner-up at last year’s event. “They were like let’s just get it down there and get into the show. When they came on the radio and told me we ran a 3.74 I was shocked. It was moving around on me at the top end so I wasn’t sure what our ET would be. I am really happy to be No. 2 going into Saturday.”

Force’s quick time of the day 3.745 seconds at 327.43 mph also garnered her two qualifying bonus points.
Courtney Force and her Traxxas Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car team came out swinging at the Lucas Oil Rt. 66 NHRA Nationals this weekend. The 27-year-old driver picked up three bonus points in the opening session when she went to the No. 1 position with a 4.055 ET.
“I’m proud of my guys for starting the weekend on a good note. We came out and posted a 4.055 on our first pass which was the quickest of the field. We picked up three bonus points and we’re working our way up in the points little by little,” said Force.
The Traxxas team stepped it up in Q2 with a 4.012 ET at 318.32 mph and ended the day in the No. 4 spot, leading the JFR Funny Cars into Saturday’s two additional qualifying sessions.
“They gave me a great car again in the second session and we ran a 4.01 trying to break into that 3 second barrier. We didn’t get it done tonight, but I’m excited about the race car that we have so far here in Chicago. I even have my future in-laws here with me this weekend so it was a lot of fun to have Graham (Rahal’s) dad, Bobby Rahal, on the starting line for my run that took the top spot in Q1. It was exciting out here today and we’re certainly looking forward to tomorrow,” Force said.
Once again Robert Hight and the Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS were the picture of consistency in qualifying posting two solid runs heading into Saturday. In the first session they ran 4.055 seconds and then under the lights they ran 4.042 seconds. Hight will go into Saturday as the No. 8 provisional qualifier even though he was tied with Courtney Force for the quickest run of the first session.
“This is the kind of consistency we have been looking for and seeing the past two races. We were quickest of the first session and then we stepped up in the second session. We will be in similar conditions tomorrow night and we will continue to try and step up. This track is really smooth and we can make some horsepower do that is a great combination,” said Hight, a two-time finalist at the Lucas Oil Rt. 66 NHRA Nationals.
John Force and the Peak Anti-freeze Chevrolet Camaro SS team represented their locally based sponsor very well today running to the provisional No. 6 qualifying spot today. In the first session Force lit up the scoreboard with a time of 4.069 seconds at 316.38 mph. The Peak team went to work between rounds and Jon Schaffer stepped up on the power and the 2015 two-time winner raced to the No. 6 spot in qualifying on the strength of his 4.020 second pass. Force was barely bested by his youngest daughter in both sessions.
“You have to take a look at the overall goal and if the weather is good tomorrow people will run good again. Cruz really impressed everybody. I knew he would go for it. I am really happy that Brittany and that Monster Top Fuel dragster went to No. 2. Courtney bumped me both sessions today,” said Force, with a proud father smile on his face.
“Even when I ran 4.02 she bumped me with a 4.01. Robert Hight and the Auto Club Chevy are in there with a 4.04. I have no complaints. There are some good ol’ hot rods here. This is Peak country for us here in Chicago. It is also Chevrolet, Traxxas, Auto Club, Monster and Mac Tools country. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.”