John Force vs. Courtney Force in first round

ENNIS, TX – Three of the four John Force Racing drivers will start from the top half of the field at the 30th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals and JFR is guaranteed to advance at least one Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car to the second round. On the strength of four solid runs including a blistering 3.749 second run on Friday night Brittany Force and the Monster Energy Top Fuel team will start from the No. 3 position. Robert Hight and the AAA Texas Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car team will start No. 4 and will race Cory Lee for the first time. The marque match-up in the first round will feature No. 7 qualifier John Force against daughter and defending event winner Courtney Force.

Courtney and John Force will race each other for the fifteenth time in their careers. Courtney qualified in the No. 10 position will give up lane choice to the 16-time champion in the opening round tomorrow.

“We’re going to have an exciting race tomorrow morning here at the Texas Motorplex. We’re going to have two Traxxas cars up against each other in the first round and I’ll have to race my dad. It’s never fun racing a teammate, but on the plus side, it will definitely make it exciting for fans since we have this special Traxxas promotion going on this weekend. We’re going to be fighting really hard to get one of the Traxxas cars into the final round so the fans can take full advantage of this promotion and get the discounts offered up this weekend. I’m definitely hoping our Traxxas team can do it. Dad’s running pretty solid this weekend, but I think we have a pretty good race car as well,” said Force.

Courtney is looking to break the tie tomorrow against her father and John Force Racing superior. The two are currently 7-7 in previous events. This is only the second time they have met in eliminations this season.

“We made two really great passes; one in the right lane and one in the left in the heat of the day. I think that along with our win here last year gives us confidence going into tomorrow. We’re going to probably have to push the car a little bit harder to outrun him, but we’re up for the challenge and excited to face my dad in round one,” said Force.

John Force currently No. 6 in the Mello Yello point standings is trying to chase down his 17th NHRA Funny Car championship. He will need to win the next three races to have a strong shot at grabbing the title. A six time FallNationals winner, Force, was last in the final round two years ago. Heading into the first round tomorrow he will be focused on getting the most out of his red Traxxas Chevy Camaro.

“All our Chevy hot rods are running quick. It is tough I am going to have to race Courtney but we’ll have two Traxxas Chevys going at it. The good news is one of these Camaros will go to the second round and we want to get a win so the fans can get that Traxxas Double Up promotion,” said Force, a 143-time Funny Car winner. “Texas has been good to me and then I had my crash in 2007. I have said I am not going to quite racing until I win again at the Texas Motorplex. I’ll have to beat my daughter in the first round if I want to get that win here but I know it will be a tough race.”

While the Forces will be battling head to head, Robert Hight and the AAA Texas Chevrolet Camaro will face veteran driver Cory Lee in the first round. Hight will have lane choice and will be looking for his first round win of the 2015 Countdown. The 2009 Funny Car champion has won twice at the Texas Motorplex and feels good about his team’s chances.

“There are a lot of quick Funny Cars here and there have been all sorts of records. We got the speed track record at 325.14 mph on Friday night. There are nine Funny Cars that have run in the threes so anyone of those cars could win this race. We are looking to move up the points and that starts with a first round win. (Crew chief) Mike Neff has a good handle on the tune up and we are as quick as just about anyone out here,” said Hight.

One of the most consistent Top Fuel race cars on the property is piloted by Brittany Force and tuned by Todd Smith and Ronnie Thompson. In all four qualifying sessions Force was near the top of the field and twice picked up qualifying bonus points as the second quickest dragster.

“The Monster Energy team has a lot of confidence. I am very proud to call each and every one of them a teammate. They are bad ass and it is definitely showing. We made four great runs down the race track and I am not just talking about this weekend we have been running well the last three weekends. This is the perfect time to get hot. We are No. 3 in the points and we qualified No. 3. I am anxious to get out here on Sunday and step on the gas,” said Force.

Force’s four runs this weekend 3.825 (4th quickest), 3.749 (2nd quickest), 3.791 (4th quickest) and 3.765 (2nd quickest) seconds have her feeling confident headed into her first round race against Terry McMillen. They have faced each other five previous times with Force getting the win on four of those occasions.

“Your confidence steps up when your car starts performing well. This is a team sport and we win together and we lose together. We have to keep our momentum going forward and we have to stay positive. I feel good about tomorrow.”