Monster Energy driver Brittany Force secures No. 4 qualifying position for Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS (April 1) – Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster pilot Brittany Force will aim for her first NHRA Nationals victory Sunday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and fourth career Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel triumph from the No. 4 qualifying position.
Force’s best time of 3.760 seconds at 323.58 in Friday’s first round of qualifying was her best in four sessions.
Force will square off against No. 13 Steve Faria in Sunday’s opening-round matchup. It marks the first time Force and Faria will compete against each other. Force also qualified No. 4 in last year’s spring race at Las Vegas.
“It’s been a little bit of a struggle in Vegas, in that we only got down the track once,” said Force, who entered the weekend fifth in Top Fuel points standings. “We just haven’t been able to get the car down the race track. But I have all the faith in the Monster team, that we’ll crack down tomorrow and we’ll get it figured out and have smooth runs all the way down the race track.
“We ended up No. 4, which isn’t a bad place to be. We’re going to go out and win the whole thing tomorrow, surprise everybody.”
Force encountered tire shake due to the clutch package in Saturday’s third round, while the car went immediately up in smoke in the fourth round.
Crew chief Brian Husen said the team will overhaul its clutch package in an effort to achieve the ultimate goal – taking home the Wally. Force has won five of her first-round matchups at Las Vegas in eight tries, but still seeks to advance past the quarterfinals.
“If they’re going to make some changes – that’s risky going into race day – but we’ve got to do what it takes to be sure we get some solid runs down the track,” said Force, a three-time Top Fuel winner.
The fourth round of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series begins with opening-round matchups at 3 p.m. Eastern on Sunday.