Courtney Force breaks Houston track record, takes
Advance Auto Parts Chevy to provisional No. 1 spot
BAYTOWN, Texas (April 21) – Courtney Force sat in the Royal Purple Raceway media center Friday night after securing the provisional No. 1 spot with her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car, waiting to watch her older sister Brittany make another qualifying pass.
All Brittany Force did was rocket to the top of the Top Fuel chart with her Monster Energy dragster.
Though Brittany was unable to stay No. 1, it was a special moment for the Force sisters.
“To watch Brittany light up the board and go No. 1 for her Monster Energy team, that was a huge run for her,” Force said. “For us to be in the top spot, even if it’s just for a few moments, it’s definitely exciting.”
Brittany Force ended up No. 4 in Top Fuel with a 3.745-second pass at 327.27 mph. Courtney was No. 1 in Funny Car, with dad John Force – in the PEAK Coolant & Motor Oil Chevrolet Camaro SS – No. 3 and John Force Racing teammate Robert Hight – in the Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS – No. 11.
Courtney Force took the No. 1 spot from her dad after John Force had broken the track record with a pass of 3.890 seconds at 325.53 mph. Moments later, she made a run of 3.851 seconds at 330.23 mph to take the top spot and the track record. It tied the third-quickest time of her career.
“For our Advance Auto Parts team to skyrocket to the top spot, to take that track record from my dad felt pretty good,” Force said. “Dad was extremely distracting right before that run. He wished me luck, and right before we’re getting ready to fire the motor, he comes and looks in and has this panicked face. He starts running around the back of my car and grabs one of my crew guys. I still have no idea what was going on or what was going through his head, but he panicked me. I got on my radio with my guys and said, ‘Tell him to hang on if he’s still back there, because I’m going.’ (I was joking) around, trying to make light of the situation.”
And that wasn’t the only distraction.
“On top of that, I did my burnout with static in my radio the entire run, so that was a little distracting,” Force said. “But you know what? It’s all worth it. I don’t care if I have a million distractions, to get the car down there and to run a 3.85 and get that track record on both ends felt amazing. To do it in front of all these fans out here in Texas at the track where we won at last year, we’ve definitely got something to prove.
“We struggled a little bit the last few races. Don’t think that’s not in the back of our heads right now. We know we’re coming out here to change things and most importantly to go rounds on race day. It feels good right now, and we’ll see if it stays tomorrow. Let’s see if we can go rounds on Sunday.”
Qualifying continues Saturday with the third and fourth rounds. Elimination rounds take place Sunday.