JOHN FORCE RUNS PERSONAL BEST 1000 FT TIME, MOVES TO PROVISIONAL NO. 3 BRITTANY FORCE BESTS SISTER COURTNEY TO QUAL. 1-2 IN TAD POMONA --- John Force made up for lost time today on the second day of qualifying at the 50th annual Kragen...
JOHN FORCE RUNS PERSONAL BEST 1000 FT TIME, MOVES TO PROVISIONAL NO. 3
BRITTANY FORCE BESTS SISTER COURTNEY TO QUAL. 1-2 IN TAD
POMONA --- John Force made up for lost time today on the second day of qualifying at the 50th annual Kragen O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals. Force made the quickest lap of the Funny Car category today, a blistering 4.059 second run -- his quickest in the 1000 ft. era -- to finish the day qualified no. 3 provisionally. As excited as the 14-time champion was to have his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang racing at a superior level his emotions overflowed when his youngest daughter Courtney raced to the top of the Top Alcohol Dragster field after the first session of today only to be outrun by her older sister Brittany in the final session to set the field with the youngest Force daughters at the top.
Force's run was officially clocked at 4.059 seconds at 310.41 miles per hour. It was by far the best pass of the session for the Funny Cars and good enough for three qualifying bonus points. Unofficially Force and Robert Hight are leading the Funny Car Full Throttle points with 13 points apiece.
"It is exciting to be back at Pomona. We worked really hard over the winter. We weren't able to get a lot of testing done but having Mike Neff come over after the loss of our number four car has been huge. I am excited that (crew chief Austin) Coil, him and (crew chief) Bernie are working together. Coil is loving having a young kid with a lot of energy to run around. Neff said he came from tuning and that is where I really wanted to be. Robert ran low ET yesterday. We got a good run at it today," said Force.
"I am most excited that my daughter Brittany got her teaching credentials and she started today. Yesterday she smoked the tires but today she was stuck in traffic on the way to the track. She barely made it but then she ran the no. 1 time so far. She bumped her sister Courtney back. It is my 25th anniversary with Castrol and I still have some life in me," said an excited Force.
Brittany Force's day started very non-traditionally for most of the racers on the property. She skipped the first qualifying session opting instead to attend a mandatory interview at her new middle school where she will be student teaching starting next Tuesday. Force barely made it to the track in time for her final session and she got a major assist from her sister and rival Courtney.
"I really didn't think I was going to make it out here today. I missed my first run I was actually at my middle school interviewing to start teaching on Tuesday. I got out of the interview later than I thought and then I got caught in traffic. Somehow I got here in time. Courtney had all my stuff laid out for me which I think she probably regrets now that I have bumped her. She really helped me out. I hopped on my scooter and got up there to make a pretty good run," said Force.
"I am going to go for racing her in the final. I am excited that would be awesome. One of my goals this year is to win my first race in the BrandSource Top Alcohol Dragster. I am still going for that. It would be great to do it at my home track," said Force a two-time no. 1 qualifier.
Force's previous no. 1 qualifier was in Englishtown, New Jersey last year. In a twist of fate she was racing for the Wally in the semi-final round when one of the other competitors was not able to make the call. She has raced her sister Courtney twice before losing both times. In both instances Courtney advanced to the final round winning her first race last July in Seattle.
For the youngest Force being bumped back to the no. 2 spot was bittersweet.
"If it had to be anyone I guess it is OK that it is my sister (who bumped her out of no. 1). I think I kind of jinxed myself because I was hoping she would make it here from her class. It was either I was going to race her first round if she didn't make it (Brittany was provisionally in the no. 16 spot) or now that she made it she bumped me to no. 2 we'll race in the final maybe. That was the first thing I thought of once I realized I could not go around her. I thought at least we can meet in the final now," said Courtney Force.
Robert Hight held onto the provisional no. 1 spot and Ashley Force Hood was bumped back one spot by her father John. In their only run of the day they both suffered the same fate as so many of the other Funny Cars, posting less than stellar numbers as the track cooled. Hight tripped the lights at 8.264 seconds with Force Hood posting a 7.695 second run.