FORCE'S TWO YOUNGEST DAUGHTERS MAKE FIRST GAINESVILLE APPEARANCE Brittany, Courtney Drive Matching Brand Source Dragsters GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- John Force's two youngest daughters, 19-year-old Brittany, a sophomore at Santiago Canyon...
FORCE'S TWO YOUNGEST DAUGHTERS MAKE FIRST GAINESVILLE APPEARANCE
Brittany, Courtney Drive Matching Brand Source Dragsters
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- John Force's two youngest daughters, 19-year-old Brittany, a sophomore at Santiago Canyon College in Orange, Calif., and 17-year-old Courtney, a senior at Esperanza High School in Yorba Linda, Calif., make their first competitive East Coast appearance this week in the 37th annual ACDelco Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.
Driving identically-prepared Team Castrol/Brand Source dragsters, both will compete in Super Comp, the category in which older sister Ashley, now a title contender in the Top Alcohol Dragster class, began her career.
The three Force girls, along with their mother, Laurie, and their father, the 13-time NHRA Funny Car Champion, are featured in Driving Force, a real life series that will debut on A&E Network this July.
While their father has stressed a single-minded commitment to racing, Laurie Force tried to maintain a balance in her daughter's lives.
The parents found themselves at crossed purposes for the first time last fall at a Lucas Sportsman Series race at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Although Courtney was the No. 1 qualifier in Super Comp, she opted to bypass Sunday eliminations to return to California for a high school dance.
It's a choice that left her father shaking his head in one direction; her mother nodding hers in another.
Nevertheless, John Force couldn't be happier to have his daughters with him on tour. For years, the 119-time tour winner lamented the fact that he had no sons to whom he could bequeath the family business.
He never imagined that his girls would consider a career in racing even though Ashley opted to take auto shop and welding as two of her high school electives. Now, all three daughters are on a path that could make them their dad's rivals at some time in the future.
Ashley moved up from Super Comp to Top Alcohol Dragster three years ago and, in a post-race testing session next Monday (March 20), will resume her orientation in a Team Castrol Ford Funny Car.
It's an option that is open to the other girls, as well.
"I want them to do what they want," Force said, "but if they want to race, I want to give them every opportunity (to be successful). I know how hard it is to get a chance. I don't want them to have to go through what I did. I was a loser for 15 years. Now I have the resources to give them a shot if they want it."
Ironically, Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School, headquartered at Gainesville Raceway, was the training ground not only for Ashley, Brittany and Courtney Force, but also for Eric Medlen, the third year driver of the Castrol SYNTEC® Ford Mustang, and Robert Hight, the 2005 NHRA Rookie-of-the-Year at the wheel of the Team Castrol/Auto Club of Southern California Ford.
Moreover, while she doesn't plan to drive competitively, Laurie Force also is a graduate of Hawley's campus, earning her Super Comp license so that she could better relate to her daughters and their driving experiences.
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Notable: One of the stipulations imposed by Laurie Force on her three daughters is that, before embarking on a full-time racing career alongside their father, Funny Car icon John Force, each of them must earn a college degree.